How to Delay Hip Turning to Create Torque During a Backswing

How to Delay Hip Turning to Create Torque During a Backswing

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Limiting hip rotation during the backswing helps create torque.

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A powerful golf swing requires a timely sequence of body movements to store and release energy. This stored energy or torque is generated when you limit the amount of hip rotation during your backswing, when your upper body coils against the resistance of your lower body. The amount of torque you generate also depends on your flexibility and range of motion. Just as practicing your mechanics can improve your swing, so will performing flexibility exercises.

Tips for Torque


Address the ball and make several positional checks. The ball should be aligned no more than an inch ahead of and no more than 2 inches behind the inside of your left heel, recommends Jim McLean, a noted professional golf instructor. McLean also advocates keeping your hips square to your target line, your weight evenly distributed on your feet, your knees slightly bent and your front shoulder slightly higher than your back shoulder.


Take your club back by moving your arms and shoulders as a unit and keeping your lower body as still as possible. When your club becomes parallel to the ground, about halfway through your swing, check to see that the butt of the grip points toward your target and your hips are still square to your target line.


Continue to a three-quarter backswing and keep your back leg slightly bent. If your leg is straight, your hips can more easily turn with your shoulders, which makes it hard to develop torque. A good check to ensure your hips have not rotated too far is to look and see where your belt buckle is pointing. It should be aligned with an imaginary line extending from inside of your back foot. If it has crossed this line, your hips have rotated too far back and minimal torque will be generated.


Complete your backswing and check to see you have the proper rotation ratio between your shoulders, hips, knees and feet. To develop the most amount of torque, your hips should be rotated half as much as your shoulders, your knees half that of your hips and your feet should not have moved, according to professional golf instructor Paul Wilson.

Helpful Flexibility Exercises


Perform golf twists to improve your range of motion, recommends Katherine Roberts, a certified golf performance trainer. Hold a 5-pound medicine ball with both hands and take your address position with your feet shoulder-width apart. Start with the ball near the center of your chest with your elbows flared out to the sides. While keeping your head and your lower body as still as possible, swing the ball up to your right until your left shoulder is under your chin. Return to the starting position and then repeat to the left.


Sit in a chair and hold your club across the back of your shoulders. While sitting tall and keeping your hips pointing forward, slowly rotate your upper body to the right as far as you can. Hold the position for a count of five, return to the starting position and then rotate to the left. Your goal is to rotate the club 90 degrees in both directions.


Improve your flexibility with pretzel twists. Sit on the floor, extend your legs, bend your left leg and cross it over your right. Put your left foot flat on the floor, keep your hips facing forward, turn your body to the left and put your right elbow on the outside of your left knee. Hold the position for 25 seconds and then repeat with your other leg.


  • To maintain your range of motion, perform flexibility exercises three to four times per week.

Photo Credits

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