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5 Essential Exercises to Improve Your Golf Rotation

There’s an old saying, “Golfer’s must rotate well.” Ok maybe it’s not that old, and perhaps I even just made it up, but it remains true and has been the truth since Old Tom Morris started whacking some featherie ball around some sheep pasture.

The way to improve your rotation is to work on it via progressive overload training. Progressive overload training is simply starting at a certain capability and then progressively (and hopefully intelligently) doing slightly more each time you perform an exercise. In this way the body adapts and becomes more capable or stronger or faster or whatever the goal might be.


Here are 5 exercises (out of the possible 100 billion) that I deem essential to improving your golf rotation.

-Oblique Cable Twist

-Split Stance Low Cable Row

-Split Stance Pallof Press

-Medball Side Toss (Or half kneeling)

-Side Plank with Rotation

Let’s dive in:

-Oblique Cable Twist

An oblique cable twist is a lateral rotation exercise designed to mimic the golf swing’s loading and unloading pattern. The hips should move very slightly, and should move first, and then the side abs (obliques) should then be used to move the fully-extended arms around the body.

Watch out for: Folks will often bend their arms excessively, making this some sort of curly-press thing, which we don’t want. We want the abs to work, so keep those arms pretty long. Another thing is excessive we see is too much hip movement, we want to feel them slightly rotate, but not so much that they drastically change position.

-Split Stance Low Cable Row

This is a go-to for folks who want to learn how to use the ground to rotate better. When I say use the ground, it just means pressing the feet into the ground to start the movement. By putting ourselves in the split stance, it requires balance and the ability to stabilize, as we then rotate the torso over some pretty stable and not moving hips.

Watch out for: Too much weight on the back leg, a very common occurrence the first time doing this exercise. We want about 90-95% on the front leg. Another thing to watch out for is rowing the weighted arm back too far. There’s no need to go past the sternum or rib cage on this as the point is not to work the shoulder through as much range of motion as possible.

-Split Stance Pallof Press

Another split stance exercise that requires a lot of balance. This works our rotational muscles in a different way, because, as you watch the video, you’ll notice there actually isn’t any rotation (once you get to the press) in this one. Muscles can be trained a few different ways, but succinctly, moving the muscle with weight is a great way, and not moving the muscle against weight is another. As you press the arms out, the band or cable will try and rotate you, and you will fight hard to statically not allow it to do so.

Things to watch out for: Moving too fast. This should be a slow exercise. That’s pretty much it. The rest is just determining the right amount of load for yourself.

-Medball Side Toss

Back to actually rotating, but this time with speed. If we want to swing fast, we should train fast, and this exercise is about moving the weight as quickly as possible. Don’t worry about form too much here, but just think about getting the full body working to throw.

Things to watch out for: Not much other than the ball should fire basically from your back pocket. I see folks get long with their arms, and this is more about using leverage to throw it with serious speed. Another potential mistake would be doing too many throws. The purpose is speed, which means high intensity, so don’t go doing 10+ medball throws. Keep the number down around 5 and make sure to really put all your heart and soul into it.

-Side Plank with Rotation

One of my all time favorites, this requires serious oblique strength, and shoulder/scapula strength. A no-brainer by any metric, just start adding this one into your routine.

Things to watch out for: If it’s too difficult or you struggle with the balance component, drop down to having your knees bent on the floor, or stagger your feet one in front of the other. I like top foot in front of the bottom foot for this.

There we have it folks, 5 exercises I deem essential to working on your rotational ability, with just a few sets of these per week, you’ll soon be singing the Flo Rida song “Right round” every time you workout.

Keep spinning,


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