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Game Improvement: Make a Better, Stronger Turn with These Two Moves



Luckily for Mark, that beat-up bit of turf also functions as a pretty nice cushion. (MATT GAJTKA/PGN)

The essence of the golf swing is the turn.

Produce an efficient, more powerful coil, and you’ll have a better, more powerful golf swing.

How we develop the capability to make a better turn is the question. Here with at least part of the answer is none other than my brother Mark, a proud Pitt-educated certified strength and conditioning specialist.

In this week’s Game Improvement feature, he’s got a couple of exercises you can perform as a warmup, a cool down, or even a standalone workout.

Let’s go to the Gajtka Family Training Facility, a.k.a. my driveway, for Mark’s rundown of the two crucial moves in question, and how they can aid both your mobility and your power.

As you’ll see, those attributes walk hand-in-hand.

If still photos are more your thing, those are below with step-by-step instructions!


First, grab a golf club. Really, any long-ish implement will work, but a golf club is more fun, isn’t it?

Then, get yourself into a lunge position, with one foot planted ahead and the knee bent at or near a 90-degree angle.

The other foot will be behind, with the toe pushed into the ground.

Now press the club (or whatever) into your chest, while crossing your hands in front of you.

This will provide a good proxy for the angle of the shoulders, giving you a solid idea of how much you’re really able to coil in the upper body.

Now, the action begins.

While trying to keep your bellybutton pointed forward, turn your shoulders as much as is tolerable toward the knee that is on the ground.

When you get into that fully-coiled position, take 5-10 deep breaths as you hold that tension.

Remember, we’re trying to maximize the difference between the shoulder turn and the hip turn, much like you see in a good golf swing. After you’re done with one side, repeat on the other side.


You’ll probably need a mat for this next one, although a patch of grass or soft carpet will also do just fine.

The setup is pretty basic. Establish a comfortable spread between your knees, enough to feel totally stable. You want to ‘sink in’ to your hip joints for this, while keeping your back as straight as possible, as Mark demonstrates here.

As you see above, you’ll press one of your palms into the ground ahead of you.

Use this hand as your anchor as you reach under and across your chest with your other arm, reaching as far as you can go. Take a deep breath in this position.

Now, for the grand finale.

From that extended position, feeling the tension across your upper arm, lift that arm upward, with the palm facing the sky. Hold this for 5-10 breaths.

You guessed it: You’ll then repeat this on the other side for another 5-10 breaths at the apex of the move.

Note above that Mark is showing an alternate setup with your feet. If you feel you aren’t able to ‘sink in’ much of your weight into your hips, extend your feet along the ground to help get ‘deeper’ with your lower body.

And that’s it!

Look for more from Dr. Mark — he loves when I call him that — in future Game Improvement features.

Trust me, he knows what he’s talking about. You’ll experience good results if you stick to the program. As mentioned above, feel free to add these moves to your regular workouts, or simply as a way to get your body primed for a round or a practice session of any length.

A 15-year veteran of sports media, Matt Gajtka (GITE-kah) is the founding editor of PGN. Matt is a lifelong golfer with a passion for all aspects of the sport, from technique to courses to competition. His experience ranges from reporting on Pittsburgh's major-league beats, to broadcasting a variety of sports, to public relations, multimedia production and social media.

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