Improving Your Golf Swing X-Factor Through Flexibility Exercises
Flexibility is the third key fitness element for golf.
The golf backswing is effectively the coiling up of a spring until
an optimal point of tension; then releasing that tension as a controlled
explosion. The golf club harnesses that energy and transfers it
to the golf ball.
The more torque a golfer can build in his back swing, the more
energy departed to the golf ball, and the more distance it will
To be able to build up torque, you need to be able to effect a
consistent shoulder turn. The more this can be done, maintaining
the hips in line with the target line, the better.
For most of us, the shoulder turn is facilitiated by an accompanying
turning of the hips. This hip turn effectively reduces the torque,
depending upon the degree of hip turn, to the degree of shoulder
This relativity between shoulder and hip turn is referred to in
golf as the "X-Factor".
More correctly, the "X-Factor" is the difference between
your hip turn and your shoulder turn. The greater the difference,
the more coil and power you'll achieve at impact, and the longer
- A full shoulder turn of 90 degrees on the backswing, minus
a hip turn of say, 30 degrees, gives an "X-Factor" of
60, which is pretty good. Any "X-Factor" over 50 isn't
bad for a more mature golfer. [That’s all of us over the
age of 40!]
- A shoulder turn of 70 degrees, minus a hip turn of only 10
degrees, also generates an "X-Factor" of 60.
You get the picture….it’s the X-Factor that drives
the power of the swing, not just the shoulder turn in isolation.
I prefer to keep my hip turn to the point that allows me to keep
both feet firmly planted on the ground. This gives me better feel
for my weight transfer and balance.
Common Backswing Mistakes
Two common faults in the backswing seen in amateur golfers are:
- Huge shoulder turn, accompanied by big turn of the hips and
left foot coming off the ground in the backswing.
- Taking the club back too far without turning the shoulders
Both of these faults show a lack of understanding of the X-Factor
and a lack of golf fitness.
How To Improve Your X-Factor
The ONLY way to improve your "X-Factor" is to through
flexibility exercises that stretch and strengthen the rotary muscles
of your core.
This takes a consistent effort, with a total body strength and
stretching routine to improve your golf swing and golf game.
Two exercises that increase your strength and flexibility:
- Lunge With A Twist
- Seated Twist
Lunge With A Twist
This exercise strengthens your legs and improves upper body
rotation,giving noticeable improvement in very short time..
- Holding a small handweight, stand with your arms hanging straight
in front of the body, palms facing inwards.
- Lunge forward with your right leg, with arms coming up to the
horizontal position, palms down.
- Rotate your upper body to the right side, keeping arms at chest
- Return to starting position and repeat with the right leg.
Do 3 sets of 6 reps each side
This exercise is similar to the one above, but isolates the
lower body and concentrates your effort on the upper body.
- Sit erect on a balance [stability] ball or chair
- Hold the dumbbell palms down, straight out in front of your
- Maintain the erect posture, and head facing forwards whilst
you rotate your arms and shoulders as far to the right as is possible
without the head moving.
- Slowly reverse through the starting position, then around to
the left side.
Do 3 sets of 6 reps on each side.
See more flexiblity exercises in “Driving Your Handicap Lower
With Golf Fitness”