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Abduction and Protraction of the Lead Shoulder Early in the Backswing


iacas
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As the tweet says, early in the backswing, the majority of LPGA/PGA Tour players in the GEARS database increase the width of the adduction angle (the angle between the virtual spine, the lead shoulder, and the lead elbow) early in the takeaway. This is primarily due to two things:

  • The chest turns back a little more than the lead arm.
  • The lead shoulder protracts slightly (the rear shoulder may retract slightly, too, but most of that happens later

That's it. That's the tweet.

Discussion?

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Erik J. Barzeski —  I knock a ball. It goes in a gopher hole. 🏌🏼‍♂️
Director of Instructor Development, 5 Simple Keys®/Golf Evolution • Owner, The Sand Trap .com • AuthorLowest Score Wins • Golf Digest "Best Young Teachers in America" 2016-17 • "Best in State" 2017-20 • WNY Section PGA Teacher of the Year 2019 • Penn-State Behrend Head Coach • • • • • • • • • • :aimpoint: :edel: :true_linkswear:

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Makes sense. It’s all part of staying connected in the backswing. I’ve used a feel of my right shoulder leading the backswing to get my shoulder turn at max without my right elbow collapsing.

Scott

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28 minutes ago, colin007 said:

So is this saying that the chest is leading the takeaway? And the lead arm follows slightly behind?

IMO it's more of a unified/simultaneous move.

The arm must start carrying the club down the line while the chest must open up simultaneously to limit early adduction (pinning lead arm to chest). I think this is also related to my own piece from gears. The trail arm retraction probably helps later on in maintaining/limiting adduction angel at the top. 

It seems this allows the lead arm to freely swing up and down the line which I am sure is great for club path and a freely swinging/discombulated lead arm also makes it easy to rotate clubface to squareness. 

Vishal S.

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1 hour ago, colin007 said:

So is this saying that the chest is leading the takeaway? And the lead arm follows slightly behind?

I think it’s more that the arms shouldn’t really do much in the backswing. Turn and eventually the momentum of the turn will load the arms across the chest.

Bill

“By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.” - Confucius

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1 hour ago, colin007 said:

So is this saying that the chest is leading the takeaway? And the lead arm follows slightly behind?

Yes. The chest turns more than the lead arm goes back, while the lead shoulder protracts slightly.

38 minutes ago, billchao said:

I think it’s more that the arms shouldn’t really do much in the backswing. Turn and eventually the momentum of the turn will load the arms across the chest.

Kinda.

Like I tell my juniors… and some adults:

Arms = up/down
Body = around

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Erik J. Barzeski —  I knock a ball. It goes in a gopher hole. 🏌🏼‍♂️
Director of Instructor Development, 5 Simple Keys®/Golf Evolution • Owner, The Sand Trap .com • AuthorLowest Score Wins • Golf Digest "Best Young Teachers in America" 2016-17 • "Best in State" 2017-20 • WNY Section PGA Teacher of the Year 2019 • Penn-State Behrend Head Coach • • • • • • • • • • :aimpoint: :edel: :true_linkswear:

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17 hours ago, iacas said:
Quote

Well... The other key insight I remember from that video is that pros do very little adduction through A2~2.5, and in fact many pros abduct slightly as they use their SI joint to push out and create even more width through that point in the swing. The pro adduction happens in the ~A2.5-A4 portion of the backswing (well, of course then there's much more in the downswing but we're talking backswing)

Yeah, so, I don't know about that one Cedric. Mac's never been on GEARS, and almost all of the Tour players will actually WIDEN the lead arm adduction angle during the early part of the backswing, because their left shoulder is moving forward a bit in their shoulder joint.

I'll update the other topic with a bit more on this. You gave me an idea for a tweet.

That's what I meant! Widening adduction is... abduction. 😉

Matt

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18 hours ago, cedrictheo said:

Interesting. No adduction until P2-P4 reminds me of how Rory and Xander's load the arms. I'm not heading that direction with my swing (modeling mine on how Mac O'Grady loaded his arms). Would be interested to look at individual swings on GEARS as opposed to the tour average for this one.

Of coures I agree there's variation among top players. But even your example of more adduction is decreasing shoulder angle by... 14˚ versus the 10˚ average. Still wanna keep an eye on keeping the hands ~in front of the right shoulder.

Screen Shot 2022-12-01 at 9.59.42 AM.png

Matt

Mid-Weight Heavy Putter
Cleveland Tour Action 60˚
Cleveland CG15 54˚
Nike Vapor Pro Combo, 4i-GW
Titleist 585h 19˚
Tour Edge Exotics XCG 15˚ 3 Wood
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image.jpeg

Just as the "angles" don't really line up above, you can't measure like you've done in those images, @mdl. You're not perpendicular to the plane of the angle you're measuring (on GEARS, if you move the player around so that you are perpendicular, the angles WILL match up, and when you're "off-angle," they won't but they'll still try to show you somewhat the proper size of the angle).

In the left image (address position) in this post, for example, the left side of the angle should go down to the left elbow, but because the slice is "rotated up" to make it somewhat visible, it appears to not be connected to the left elbow.

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Erik J. Barzeski —  I knock a ball. It goes in a gopher hole. 🏌🏼‍♂️
Director of Instructor Development, 5 Simple Keys®/Golf Evolution • Owner, The Sand Trap .com • AuthorLowest Score Wins • Golf Digest "Best Young Teachers in America" 2016-17 • "Best in State" 2017-20 • WNY Section PGA Teacher of the Year 2019 • Penn-State Behrend Head Coach • • • • • • • • • • :aimpoint: :edel: :true_linkswear:

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2 hours ago, mdl said:

That's what I meant! Widening adduction is... abduction. 😉

Not really right? Abduction refers to the actually motion of said body part. Not it’s position after moving another part. Example:

You’re on a subway holding the pole with your right hand with arm extended, arm to chest is 90*.  While keeping your right arm still, your turn your chest to the left and back to take something from a friend slightly behind you with your left hand. The angle of your right arm and chest will increase, but there was no abduction of your right shoulder/arm….right?

Edited by Vinsk

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  • Are the muscles that are responsible for abduction firing? No, not so much.
  • Is it still "abduction" at that joint? I'd say yes.

I love pedantry, but I don't see the value in this particular case. 😄

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Erik J. Barzeski —  I knock a ball. It goes in a gopher hole. 🏌🏼‍♂️
Director of Instructor Development, 5 Simple Keys®/Golf Evolution • Owner, The Sand Trap .com • AuthorLowest Score Wins • Golf Digest "Best Young Teachers in America" 2016-17 • "Best in State" 2017-20 • WNY Section PGA Teacher of the Year 2019 • Penn-State Behrend Head Coach • • • • • • • • • • :aimpoint: :edel: :true_linkswear:

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4 hours ago, mdl said:

Of coures I agree there's variation among top players. But even your example of more adduction is decreasing shoulder angle by... 14˚ versus the 10˚ average. Still wanna keep an eye on keeping the hands ~in front of the right shoulder.

Screen Shot 2022-12-01 at 9.59.42 AM.png

Nice shorts!😜

Scott

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Mac liked people to wear tiny clothes so you could more accurately see what the body was doing.

No comment on the actual topic, Scott? 😄

Erik J. Barzeski —  I knock a ball. It goes in a gopher hole. 🏌🏼‍♂️
Director of Instructor Development, 5 Simple Keys®/Golf Evolution • Owner, The Sand Trap .com • AuthorLowest Score Wins • Golf Digest "Best Young Teachers in America" 2016-17 • "Best in State" 2017-20 • WNY Section PGA Teacher of the Year 2019 • Penn-State Behrend Head Coach • • • • • • • • • • :aimpoint: :edel: :true_linkswear:

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1 hour ago, boogielicious said:

Nice shorts!😜

Googling to find the video I took this from and he seems to have pretty much always been wearing awesome 70s short shorts :-D

5 hours ago, iacas said:

Just as the "angles" don't really line up above, you can't measure like you've done in those images, @mdl. You're not perpendicular to the plane of the angle you're measuring (on GEARS, if you move the player around so that you are perpendicular, the angles WILL match up, and when you're "off-angle," they won't but they'll still try to show you somewhat the proper size of the angle).

In the left image (address position) in this post, for example, the left side of the angle should go down to the left elbow, but because the slice is "rotated up" to make it somewhat visible, it appears to not be connected to the left elbow.

Yeah fair. I figured the plane of the shoulders in the back swing would decrease the angle from true. Which works against my claim that top players don't adduct much in the back swing. So since I could still claim I was right, I went with it 🤷

4 hours ago, Vinsk said:

Not really right? Abduction refers to the actually motion of said body part. Not it’s position after moving another part. Example:

You’re on a subway holding the pole with your right hand with arm extended, arm to chest is 90*.  While keeping your right arm still, your turn your chest to the left and back to take something from a friend slightly behind you with your left hand. The angle of your right arm and chest will increase, but there was no abduction of your right shoulder/arm….right?

I'm with Erik. I'd say ad/abduction doesn't imply muscle activation, just joint movement towards/away from the body's center line. Regardless, as a fellow pedant, I move we call this one and go back to annoyingly harping on semantic points with our friends and family who... love it! 😆

Matt

Mid-Weight Heavy Putter
Cleveland Tour Action 60˚
Cleveland CG15 54˚
Nike Vapor Pro Combo, 4i-GW
Titleist 585h 19˚
Tour Edge Exotics XCG 15˚ 3 Wood
Taylormade R7 Quad 9.5˚

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15 hours ago, mdl said:

I'm with Erik. I'd say ad/abduction doesn't imply muscle activation, just joint movement towards/away from the body's center line.

Right, I don’t think active adduction of the lead arm matters as much as the fact that it happens because too much can negatively affect the golf swing either way.

You can increase the adduction angle of the lead arm simply by actively abducting the trail arm while the lead arm remains passive.

Bill

“By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.” - Confucius

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3 hours ago, billchao said:

You can increase the adduction angle of the lead arm simply by actively abducting the trail arm while the lead arm remains passive.

That would decrease (the adduction angle would be a smaller number) the "adduction angle" and increase the adduction itself (the lead arm would be "more adducted").

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Erik J. Barzeski —  I knock a ball. It goes in a gopher hole. 🏌🏼‍♂️
Director of Instructor Development, 5 Simple Keys®/Golf Evolution • Owner, The Sand Trap .com • AuthorLowest Score Wins • Golf Digest "Best Young Teachers in America" 2016-17 • "Best in State" 2017-20 • WNY Section PGA Teacher of the Year 2019 • Penn-State Behrend Head Coach • • • • • • • • • • :aimpoint: :edel: :true_linkswear:

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On 12/1/2022 at 10:17 AM, iacas said:

Arms = up/down
Body = around

So really the amount of adduction angle is 'controlled' more by the body turn than arm movement up and down yes?  

Also the protraction of lead shoulder joint and retraction of trail shoulder is a compensation for the shoulder blade turn. Meaning more the body turn less the need for protraction/retraction. I think.. 

 

image.png

Vishal S.

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21 minutes ago, GolfLug said:

So really the amount of adduction angle is 'controlled' more by the body turn than arm movement up and down yes?  

No, that's not what I'm saying.

People who use their arms to move the club "around" them pull the trail elbow too far toward the shirt seam (or past it) and pull their lead arm too far across their chest. If this "around with the arms" is minimized… you can keep the adduction angle wide/big.

Thus, if you use your body to move the club around you, and use your arms mostly for moving the club up and down… that's the "best" way to do it.

21 minutes ago, GolfLug said:

Also the protraction of lead shoulder joint and retraction of trail shoulder is a compensation for the shoulder blade turn. Meaning more the body turn less the need for protraction/retraction. I think.

No, it's not a compensation, it's something good players do. Their rib cage turn is often about 10-15° less than their "shoulder" turn because of this added range of motion.

Lead shoulder protraction also "widens" the "adduction angle" in GEARS because of how it measures that. If the shoulder moves forward, the "spine" stays in place so the angle gets "wider" than if the shoulder stayed back.

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Erik J. Barzeski —  I knock a ball. It goes in a gopher hole. 🏌🏼‍♂️
Director of Instructor Development, 5 Simple Keys®/Golf Evolution • Owner, The Sand Trap .com • AuthorLowest Score Wins • Golf Digest "Best Young Teachers in America" 2016-17 • "Best in State" 2017-20 • WNY Section PGA Teacher of the Year 2019 • Penn-State Behrend Head Coach • • • • • • • • • • :aimpoint: :edel: :true_linkswear:

Check Out: New Topics | TST Blog | Golf Terms | Instructional Content | Analyzr | 5SK.com | LSW | Instructional Droplets

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