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MSR's Guide to Golf Performance Phase Two - The Backswing

Updated: Dec 5, 2023

Welcome to the second part of our comprehensive series unraveling the intricate science and biomechanics behind the golf swing. In this second phase, right-handed golfers embark on the journey from the Backswing position to the Horizontal Club Position, a pivotal moment as the club descends towards the ground. The sequence of movements required for a seamless transition from Backswing to Horizontal Club Position for right-handed golfers unfolds as follows:

  1. It all begins with the initiation of leftward pelvic rotation.

  2. This motion progresses into an extension of the right hip, primarily facilitated by the contraction of the gluteus maximus muscle.

  3. Simultaneously, the right hamstring, specifically the biceps femoris, engages to facilitate the transfer of body weight back to the left side, with support from the left vastus lateralis and left adductor magnus.

  4. Notably, the right pectoralis major muscle springs into action, kick-starting shoulder rotation internally and flexion.

  5. In harmony, the right upper serratus anterior contracts to aid in the protraction of the scapula.

Article Index:


Primary Anatomical Structures Involved in Phase 2

For golfers facing challenges in Phase 2, the Backswing Position to the Horizontal Club Position, a thorough understanding of the primary muscles involved is indispensable. Here's a concise breakdown of the key structures and their respective roles, along with visual clues to identify potential issues:

Left Middle Trapezius:

  • Role: Controls the shoulder blade, contributing to shoulder stability.

  • Visual Clues: Shoulder instability or difficulty in maintaining a steady golf posture.

Left Rhomboids:

  • Role: Essential for retracting the scapula, maintaining proper golf posture.

  • Visual Clues: Poor scapular retraction leading to posture issues during the backswing.

Right Pectoralis Major:

  • Role: Primary mover of the shoulder joint, crucial for swing mechanics.

  • Visual Clues: Issues with shoulder movement, impacting the golf swing's efficiency.

Right Serratus Anterior:

  • Role: Facilitates scapular protraction, aiding in shoulder movement.

  • Visual Clues: Difficulty in smoothly moving the shoulder during the swing.

Left Biceps Femoris Long Head:

  • Role: Contributes to hip extension and knee flexion, important for balance and power.

  • Visual Clues: Challenges in maintaining balance and generating power in the swing.

Left Adductor:

  • Role: Provides balance and stability during the golf swing.

  • Visual Clues: Instability during the swing, affecting overall balance.

Left Gluteus Maximus:

  • Role: The body's largest muscle, crucial for multiple aspects of the golf swing.

  • Visual Clues: Potential issues in maintaining stability and power.

Left Vastus Lateralis:

  • Role: Part of the quadriceps muscle group, essential for knee extension and stability.

  • Visual Clues: Difficulty in maintaining knee stability and balance during the swing.

Identifying and addressing restrictions or imbalances within these muscles or their associated joints is key to optimizing the efficiency of the golf swing in Phase 2.


Motion Specific Release

When Phase 2 of the golf swing, the transition from Backswing to Horizontal Club Position, presents challenges, Motion Specific Release (MSR) procedures offer an effective solution. MSR is a hands-on manual approach meticulously designed to alleviate restrictions within the anatomical structures directly linked to specific aspects of the swing. For golfers grappling with Phase 2 difficulties, it's essential to prioritize the treatment of the aforementioned muscles. Furthermore, a comprehensive assessment of neck, shoulder, spine, and hip mobility is imperative, as these joints exert significant influence over the golf swing's execution.

Phase 2 - MSR Treatment Demonstration

In this video, Dr. Abelson showcases the efficacy of MSR procedures in targeting key anatomical structures associated with Phase 2 dysfunction.



The golf swing is a complex art, and every phase plays a crucial role in your performance. Phase 2, the transition from the Backswing to the Horizontal Club Position, is a key moment for generating power and ensuring a seamless progression in your swing. A deep understanding of the specific muscle actions involved can significantly refine your technique and overall golfing prowess.

Identifying and addressing any issues during this phase is essential. Dysfunctions or imbalances can disrupt your swing mechanics, hinder performance, and increase the risk of injury. Therefore, it's imperative to assess and rectify any muscular concerns, ensuring your golf swing is optimized from start to finish.

Join us in our next article as we explore Phase 3: Horizontal Club Position to Ball Impact, continuing our journey through the intricate and fascinating world of the golf swing.



Dr. Abelson's approach in musculoskeletal health care reflects a deep commitment to evidence-based practices and continuous learning. In his work at Kinetic Health in Calgary, Alberta, he focuses on integrating the latest research with a compassionate understanding of each patient's unique needs. As the developer of the Motion Specific Release (MSR) Treatment Systems, he views his role as both a practitioner and an educator, dedicated to sharing knowledge and techniques that can benefit the wider healthcare community. His ongoing efforts in teaching and practice aim to contribute positively to the field of musculoskeletal health, with a constant emphasis on patient-centered care and the collective advancement of treatment methods.


Revolutionize Your Practice with Motion Specific Release (MSR)!

MSR, a cutting-edge treatment system, uniquely fuses varied therapeutic perspectives to resolve musculoskeletal conditions effectively.

Attend our courses to equip yourself with innovative soft-tissue and osseous techniques that seamlessly integrate into your clinical practice and empower your patients by relieving their pain and restoring function. Our curriculum marries medical science with creative therapeutic approaches and provides a comprehensive understanding of musculoskeletal diagnosis and treatment methods.

Our system offers a blend of orthopedic and neurological assessments, myofascial interventions, osseous manipulations, acupressure techniques, kinetic chain explorations, and functional exercise plans.

With MSR, your practice will flourish, achieve remarkable clinical outcomes, and see patient referrals skyrocket. Step into the future of treatment with MSR courses and membership!



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