Are You Swinging Leading Arm-Dominant?

Moving on from the discussion of what swinging with the leading arm dominant actually means – what problems can arise when swinging with the left arm in a right-handed swing?

And more importantly, are you a non-cross person yet suspect you’re swinging with the wrong arm dominant?

In one compound word, the issue will be over-rotation!

In other bad words that should never be spoken, you could get into issues with club path, swing plane and the dreaded OTT.

When I talk about early trailing heel lift and a sliding trail foot into or at impact rather than post, these are signs of early or over-rotation on the down swing.

Many OTT swingers in fact, I believe, are swinging so because they’re swinging wrong-arm dominant (with the leading arm) because of the way impact is defined.

You’ve heard millions of references to a bowed left or leading wrist at impact, which is absolute bunk as the body, arm and hands are in free motion during the swing and so there is no way to intentionally create and hold a bowed left wrist at impact – it is the product of proper swing mechanics and is, like the so-called “down swing squat,” nothing more than a transitory position in a moving sequence.

So you may actually be swinging with a dominant leading arm even if it’s not your natural dominant arm and hand if you’ve been told something that made you think overly much about  your left arm and hand.

Basically, if you set up to a ball with the sensation that you can pull the club through the ball with your leading arm while standing there, you are likely setting up leading arm dominant.

Or, if you close your eyes and imagine swinging a club, which arm in your visual is dominant, the leading or other arm?

Conversely, if you feel more the sensation that you would simply push the club through the ball at address with your proper or power hand (the right hand in right-handed swing), then you’re likely in the clear.

If you swing naturally inside-out, with a neutral to flat down swing plane, again you’re likely good.

I say that because I don’t think it’s possible, or at least would be difficult to swing with a neutral to flat plane and inside-out club path swinging with a dominant leading arm.

With a very big leading arm issue, you will likely be fighting steep plane, negative attack angle (with driver) and out-to-in impact club path, because the tendency is to turn the shoulders and body to yank that club through the impact zone.

I have done yeoman’s work, I have to admit, fixing a steep swing plane and outside-in path over the years.

In fact, I went from a sharply out-to-in and negative attack angle like this (second category top from the left shows me negative 5.6 club path!! and the fifth from the left shows negative 2.6 Attack Angle):

To this (far left green-circled AA shows 4.7 up and red-circled shows 0.6 inside-out club path):

… and I regret to say that, even with the improved and pretty good numbers in those two categories, I was killing myself to change these numbers while still swinging left-dominant.

Yes, it’s a tragedy, for me.

Until I figured out last autumn not only that I was swinging left -dominant but why I was doing so and almost overnight (because I do actually play sports right-handed), I was able to change my mental setup to emphasize the right hand being dominant, because the swing itself is the same motion.

I will further discuss swinging left-arm dominant in yet a 3rd posting, showing what I was doing and how I was still able to drive the ball 350 yards and up with such a horrific swing flaw.

5 thoughts on “Are You Swinging Leading Arm-Dominant?

  1. Mark

    This is cool stuff. love it. 👍
    I’m a righty and play golf right handed, but if I swing a baseball bat left handed, ALL I feel is my right arm and shoulder as they ‘pull’ the bat through the hit. So much so that my left hand naturally drops off the bat after impact letting my right arm finish the swing. But when I switch back to righty, that right hand side is an equal player all the way through the swing. The feeling of over rotation is VERY noticeable during the lefty swing.
    (On a side note, in your abundant spare time 😉 you gotta start an alternate blog to explain how the Knighton kid is running so fast, so smooth, while so young.)

    1. DJ Watts Post author

      That’s absolutely it, Mark – having played baseball since the age of 7 (where you pull the bat through the zone and impact with open shoulders to the playing field), I was dead in the water with a left-dominant swing action. It’s completely different from the golf swing, where the leading arm action is or should be finished at impact and you have to keep those shoulders squared.

      Knighton… he’s something else, isn’t he? Huge strides, what a turnover and how relaxed did he look just about strolling over the finish line with that time? Amazing.

      1. Mark

        THANKS 👍 Haha… great minds I suppose. I watched this video last night. 😎 He definitely cruised the last 20. And if he is overstriding a fraction… Bolt might better enjoy his records while he can. I just love this kid’s seemingly effortless power. I’ll also be interested to see how things shake out in Nairobi this weekend as Jacobs makes his 2022 debut against Kerley.

        Man, what I would’ve done for youtube back in the 80s when I was trying to figure out all this stuff for myself. I was always a sucker for individual sports or highly specialized positions within team sports…golfer, placekicker, shot and discus thrower. I didn’t even have a video camera. All the technique channels they have now would’ve helped TREMENDOUSLY. I would have OD’d on this stuff.

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