Early Extension – is your body causing the issue?
One of the most common swing faults seen within amateur golfers is the dreaded early extension. At the start of my golfing career I was constantly doing this and it was driving me crazy.
I couldn’t understand why my body wanted to early extend rather than continually rotate as needed. The early extension involves your lower body moving forward towards the ball during downswing, resulting in inconsistent, unpredictable contact with loss of power.
How I identified and addressed the issue?
After refusing to go down the surgery route I opted to address the issues myself and find out why this had happened.
To cut a long story short, the reason why this happened was that due to the nature of my posture and many rugby injuries during my playing career, my pelvis was constantly in extension, meaning my lower back was heavily overworked and tight and my glutes had become very inactive and lazy.
Whenever I performed any squat or hip hinge movement I was essentially compounding my issues and over the years due to degeneration, my back eventually gave in doing the simplest of tasks.
Once I was relatively pain-free I began to work on addressing these issues but when I took up golf I realised that I needed to attack them more as it was these limitations that were causing the problem.
What you can do to help yourself?
After becoming TPI qualified I was able to learn and understand how critical a fully functioning body is when it comes to the golf swing.
After screening and assessing many clients I was able to determine that 95% of the population, golfers or not, have the same physical issues. Issues that will potentially cause you to early extend in your swing.
Since I’m unable to personally screen you, one of the easiest ways to determine whether or not your early extension is a mechanics or physical problem is to perform these few basic exercises below…
1) The Overhead Squat
To be able to perform the overhead squat requires good shoulder, hip and ankle mobility as well as a strong core.
If you are unable to perform a clean deep squat with just your body weight, you are at a greater risk of early extension throughout your golf swing.
2) The bridge with leg extension
When doing a single leg glute bridge with leg extension hold, it’s essential that you feel the glutes working.
If all you can feel is the lower back and hamstring getting tight, then those glutes are simply not firing effectively enough or in the right sequence.
This may be causing you to lift up and out of posture on the downswing.
3) The pelvic tilt test
This simple test shows how strong your lower back, core and abs are with the ability to control your pelvis.
This is paramount to your posture, both at set up and through impact. If you can’t perform this test without feeling a disconnect or what we call shake and bake, where the movement is very jumpy, then you need to work on improving your pelvic control.
If you fail one or more of the tests above then there are exercises you can do today to help improve your movement patterns and allow you to unleash your true swing, whilst also reducing the risk of a lower back injury.
My golf fitness program has been developed to help address issues such as these whilst helping you look, feel and play better golf.
Sign up to the Golf Fit program today via the button below.
Transform your body, transform your game.