Unlocking Your Swing Installment 6: Early Extension

A successful golf swing requires excellent body control. Control over your body allows for accuracy at ball strike while providing power. Doesn't sound like a bad combination if you plan on landing in the fairways.

However, limited motion and/or stability along the kinetic chain could cause us to lose posture. This leads to loss of power and more golf balls ending up on the wrong fairway.

Early extension is a common golf characteristic that is characterized by our hips moving closer to the ball during the down swing.  As the hips move forward it cause the upper body to lift up. This false sense of dissociation leads to poor ball striking and limits your ability to create power with the lower half.

Alongside lack of power comes frequent blocks or shanks. When your ball lands on the fairway next to the one you are playing, early extension may be the culprit. While early extension could be the result of poor ball address or clubs that are too long, your mobility is the common culprit we see.

  • If your lead leg lacks internal rotation, you won't be able to fully rotate during the downswing. This forces you into early extension in order to bring the club face to the ball.
     
  • Thoracic rotation limitations, or poor disassociation between the trunk and hips will prevent you from maintaining posture throughout the swing. Trust us, it's frustrating when you can't figure out why you slice each shot you take from the tee box.
     
  • Lack of hip strength and core stability can also cause you to change your posture throughout your swing as you compensate to generate power throughout the swing.
     
  • Finally, the inability to reach overhead without compensation will cause you to early extend. This forces you to change your posture in order to get to the top of your back swing. 

If you suffer from any of these mobility limitations, we have your needs covered.  The videos below give you insight on how to improve your movement quality. The better you move, the better you'll be able to swing the golf club.

When it comes to hip restrictions and the inability to dissociate the spine from the hips, here are three great drills that cover all of your basis towards correcting these issues:

If your early extension problems are more stability-driven, anti-rotation chops are a great way to better develop strength and stability at both the core and pelvis. Here's a video that breaks down two of our go-to variations.

When all else fails, early extension habits could simply come down to bad swing mechanics. Stay tuned in the near future, where Adam Kolloff will explain how to correct early extension when practicing on the range!

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