Early extension is a common term that’s used to describe a swing characteristic most amateur golfers present. This trait can exist amongst novice golfers for numerous reasons - lack of spatial awareness, poor joint mobility, and inability to create repeatable mechanics are the first things that come to mind.
Before we dive deeper into correcting early extension with movement-based drills, we need to have a better understanding as to what the early extension flaw is. Check out this video to grasp what early extension is:
As mentioned in the video, early extension can wreak havoc on your performance as well as the integrity of your joints. Optimizing your ability to rotate the pelvis is crucial for exertion and absorption of force, which leads to better mechanics as well as less stress on the lower back vertebrae and knees.
Laid out below are three of our favorite drills in the weight room to help optimize the way your hips move in order to phase out of your early extension habits.
1) Wall-Assisted Pelvic Rotation
As mentioned in the video, using the wall is a fantastic way to provide feedback on how your hips rotate as well as spatial awareness. For individuals that haven’t played rotational sports, this can be a tough concept to grasp if swinging a golf club is new to you.
2) Bent-Over Pelvic Rotation
Once we understand how to rotate the pelvis with wall contact, the next step is to remove the wall. By doing so, we need to learn how efficiently our pelvis works in space without assistance.
This drill might be rather challenging at first, so just experiment with feeling the pelvis move. As your control improves, start to hone in on minimizing movement of the club across your shoulders to truly dissociate the hips.
3) Low-to-High Cable Chop
Lastly, we want to introduce load to our rotational movements to further solidify the changes we’re making. While we love mobility training for all of our golfers, we also need to incorporate external loading to help build better resiliency through all the tissues involved in the golf swing.
We really love this cable chop variation because it automatically forces you to get into a good position when you’re using appropriate weight. If you finish in a poor position, you’ll lose the stable base you started in and most likely lose your balance.
Keep in mind…
Early extension is just one of many swing characteristics that might be present in your swing. If you don’t have a keen eye for analyzing swings, don’t assume that you automatically fall into the category of golfers that extend early when attacking the golf ball.
If you’re unsure of how to apply your training in the weight room to your golf swing, don’t worry.
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