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3 swing positions that can cause golf injury

Updated: May 26, 2023

1. Early extension

Extension is the arching movement of the back and this can be a dangerous position when it’s performed in the wrong part of the golf swing. Early extension involves your body getting closer to the ball prior to impact and decreases the amount of space your body has to move within.

When your body has less space, your lower back can be put into an awkward position of excessive extension and right side bend (opposite if you are a left hander). This fault may lead to a number of different injuries such as muscular inflammation, facet joint irritations and even stress fractures in the younger population.

Many players I have treated with early extension lack flexibility. A lack of flexibility in the lead hip has a direct correlation with back pain. Also having poor upper back range of motion means compensations with the lower back may be made.

If you feel you lack flexibility, send me an email at to get a free two week mobility plan. This plan will take you through global stretches of the body and people I have taken through the program have really enjoyed it.


2. Chicken wing

This swing position involves the bending of the lead elbow through impact, so the arm appears to be bent like a chicken wing. This position can be harmful because when the arm is bent the elbow and forearm muscles need to absorb more force. When the elbow is straight, the force can be distributed more evenly to the shoulder, elbow and wrist

The chicken wing can be seen in tour professionals, for example Jordan Speith gets into this position. The difference between Jordan and most amateur players is that he works closely with a health professional. His health professional will closely monitor his wrist and elbow strength and flexibility so that injuries can be prevented. He also works incredibly hard in the gym so that his body can endure the stresses he places upon it.

3. Sliding

Sliding involves the lead knee getting forced into a bent position and at the same time moves closer towards the target. The knee joint itself normally likes to move in one way, which is forwards and backwards and not side to side. Over time this sliding motion may cause problems around the knee’s ligamentous structures and cartilage.

Instead of sliding, most professional golfers straighten their knee prior to impact. Posting prior to impact allows the lead hip to clear and allows the clubs to accelerate quicker through the hitting zone.

Normally players that have issues sliding lack lead hip flexibility and balance.

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