Early extension occurs when your spine straightens prematurely during the downswing, causing an excessive amount of stress on your lower back muscles, discs and joints. This can lead to conditions such as muscle strains, injured discs, or even stress fractures. Early extension is also likely to lead to compensations in your swing which will affect your ball striking.
Image credit: Me and My Golf
A few tips to prevent you from early extending include:
1. Maintain a neutral spine: Keeping your spine in a neutral position throughout the swing will help reduce the stress on the lower back. 2. Train the core muscles: Strengthening the abdominal muscles can help maintain proper posture and protect the spine. You should be able to hold a front and side plank for 90 seconds each. 3. Staying relaxed: Tension in the muscles and spine can create rigidity which makes it hard to maintain posture. 4. Practice correct technique: Regularly practicing with good technique will help you ingrain the correct movement patterns. 5. Get flexible: By having adequate flexibility, it helps you get into safer swing positions. If your movement is poor you are likely to compensate and caught into awkward swing positions.
Image credit: Golf Magazine Notice in the above image how Adam Scott sets up with a neutral spine. As you can see at the impact position, his left hip hasn't gotten any closer to the ball. This is something you want to emulate during practice and play. Do you have back pain? Do you early extend? Do you want to move better?
If you have a history of back pain or are experiencing pain during your golf swing, it's important to get this addressed. If left untreated, injuries can become worse which may affect your ability to play golf.
If you suffer from early extension or if you want to decrease your aches and pains, book a golf assessment with me. The assessment can be done face-to-face in Brisbane or online anywhere in the world.
The assessment will include:
1. Titleist performance institute testing
2. Swing analysis
3. Physiotherapy specific tests
4. A detailed written report
5. A game plan
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I look forward to you playing your best golf!