THE ISSUE – Early Extension By early extension we mean the loss of flexion at the hip on the downswing. In simple terms, pushing the hips forward and standing upright too early, long before impact has been made. This often leads to compensatory movements from the upper back, shoulders, wrists and hands to manipulate the club into a decent position for the moment of truth. Now early extension can be caused by a number of different things, the two most common are over rotation in the back swing or a weak posterior chain, glutes, hamstrings and lumbar erector spinae. THE FIX Restricted takeaway drills / Posterior chain strengthening exercises Our remedy for the over rotation is to first of all create a bit more of an angle at address thereby reducing the potential for over rotation. After that has been ingrained we use the tubing on the Ramsay Posture Belt to simulate gripping a club and literally practice taking a back swing but letting the tubing restrict how far we can turn without losing shape. With regards to the weakness of low back, glute and hamstring; after first getting clearance for muskulo skeletal issues, we then assess basic movement skills and prescribe an appropriate program of strength exercises consisting of but not limited to – squats, lunges, deadlifts, back extensions, hamstrings curls and their respective variations. This is usually built in with a program that addresses the player&aposs overall strength needs. Gaining strength is a slow burner, it takes time and a lot of work. Learning a new movement can often be done relatively quickly but a strength program should not be undertaken unless the player is willing to commit time and effort. Having said that a stronger posterior chain and body in general will help overall health and wellbeing by helping to maintain a strong skeletal system and speeding up your metabolism amongst a host of other benefits.
Author: Nick Randall, Golf Australia