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Ankle Mobility and Early Extension in the Golf Swing


I know I've talked about early extension in the golf swing before but today's post is a little more specific.  I want to look at your ankles and see if they are causing you to stand up too early.

Early extension in your golf swing can really hurt your game.  The reality is that most golfers do it... The better ones less but it they still do it.  It can change the bottom of your swing arc which in turn will cause poor contact.  Voila... You're wet or in the trees.

The picture above is a dorsi flexed ankle in the golf swing. Not sure if its a righty or lefty swing but the reality is that both your ankles would independently be somewhere close to this position sometime during your swing.   

So what happens if your ankle mobility doesn't like being in this position while you load your trail hip, leg, ankle and foot?  What if your lead ankle doesn't like being loaded into as you down and through swing?

You guessed it... YOU STAND UP!!

 

This gentleman's arse should be touching that red line behind him as he goes through impact. Instead he has stood up or early extended and is likely to get poor contact on his shot.

Now the human body is an excellent compensator.  If it can't do what exactly what you are asking of it then it will find another way to make that position and/or movement.  This can sometimes be bad for you and the athletic endeavor you are attempting. 

So let's say you load into that rear leg and ankle in your back swing. If done correctly you should be able to dorsi flex that ankle in order to make a move at the target.  If your ankle mobility is poor (like many people) then the ankle will compensate by straightening. Most people don't know they early extend.  They are just left feeling puzzled why they hit a bad shot.  I'm working with an excellent golfer right now that has trail leg ankle trouble and early extends when he doesn't properly mobilize that ankle.

I've got several tools to help you with your ankle mobility and keeping your posture in the golf swing.  Here is one ankle mobility drill we work up to after some assessment and training.

Remember that your body is the most important piece of golf equipment you have.  Keep it strong, limber and able!

If you have any questions about this post or TPI Golf Fitness please contact Chris Saini at sheppy@madlab.ca.

 

Happy Swinging!

Sheppy