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How To Extend To Finish Your Back Swing

To create a full turn, or to make a swing where you don't have your upper body sway off the ball, you are going to have to extend your thoracic spine to some degree. Learn a simple drill to help develop a feeling of the upper body making a simple movement that actually completes your turn. If you tend to be more of an upper body puller, then this will feel especially odd because it doesn't load your shoulders as well as staying flexed, but it can be helpful for training a better sequencing and a more totaly body powered swing.

Playlists: Stop Standing Up In Your Backswing

Tags: Standing Up, Backswing, Drill, Intermediate

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This drill video is how to extend to finish your backswing.

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So a common complaint when golfers join the site is that my backswing is too short.

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I don't reach parallel, etc.

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I'm not here to say that every backswing should reach parallel.

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But we're going to talk a little bit about how you would set the club by using more of your spine

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and less of your arms in order to create that full turn.

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So one of the simple drills that I like to use to kind of organize this whole body movement for the backswing

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is when you put the club across your shoulders with a good pivot,

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the shoulder will roughly point somewhere out around where the golf ball would be.

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If you tend to stay flex forward and you are unable to make a full turn,

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it would end up looking more like this and it would be pointing kind of out over there.

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And what will happen is if I stay flexed forward and I make my turn,

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you can see that my upper body tends to move a little bit more or less I kind of counterbalance that with what I do with my pelvis.

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But the other thing is now because my chest is pointing way down there,

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I'm not able to really raise my arms past about this height.

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So if I have a look of kind of like that at the top of the swing,

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there's not much I could do with my arms or my hips or in order to create a more full turn.

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So if that's the case, if I've got a little bit of upper body sway,

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if I tend to have my arms bend in order to try to finish the backswing and get it up to parallel,

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oftentimes having a fuller body movement sets me up for a better position for the downswing.

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So what that's going to look like is as I make my backswing,

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I'm actually going to stand up as I side bend.

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So I'm going to turn it into kind of this one little movement that I like to teach without the club,

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which is almost as if my hand is going to stay pointed at the golf ball,

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and I'm going to reach that up to say hand away.

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It wouldn't make sense if I was trying to stay flex forward because now I wouldn't really be able to get it all the way back away from that hand.

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So I'm going to open my chest up just like this.

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Now the important thing is to make sure that the extension is happening from kind of the mid back,

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or the thoracic spine, as opposed to the lower spine.

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So I don't want to be doing this where I'm basically arching my lower back.

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I want to make sure my abs are a little bit engaged,

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and I'm going to make that movement just like so.

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Then I'm going to bring my hands together.

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And what I'll see is that if I'm used to being in this flex forward position,

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it will feel like my hands are much higher,

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but they're higher even though they're kind of in front of me.

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And that's because when my upper body extends,

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now keeping those arms straight, I'm actually able to get to a position where if I just changed my wrist,

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the club would be relatively set.

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So then once I have done that 10, 15 times or so,

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I'm going to have this feeling of this upper body extension coupled with rotation while keeping the abs engaged.

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Next I can add the club and try to recreate that same movement.

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Now if I were to recreate that movement,

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bring the club across the shoulders.

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Now that's pointing somewhere in the general area of the golf ball.

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So this is just kind of a breakdown movement of that club across your shoulders or the shoulder blade tilt for the backswing.

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So if you're struggling with your upper body swaying off the ball,

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staying a little bit more flex, this is a good overall idea and concept of how to finish your backswing,

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without having your arms bend without swaying off the ball.

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Now I always like to tie the backswing movements to the downswing because,

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unfortunately, the backswing by itself, you can't really use a contact or ball flight as a indicator of if you did a backswing movement correctly.

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So what ends up happening is if I tend to shift more like this,

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I'm going to tend to be more of this upper body dominant pole.

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But if I get more of this side bend extension,

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I'm going to feel more weight in my right leg,

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I'm going to feel some pressure in that hip, and that's going to encourage some of the Jackson 5,

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the bump, the initiation of the downswing with the lower body.

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So if you're struggling, if it looks like your backswing kind of falls into this category,

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and you have sequencing problems on the downswing,

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this is a good concept for you to kind of wrap your head around and experiment with on the range.

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The normal tendency would be to get a little bit steep when I start doing this move until I work on flattening the clubs from the shoulder,

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because the more that my upper body shifts back here,

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I can actually get steep with my arms, but still come from the inside.

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So when I get a better body pivot, when ends up happening,

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is it takes away the ability to compensate with my arm movement.

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So review some of these backswing drills,

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hopefully that helps you understand how to make a full turn if you see your arms bending,

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or you see your upper body not quite getting a full turn.

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It's usually this extension, makes sure the extension is happening from your rib cage,

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not from your lower back.

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