When evaluating my inability to keep my hips back during the golf swing, also called early extension, I mentioned in my last post that Titleist was able to predict this in their movement screen. The Titleist movement screen goes through 13 different movement assessments. One movement assessment I did not pass was the overhead squat. This is a movement I have trained through my love of Crossfit, but I continue to have difficulty with the end-range form. However, the Titleist movement screen predicted that my inability to overhead squat would create early extension in my golf swing. I want to use this blog post to explore why inability to overhead squat would create early extension.
In their screen they have taken 10,000’s of people’s score and found that the overhead squat correlated to early extension. TItliest has not answered the question, to my knowledge, as to why the overhead squat correlates to early extension. So let’s look at the overhead squat and figure out why it does.
I believe the overhead squat predicted early extension mostly because of the inability to keep the weight centered over the feet during a dynamic upper and lower body activity. The golf swing is a very dynamic and precise lower and upper body activity so maintaining our center of mass is critical to developing efficient power. Early extension to me seems to be moving the center of mass forward onto the toes. There are a couple limitations in the overhead squat that could create forward leaning center of mass.
Frist:The most limiting factor it seems in most squat activities are the ankles. I used to have lower back pain with squatting back in high school and college until I started to squat again with Crossfit. I soon found out the ankles were limiting my squat and causing my upper body to lean forward during the squat- creating more torque on the low back. Also previous ankle injuries from years of basketball created ankle issues and limited mobility. I never knew how much past injuries can still limit more complex movement skills like squatting and even running, but they continue to affect my ankle ROM and power.
Second:In the overhead squat if your arms cannot get straight overhead there is no way you can maintain an overhead squat. What limits this is years of Xbox, school work, reading, Ipad and any kind of rounded shoulder posture. How often do we get our shoulders overhead during the day? Not much. So another reason we fall forward during activity, is our upper body is pulling us forward just like when we sit at a computer.
Third: All of this correlates to inability to generate power. When I squat I tend to fall towards the ball of my feet and it’s no wonder I do the same in a golf swing. My brain has started to wire itself by generating power through my toes and getting to my toes as quick as possible instead of pushing through the arch of my foot. The overhead squat is looking at your ability to maintain trunk posture and generating power through your feet. The same is true in a golf swing.