Maintaining Width

You may often hear golfers say that they want to get more width in their golf swings.  Although this is a fundamentally sound objective for most players there are times, as with most swing tendencies, when there may be a misguided correction taking place which compromises the efficiency of the swing.  The first step is to better understand the swing tendency in which width or structure is lost and then the proper prescription to change the swing tendency.
A loss of width in the backswing can be looked at in different ways.  If someone’s lead arm(left arm for right handed players) breaks down then this can be seen as a loss of width.  But, how about if the trail arm folds too much even though the lead arm appears fairly straight?  This is usually an indication that the lead arm has worked too far across the chest and the handle of the club is far from in front of the sternum.  Many players will simply look to create width in the backswing which can lead to more issues and compensations only making matters worse as the lead shoulders protracts in a reaching manner.  This only puts the body in a more compromised position and makes the club harder to control.
The cause of loss of width in the backswing is usually rooted in poor rotation which is a result of poor posture and physical limitations.  When the body does not rotate well then the arms will look to make up for that by working across the body and structure is lost.  Therefore the remedy is really in improving rotation so that the arms can perform their role properly which is to work up and down and create a leveraged position at the top.  
If you have issues losing width then take a deeper look at cause and effect.  How is your rotation?  How is your posture?  Do you have any physical limitations?
Practice Smart!