One of my DVDs is designed to address one lifes biggest challenges ' time! Eight Minutes to a Better Swing provides ten, 8-10 minute sequences of exercises targeting every part of your body. From the hips, back and trunk, to balance and pre-round warm-up, the DVD is intended to give you quick, simple solutions. www.YogaForGolfers.com This week continues our new series based on a sequence of exercises requiring a minimal amount of time. If you have eight to ten minutes, I have the program for you!
This week was a very exciting week in the world of golf. The World Science Congress of Golf, an organization of the top researchers in every aspect of golf, from advances in equipment, to the body, to cutting edge innovation in golf course design, presented their research from around the world to the most innovative thinkers in the game. This organization meets every four years and for the first time the US hosted the event. I had the honor of presenting my yoga based golf performance methodologies to this esteemed group.
One researcher analyzed the issue of sequencing and timing in the golf swing. The conclusion of the study was proper sequencing in the swing, an efficient, kinematic sequence is critical to generating power, more important than proper timing. In a nutshell, you cannot generate proper timing is your sequencing is inefficient. Efficient sequencing is perhaps most important in the downswing phase of your swing.
Last week our program focused on the backswing phase of the swing while this week we focus on the downswing, one of the most physically active phases of swing, second to the impact position.
Lets take a closer took at the biomechanics involved in the downswing.
The following is an excerpt from the Golf Biomechanics section of my book Yoga for Golfers ' A Unique Mind/Body Approach to Golf Fitness.
Definition: The phase of the golf swing when the club is brought from the top of the backswing towards impact
There are many different cues to initiate the downward motion of the golf swing. For some it is the hands while others teach the hips or trunk. From an injury prevention standpoint, the body must properly link or transfer motion from one part of the body to the next. For golfers, a typical sequence will include transferring motion first from the lower body to the trunk or torso then through the shoulders & hands and finally to the club, maximizing speed at ball impact. It is essential for the abdominal groups to be active during this process, especially as a golfer moves the trunk. This will assure a stable posture for the back. Remember, if the spine is out of its neutral position it is vulnerable.
Summary of Downswing Biomechanics
The transition at the top of backswing occurs when the direction of swing changes from right to left. This begins the uncoiling phase of the golf swing. This phase is most stressful to the body if combined with poor technique.
The highest forces of side bending, shear and rotation occur at the neck and low back during this phase.
The golfer must properly link the motion that occurs during this phase of the golf swing allowing the efficient transfer of energy from one segment of the body to the next. The proper timing or linking of this motion will maximize club head speed.
Here are a few yoga based exercises designed to target the strength in your gluts, legs, back and core. Tip: Visit my archived articles on www.thegolfchannel.com for more exercises on hip mobility and strength to supplement this weeks series.
Warrior Three pose:
This posture strengthens the feet, legs, gluts and back. Tip: place a golf club behind your back. This tip prompts you to initiate the movement from the gluts and core. It is acceptable to slightly bend the standing leg. Keep the hips parallel to the floor.
Step the right foot forward and bring the hands to the waist. Shift your weight into the right leg as you lift your left leg off the floor. Move from your core not your back!
Attempt to bring your torso and leg parallel to the floor and extend your arms to the side (if you are not using the golf club behind your back). Hold for five deep breaths and switch sides.
Core crunches with block:
Begin on your back with the knees bent and yoga block placed between your legs. Squeeze the yoga block. This action is very important as it strengthens the adductors and helps you stabilize the hips for more power. Remember to use the strength of your abdominals and NOT momentum to work the abs! Support the head and neck with the hands and press your navel into the floor. On your exhalation lift the shoulders off the floor. Hold for a deep breath and repeat ten to fifteen times
Remove the block and bring the right shoulder and left knee towards each other. Switch sides and repeat ten to fifteen times.
Full locust pose:
Begin on your belly with the legs and arms slightly wider than the width of your body. Pull your navel in and squeeze the gluts. Keep the face pointing towards the floor. On your exhalation lift the legs and then the arms. Hold for three breaths and repeat three times.
Next week we look at the impact phase of the golf swing!
See you on The Turn!
Please send me an e-mail with your thoughts at Katherine@YogaForGolfers.com
Editor's Note: Katherine Roberts, founder of Yoga for Golfers, has over 20 years of experience in fitness training, yoga studies, professional coaching and motivation. Katherine welcomes your email questions and comments, contact her at Katherine@YogaForGolfers.com or visit www.YogaForGolfers.com.