Eight Minutes to a Better Swing - Week 4

By Katherine RobertsMarch 26, 2008, 4:00 pm

Downswing
 
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.
 

Downswing:
 
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
 


 

Oblique twists:
 
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
 
Related Links:

  • Katherine Roberts Article Archive
  • Katherine Roberts Video Archive
  • Health & Fitness Main Page


    Katherine Roberts - Yoga For GolfersEditor'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.
  • Getty Images

    Fleetwood rallies to defend Abu Dhabi title

    By Will GrayJanuary 21, 2018, 12:48 pm

    The 2018 European Tour season has begun just as the 2017 one ended: with Tommy Fleetwood's name atop the standings.

    Facing the most difficult conditions of the week, Fleetwood charged down the stretch to shoot a 7-under 65 in the final round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, good enough for a two-shot win and a successful title defense.

    Abu Dhabi was the start of Fleetwood's resurgence a year ago, the first of two European Tour victories en route to the season-long Race to Dubai title. This time around the Englishman started the final round two shots off the lead but rallied with six birdies over his final nine holes to reclaim the trophy.

    Fleetwood was five shots behind countryman Ross Fisher when he made the turn, but he birdied the par-5 10th and then added four birdies in a five-hole stretch from Nos. 12-16. The decisive shot came on the final hole, when his pitch from the left rough nestled within a few feet of the hole for a closing birdie.

    Fleetwood's 22-under total left him two shots ahead of Fisher and four shots clear of Rory McIlroy and Matthew Fitzpatrick. After entering the week ranked No. 18, Fleetwood is expected to move to at least No. 12 in the world when the new rankings are published.

    Getty Images

    Garcia cruises to five-shot win in Singapore

    By Associated PressJanuary 21, 2018, 12:10 pm

    SINGAPORE - Sergio Garcia played 27 holes on the last day without dropping a shot to win the Singapore Open by five strokes Sunday in an ominous display of his newfound self-belief as he prepares to defend his Masters title.

    Still brimming with confidence after claiming his first major title at Augusta National last year, Garcia started his new season with a runaway victory at the Sentosa Golf Club, finishing at 14-under 270.

    Returning to the course just after dawn to complete his third round after play was suspended on Saturday because of lightning strikes, Garcia finished his last nine holes in 4 under for a round of 66 to take a one-shot lead into the final round.

    With organizers desperate to avert the constant threat of more bad weather and finish the tournament on time, Garcia promptly returned to the first tee shortly after and fired a flawless 3-under 68, cruising to victory with 10 straight pars as his rivals floundered in the stifling humidity.

    ''It may have looked easy, but it wasn't easy. You still have to hit a lot of good shots out there,'' Garcia said. ''It's always great to start with a win, to do it here at this golf course against a good field in Asia on conditions that weren't easy. Hopefully I can ride on this momentum.''

    Garcia's closest rivals at the end were Japan's Satoshi Kodaira (71) and South African Shaun Norris (70). Both birdied the last hole to share second spot but neither was ever close enough on the last day to challenge the leader.


    Full-field scores from the Singapore Open


    ''I could not reach Sergio. I was thinking, 12 or 13 under for the win, but he went beyond that,'' Kodaira said.

    Jazz Janewattananond (71) and his fellow Thai Danthai Bonnma (73) finished equal fourth at 8 under, earning themselves a spot in this year's British Open, while American Sean Crocker, who was given an invitation to the event after turning pro late last year, also won a place at Carnoustie by finishing in a tie for sixth.

    Garcia made just three bogeys in 72 holes and his victory provided the 38-year-old with the 33rd title of his professional career and his sixth on the Asian Tour.

    He has also won three titles in the last 12 months, including the Masters, and his game looks to be in better shape now than it was a year ago.

    He credits the Singapore Open as having played a part in toughening him up for Augusta National because of the steamy conditions and the testing stop-start nature of the tournament, which is regularly stopped because of inclement weather.

    Although he finished tied for 11th in Singapore a year ago, Garcia won the Dubai Desert Classic the next week and was in peak form when he won the Masters two months later.

    "I'm extremely happy with how the week went. It was a tough day and a tough week, with the stopping and going. Fortunately, the weather held on. Still, it was hard to play 27 holes under this heat and I can't wait to get a cold shower,'' Garcia said. ''I came with some good confidence and wishing that I will play well. I hit the ball solid the whole week and didn't miss many shots.''

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    Kelly beats Monty with two-shot swing on final hole

    By Associated PressJanuary 21, 2018, 3:21 am

    KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii – Jerry Kelly made an 18-foot birdie putt on the final hole, Colin Montgomerie missed a 6-footer for par and Kelly turned a one-shot deficit into a victory Saturday in the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

    After Kelly drove it well right into lava rocks on the par-4 16th, leading to bogey and giving Montgomerie the lead, Montgomerie made a mistake with his tee shot on the last, finding a fairway bunker. Montgomerie's approach went over the green and after Kelly converted his birdie, the 54-year-old Scot jammed his par putt well past the hole.


    Full-field scores from the Mitsubishi Electric Championship


    It was the third win on the over-50 tour for the 51-year-old Kelly, who finished tied for 14th last week at the PGA Tour's Sony Open in Honolulu. That gave him confidence as he hopped over to the Big Island for his tournament debut at Hualalai. The limited-field event includes winners from last season, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

    Kelly closed with a 6-under 66 for a three-day total of 18-under 198. Montgomerie shot 69. David Toms shot 67 and finished two shots back, and Miguel Angel Jimenez was another stroke behind after a 66.

    Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, closed with a 70 to finish at 10 under.

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    Rahm manages frustration, two back at CareerBuilder

    By Randall MellJanuary 21, 2018, 1:21 am

    Jon Rahm managed the winds and his frustrations Saturday at the CareerBuilder Challenge to give himself a chance to win his fourth worldwide title in the last year.

    Rahm’s 2-under-par 70 on the PGA West Stadium Course left him two shots off the lead going into the final round.

    “I wasn’t really dealing with the wind that much,” Rahm said of his frustrations. “I was dealing with not being as fluid as I was the last two days.”


    Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


    The world’s No. 3 ranked player opened with a 62 at La Quinta Country Club on Thursday and followed it up with a 67 on Friday at PGA West. He made six birdies and four bogeys on the Stadium Course on Saturday.

    “The first day, everything was outstanding,” Rahm said. “Yesterday, my driver was a little shaky but my irons shots were perfect. Today, my driver was shaky and my irons shots were shaky. On a course like this, it’s punishing, but luckily on the holes where I found the fairway I was able to make birdies.”

    Rahm is projected to move to No. 2 in the world rankings with a finish of sixth or better on Sunday.