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

    Stock Watch: Strange grumpy; Tiger Time again?

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 23, 2018, 1:00 pm

    Each week on GolfChannel.com, we’ll examine which players’ stocks and trends are rising and falling in the world of golf.

    RISING

    Jon Rahm (+9%): This should put his whirlwind 17 months in the proper context: Rahm (38) has earned four worldwide titles in 25 fewer starts – or a full season quicker – than Jordan Spieth (63). This kid is special.

    Tommy Fleetwood (+7%): Putting on a stripe show in windy conditions, the Englishman defended his title in Abu Dhabi (thanks to a back-nine 30) and capped a 52-week period in which he won three times, contended in majors and WGCs, and soared inside the top 15 in the world.

    Sergio (+3%): Some wholesale equipment changes require months of adjustments. In Garcia’s case, it didn’t even take one start, as the new Callaway staffer dusted the field by five shots in Singapore.

    Rory (+2%): Sure, it was a deflating Sunday finish, as he shot his worst round of the week and got whipped by Fleetwood, but big picture he looked refreshed and built some momentum for the rest of his pre-Masters slate. That’s progress.

    Ken Duke (+1%): Looking ahead to the senior circuit, Duke, 48, still needs a place to play for the next few years. Hopefully a few sponsors saw what happened in Palm Springs, because his decision to sub in for an injured Corey Pavin for the second and third rounds – with nothing at stake but his amateur partner’s position on the leaderboard – was as selfless as it gets.


    FALLING

    Austin Cook (-1%): The 54-hole leader in the desert, he closed with 75 – the worst score of anyone inside the top 40. Oy.

    Phil (-2%): All of that pre-tournament optimism was tempered by the reality of his first missed cut to start the new year since 2009. Now ranked 45th in the world, his position inside the top 50 – a spot he’s occupied every week since November 1993 – is now in jeopardy.

    Careful What You Wish For (-3%): Today’s young players might (foolishly) wish they could have faced Woods in his prime, but they’ll at least get a sense this week of the spectacle he creates. Playing his first Tour event in a year, and following an encouraging warmup in the Bahamas, his mere presence at Torrey is sure to leave everyone else to grind in obscurity.

    Curtis Strange (-5%): The two-time U.S. Open champ took exception with the chummy nature of the CareerBuilder playoff, with Rahm and Andrew Landry chatting between shots. “Are you kidding me?” Strange tweeted. “Talking at all?” The quality of golf was superb, so clearly they didn’t need to give each other the silent treatment to summon their best.

    Brooks Koepka (-8%): A bummer, the 27-year-old heading to the DL just as he was starting to come into his own. The partially torn tendon in his left wrist is expected to knock him out of action until the Masters, but who knows how long it’ll take him to return to game shape.

    Getty Images

    What's in the bag: CareerBuilder winner Rahm

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 10:37 pm

    Jon Rahm defeated Andrew Landry in a playoff to earn his second PGA Tour title at the CareerBuilder Challenge. Here's what's in his bag:

    Driver: TaylorMade M4 (9.5 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

    Fairway wood: TaylorMade M3 (19 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

    Irons: TaylorMade P790 (3), P750 (4-PW), with Project X 6.5 shafts

    Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (52, 56 degrees), Milled Grind Hi-Toe (60 degrees), with Project X 6.5 shafts

    Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour Red

    Ball: TaylorMade TP5x

    Getty Images

    Strange irked by Rahm-Landry friendly playoff

    By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 9:45 pm

    Curtis Strange knows a thing or two about winning golf tournaments, and based on his reaction to the CareerBuilder Challenge playoff on Sunday, it’s safe to say he did things a little differently while picking up 17 PGA Tour victories in his Hall-of-Fame career.

    While Jon Rahm and Andrew Landry were “battling” through four extra holes, Strange, 62, tweeted his issues with the duo’s constant chit-chat and friendly banter down the stretch at La Quinta Country Club, where Rahm eventually came out on top.

    The two-time U.S. Open champ then engaged with some followers to explain his point a little more in depth.

    So, yeah ... don't think he's changing his perspective on this topic anytime soon ever.

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    Randall's Rant: The Euros won't just roll over

    By Randall MellJanuary 22, 2018, 9:36 pm

    The Ryder Cup may not be the King Kong of golf events yet, but you can hear the biennial international team event thumping its chest a full eight months out.

    As anticipation for this year’s big events goes, there is more buzz about Europe’s bid to hold off a rejuvenated American effort in Paris in September than there is about the Masters coming up in April.

    Thank Europe’s phenomenal success last weekend for that.

    And Rory McIlroy’s impassioned remarks in Abu Dhabi.

    And the provocative bulletin board material a certain Sports Illustrated writer provided the Europeans a couple months ago, with a stinging assault on the Euro chances that read like an obituary.

    McIlroy was asked in a news conference before his 2018 debut last week what he was most excited about this year.

    The Ryder Cup topped his list.

    Though McIlroy will be trying to complete the career Grand Slam at Augusta National come April, he talked more about the Ryder Cup than he did any of the game’s major championships.

    When asked a follow-up about the American team’s resurgence after a task-force overhaul and the injection of young, new star power, McIlroy nearly started breaking down the matchup. He talked about the young Americans and how good they are.

    “Yeah, the Americans have been, obviously, very buoyant about their chances and whatever, but it’s never as easy as that. ... The Ryder Cup’s always close,” McIlroy said. “I think we’ll have a great team, and it definitely won’t be as easy as they think it’s going to be.”



    McIlroy may have been talking about Alan Shipnuck’s bold prediction after the American Presidents Cup rout last fall.

    Or similar assertions from TV analysts.

    “The Ryder Cup is dead – you just don’t know it yet,” Shipnuck wrote. “One of the greatest events in sport is on the verge of irrelevancy. The young, talented, hungry golfers from the United States, benefitting from the cohesive leadership of the Task Force era, are going to roll to victory in 2018 in Paris.”

    European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn won’t find words that will motivate the Euros more than that as he watches his prospective players jockey to make the team.

    And, boy, did they jockey last weekend.

    The Euros dominated across the planet, not that they did it with the Ryder Cup as some rallying cry, because they didn’t. But it was a heck of an encouraging start to the year for Bjorn to witness.

    Spain’s Jon Rahm won the CareerBuilder Challenge on the PGA Tour, England’s Tommy Fleetwood started the week at Abu Dhabi paired with American and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and won the European Tour event, and Spain’s Sergio Garcia won the Singapore Open in a rout on the Asian Tour.

    And McIlroy looked close to being in midseason form, tying for third in his first start in three months.

    Yes, it’s only January, and the Ryder Cup is still a long way off, with so much still to unfold, but you got an early sense from McIlroy how much defending European turf will mean to him and the Euros in Paris in September.

    The Masters is great theater, the U.S. Open a rigorous test, The Open and the PGA Championship historically important, too, but the Ryder Cup touches a nerve none of those do.

    The Ryder Cup stokes more fervor, provokes more passion and incites more vitriol than any other event in golf.

    More bulletin board material, too.

    Yeah, it’s a long way off, but you can already hear the Ryder Cup’s King Kong like footsteps in its distant approach. Watching how the American and European teams come together will be an ongoing drama through spring and summer.