The follow-through is defined as the phase of the golf swing that occurs past impact. As we have discussed in previous articles the swing is explosive in nature but during this phase the body begins to decelerate. It also requires a full rotation of the body towards the target. Normally this position places a minimum amount of stress on the body unless your swing involves a reverse ' c position of the spine at your finish. This movement can case pain or injury in the back due to the compression of the spine.
This weeks eight minutes to a better swing series will focus on the areas of the body such as hips, gluts, balance and a restorative pose to offset the effects of a reverse-c position.
This pose increases flexibility in the hip flexors, psoas, and quads which will support greater extension in your swing and support a finish that is fully extended and facing the target.
Place a strap, belt or towel in the left hand, right hand on the back of the chair or on a club for support. Position the left foot in the loop of the strap or the palm of the hand. Keep the knees in alignment as you press the left hip forward, creating space between the left heel and the gluts. Remove the hand from the chair and balance for a slow count of ten to fifteen. Switch sides.
Practice is the best way to facilitate better balance and this pose will increase flexibility in the hips while supporting a balanced follow-through.
Place the right foot on the outside of the left knee. Move the left knee towards the floor feeling the stretch in the hip flexors and gluts. Focus on a spot on the floor and bend the left knee as you hinge at the hips, bringing the chest towards the shin. Hold for a slow count of ten, trying to increase the duration and switch sides.
In this photograph I am supporting Paul with my leg but you should do this pose with your back against the wall.
Sit with your back approximately a foot off the wall. Bring the left foot to the outside of your right knee. Note: You should not feel any tension in your knee at anytime in this pose. Begin to bend your right knee, bringing the heel as close as possible to the gluts. Now slide your back up to the wall, positioning your spine as close as possible to the wall and sit up straight. Hold for one to three minutes and switch sides.
This pose will help offset the effects of compression on the spine if you have a reverse-c in your swing or if your back gets fatigued.
Lye on your back with the arms perpendicular the body, bend the knees bringing the heels close to the buttocks. Allow the knees to fall to the left, placing a towel under the knees. Note: for greater intensity remove the towels. Stay in this position for three to five minutes and use the force of gravity to intensify the pose. Slowly switch sides.
Practice these poses for eight minutes a day for a minimum of four days a week.
Print out the entire series of the weekly yoga poses and you will have a conditioning system that supports your entire swing sequence. Please stay in touch, let me know about your progress and how I can support your fitness program.
Editor's Note: Katherine Roberts, founder of Yoga for Golfers, has 20 years of experience in fitness training, yoga studies, professional coaching and motivation. Katherine welcomes your email questions and comments, contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.