Doesn't it drive you nuts when you are playing and the guy who has the worst swing is the guy who quietly hits the ball down the middle of the fairway time and time again? It makes me crazy!! The old saying goes' It doesn't matter how you get there, it is that you get there.' Although you may not have 'classic' swing, the critical component is impact - the moment the ball makes contact with the club face.
This week will look at the impact phase of the golf swing. During impact the body is the most susceptible to injury. This is the time when we are moving at the highest rate of speed, all the muscles are contracted, which causes tremendous stress on the spine, neck and hips. At impact the hip and leg muscles are very active as they drive power through the lower body and support weight transference from the right to the left.
Our eight minute series will focus on the lower body and hips. Additionally you will be challenged by balance - remember to stay focused.
Step the left foot forward approximately five feet. Lift the right heel off the floor, extended the right leg as straight as possible. Hands on the waist as you pull the belly towards the spine, maintaining a straight spine throughout this exercise.
Inhale as you bend the left knee to a 90 degree angle. As you exhale, straighten the leg. Repeat fifteen times, moving slowly. Focus on a spot on the floor about four feet in front of you. This will help you balance and maintain focus. Switch sides.
This pose is often referred to as a 'double hip opener' which means it works on increasing flexibility in both hips at the same time while you build strength in the gluts and legs. A double whammy!
Step the left foot five feet forward, revolve the right foot inward to a 90 degree angle. Imagine if I was facing you, both your hips would be facing me. Do not let the low back arch; instead feel the stretch in both hips.
Bring the left elbow to the left knee, lifting out of the left shoulder.
This portion of the pose adds range of motion in the torso. Now extend the right arm upwards while you rotate your torso towards the ceiling. For more intensity bring the right arm over the right ear and stretch the hand away from the body as much as possible. Hold for a slow count of ten and switch sides.
with block or towel
This pose strengthens the gluts and hamstrings and stretches the hip flexors and psoas. On your back, place the feet about a foot away from the buttocks. Squeeze a block or towel between the inner thighs. Squeeze the towel with and lift the hips off the floor. Hold for a slow count of five and lower. Repeat five times.
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.