This week's yoga fitness article will look at the takeaway phase of the golf swing. Defined as the process of moving the club head from the address position, the take away requires strength and flexibility in the shoulders, shoulder girdle, rotator cuffs, core abdominal and back muscles.
The shoulder muscles are very active as they are responsible for moving the club away from the ball. The core of the body; abdominals and back muscles stabilize the trunk and make it possible for you to initiate and control the movement of the core body. This week's yoga fitness exercises will help you maintain flexibility and strength in these areas providing you the greatest opportunity for more control and consistency in your game!
Bring the right arm up, elbow at a 90 degree angle. Bring the left arm under the right, bringing the palms together. I realize this is difficult so you can modify the exercise by bringing the left hand to the outside of the right elbow. Create resistance by pressing the right elbow into the left hand. Keeping the shoulders down (this is critical) left the elbows and hands upward. Remember to breathe! Hold for a slow count of ten, breathing deeply. Switch sides.
Begin on all fours, lacing the hands together directly under the shoulders. As you inhale lift up off the arms so you do not 'sink down' into the shoulders while you move your lower body back, feeling the stretch through the shoulders.
Exhale as you move the upper body over the forearms. This will incorporate the strength component of the exercise. Continue this fluid motion for five to ten breaths.
Place the feet flat on the floor, knees bent. Inhale; press the navel towards the spine, low back towards the floor. Exhale and lift the shoulders off the floor. Add the twist working the oblique abdominals.
Note: Support the head and neck by lacing the fingers under the neck. Keep your elbows in your peripheral vision - bringing the shoulder to the opposite knee, not the elbows. Repeat until muscle fatigue. (Or as my friend suggested until you are screaming in painonly kidding!)
As you cross the right elbow towards the left knee, extend the right leg. Be sure to continue to draw the navel towards the spine supporting the low back.
Lying on your belly, clasp the hands together behind your back. Inhale as you squeeze you legs together, engage your buttocks, and press your tail bone down. Roll the shoulders away from the ears as you lift your chest off the floor. The feet should remain on the floor, tops of the feet pressing towards the floor. Hold for a long count of five or five breaths. Repeat three times.
Note: Pressing the tops of the feet towards the floor will increase flexibility and support greater push off power in your swing.
Next week we will look at the top of the back swing position and get into shoulder turn, wrist position and torso rotation. Keep me posted on your thoughts and progress. I want to know how you are doing with the Yoga Fitness for Golfers program. Stay tuned to Your Game Night for more of my fitness tips! Let me know your personal fitness questions and you may see them on the show!
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 email@example.com.