Last week my yoga and fitness content was delivered to you live from the PGA Merchandise Show. It was exciting to see new manufacturers and products designed to enhance sports performance while supporting the overall health of golfers. Distance continues to be the buzz word. I receive many e-mails from older golfers requesting tips on how to maintain distance as they age. How do you achieve maximum distance when the aging process often depletes your body of strength?
A University of Kansas study examined the roll of fitness in thirty-one older, male golfers (median age 65.4 years old). The study determines the effects fitness has in increasing club head speed, a direct correlation to distance. Entitled Effects of muscle strength and flexibility on club-head speed in older golfers the study concludes that focusing on increasing range of motion and flexibility in the trunk and increasing upper body strength (next weeks article) promotes club-head speed. Additionally the study concludes that 46% of the variance in club-head speed could be explained by fitness.
This weeks yoga poses target increasing your rotational range of motion in the trunk. While practicing yoga lengthen the spine with each breath. Inhale as you draw the navel inward and lift the rib cage off the waist. Twist from the base of the spine on the exhalations. Remember the twist begins from the base of the spine, not the cervical spine. Maintain a natural curve in the neck and only slightly rotate the neck.
Sit on the all with the knees at a ninety degree angle. Extend the arms as you draw your navel towards the spine. Place the pelvis in a neutral position. Inhale and lengthen the spine (do not lift the shoulders). Exhale and twist from the torso to the right and left. Move on the exhalation. Repeat ten times.
Place the right hand on the outside of the left knee. Use the left arm placed behind the back as additional support. Hold the twist for five breaths. Switch sides.
Place the right foot on the outside of the left knee. Maintain contact of the entire right foot on the floor. Bring the left arm behind the back. Inhale as you draw the navel towards the spine and lift the ribcage. Bring the right hand to the outside of the left knee. Twist on the exhalation. Repeat five times.
As you continue to maintain length in the spine you can begin to extend the right arm, increasing the stretch. Switch sides. Note: The eyes focus towards the left shoulder but do not turn your head.
This pose presents a progression of intensity. Move slowly, breath deeply and focus on your balance.
Place the left foot forward and slide the right leg back so you are not lacing any pressure directly on the patella. Do not allow the left knee to bend beyond ninety degrees. Place the right hand on the left knee and twist on the exhalation. Repeat five times.
Bring the right elbow to the outside of the left knee and hands come together. Lift the left elbow. Twist on the exhalation. Lift out of the right shoulder, keeping the right shoulder away from the right ear. Twist from the base of the torso, not the neck. Repeat five times.
Extend the right leg straight, lifting the leg off the floor. Hold for five deep breaths.
Next week we target strengthening the upper body combining yoga and the Power Swing Trainer!