Flexibility Conditioning - Week 3

By Katherine RobertsJuly 8, 2005, 4:00 pm
Low Back Flexibility
 
Sixy-three percent of golfers will experience low back strain due to the stress of the body from the golf swing. If you play golf in addition to other sports you are 40% more likely to experience a back injury. Your body is asked to perform a complex movement, involving every joint and muscle as well as the brain and nervous system. Each phase of the golf swing, from address to finish and the putting stance put shear, compression and rotational force on the lumbar spine. This week we work on the increasing flexibility in the lumbar spine. Please note: This is one in a series of low back stretches and is what I consider the Par level. A higher level of intensity poses will follow in the weeks to come.
 
These exercises are simple, easy and effective. Remember to engage the navel towards the spine, elongate the spine and breathe deeply, inhaling and exhaling through the nose.
 
Cat pose:

Katherine Roberts

On all fours, hands placed directly under the shoulder, inhale deeply. On the exhalation, drive the navel towards the spine, engage the gluts, press the spine towards the ceiling and tuck the chin into the chest. Relax, allowing the body to come to a table top position. Repeat ten times.
 
Pelvic tilts on the ball:

Katherine Roberts Katherine Roberts

Sitting on the Thera-Ball, inhale deeply and lift the ribcage up. Exhale and tilt the pelvis forward focusing on the stretch in the lower back and working the lower abdominals. Repeat this ten to twenty times.
 
Seated twist on the ball:

Katherine Roberts

Begin by elongating your torso ' lifting the ribcage up and off the waist. Place your left hand on the right knee.
 
Inhale deeply and on the exhalation twist from the lower abdominals. Repeat five to ten times and increase the rotation with every exhalation. Switch sides.
 
Note: Maintain a plum line from your nose straight down to your sternum as you elongate your cervical spine. Focus the eyes over the right shoulder to increase the rotation. (In yoga we call this your drishti or gaze.more on this topic to follow in the Yoga of Golf)
 
Supine rotation with the ball:

Katherine Roberts

Perform this dynamic movement by focusing on the obliques and strengthens the lower back and core abdominals. This pose / rotation can be performed with the legs on the ball or feet on the floor. Inhale and press the navel towards the spine. On the next inhalation, roll the ball or legs to the left, exhale and bring the legs back to the starting position. Switch sides. Hold each rotation for one or two deep breaths.
 
Oblique / Side stretch:

Katherine Roberts

Lying on the ball, brace your lower body by placing the feet against the wall. Allow your body to hang and relax feeling the stretch on the intercostals muscles and hips. In this photo I increased the intensity of the stretch by incorporating a weighted ball. This is optional. Breathe deeply, focus on the stretch. Hold for 30 seconds to one minute and switch sides.
 
The Yoga of Golf
During my teaching I always talk about the power of the mind. We all know the fear of standing over a golf shot that requires hitting over a water hazard. If you focus on the water, nine times out of ten your ball will end up in the water.
 
You will draw towards you what and where you focus. In this article I mention the yoga concept of drishti or gaze. You can move the energy in your body, change a negative attitude, regain focus, control emotions and bring positive results to your game and your life based on your focus.
 
This week pay attention to your focusliterally where your eyes gaze and what you choose to focus on. You can and will change your experience simply based on your focus.
 
May you hit them straight and long and OVER the water! - - Katherine
 
Related Links:
  • Katherine Roberts Article Archive
  • Health & Fitness Main Page
     
    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 Katherine@KRTotalFitness.com or visit www.KRTotalFitness.com.
  • Getty Images

    McCoy earns medalist honors at Web.com Q-School

    By Will GrayDecember 11, 2017, 12:30 am

    One year after his budding career was derailed by a car accident, Lee McCoy got back on track by earning medalist honors at the final stage of Web.com Tour Q-School.

    McCoy shot a final-round 65 at Whirlwind Golf Club in Chandler, Ariz., to finish the 72-hole event at 28 under. That total left him two shots ahead of Sung-Jae Im and guaranteed him fully-exempt status on the developmental circuit in 2018.

    It's an impressive turnaround for the former University of Georgia standout who finished fourth at the 2016 Valspar Championship as an amateur while playing alongside Jordan Spieth in the final round. But he broke his wrist in a car accident the day before second stage of Q-School last year, leaving him without status on any major tour to begin the year.

    McCoy was not the only player who left Arizona smiling. Everyone in the top 10 and ties will be exempt through the first 12 events of the new Web.com Tour season, a group that includes former amateur standouts Curtis Luck (T-3), Sam Burns (T-10) and Maverick McNealy (T-10).

    Players who finished outside the top 10 but inside the top 45 and ties earned exemptions into the first eight events of 2018. That group includes Cameron Champ (T-16), who led the field in driving at this year's U.S. Open as an amateur, and Wyndham Clark (T-23).

    Everyone who advanced to the final stage of Q-School will have at least conditional Web.com Tour status in 2018. Among those who failed to secure guaranteed starts this week were Robby Shelton, Rico Hoey, Jordan Niebrugge, Joaquin Niemann and Kevin Hall.

    Els honored with Heisman Humanitarian Award

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 11:41 pm

    The annual Heisman Trophy award ceremony is one of the biggest moments in any football season, but there was a touching non-football moment as well on Saturday night as Ernie Els received the Heisman Humanitarian Award.

    The award, which had been announced in August, recognized Els' ongoing efforts on behalf of his Els for Autism foundation. Els received the award at Manhattan's PlayStation Theater, where Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield won the Heisman Trophy.

    Els, 47, founded Els for Autism in 2009 with his wife after their son, Ben, was diagnosed with autism. Their efforts have since flourished into a 26-acre campus in Jupiter, Fla., and the creation of the Els Center for Excellence in 2015.

    The Heisman Humanitarian Award has been given out since 2006. Past recipients include NBA center David Robinson, NFL running back Warrick Dunn, soccer star Mia Hamm and NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon.

    A native of South Africa, Els won the U.S. Open in 1994 and 1997 and The Open in 2002 and 2012. He has won 19 times on the PGA Tour and was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2011.

    Getty Images

    Monday finish for Joburg Open; Sharma leads by 4

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 8:57 pm

    Rain, lightning and hail pushed the Joburg Open to a Monday finish, with India’s Shubhankar Sharma holding a four-stroke lead with 11 holes to play in Johannesburg.

    Play is scheduled to resume at 7:30 a.m. local time.

    South Africa’s Erik van Rooyen will have a 3-foot putt for birdie to move within three shots of Sharma wen play resumes at the Randpark Golf Club. Sarma is at 22 under par.

    Tapio Pulkkanen of Finland and James Morrison of England are tied for third at 14 under. Pulkkanen has 10 holes remaining, Morrison 11.

    The top three finishers who are not already exempt, will get spots in next year’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.

     

     

    Stricker, O'Hair team to win QBE Shootout

    By Will GrayDecember 10, 2017, 8:55 pm

    It may not count in the official tally, but Steve Stricker is once again in the winner's circle on the PGA Tour.

    Stricker teamed with Sean O'Hair to win the two-person QBE Shootout, as the duo combined for a better-ball 64 in the final round to finish two shots clear of Graeme McDowell and Shane Lowry. It's the second win in this event for both men; Stricker won with Jerry Kelly back in 2009 while O'Hair lifted the trophy with Kenny Perry in 2012.

    Stricker and O'Hair led wire-to-wire in the 54-hole, unofficial event after posting a 15-under 57 during the opening-round scramble.

    "We just really gelled well together," Stricker said. "With his length the first day, getting some clubs into the greens, some short irons for me, we just fed off that first day quite a bit. We felt comfortable with one another."


    Full-field scores from the QBE Shootout


    Stricker won 12 times during his PGA Tour career, most recently at the 2012 Tournament of Champions. More recently the 50-year-old has been splitting his time on the PGA Tour Champions and captained the U.S. to a victory at the Presidents Cup in October. O'Hair has four official Tour wins, most recently at the 2011 RBC Canadian Open.

    Pat Perez and Brian Harman finished alone in third, four shots behind Stricker and O'Hair. Lexi Thompson and Tony Finau, the lone co-ed pairing in the 12-team event, finished among a tie for fourth.