Last week we referred to Jim McLeans X-Factor and his suggested optimal hip rotation of a 45 degree angle. Although we need strength in the hip to generate power flexibility in the hips is often a greater inhibitor to maximum power in the golf swing. Additioanlly, I receive numerous e-mails from golfers who experience hip pain during and after the round. These stretches will increase your hip turn, alleviate discomfort and help you generate more power from the lower body. Note: Personally, I am working on getting more hip turn and generating more action in the hips. Yesterday after playing a round of golf I practiced for an hour and now I can appreciate all the golfers who experience hip discomfort!
Lets get started!
Place the right foot forward and maintain the right knee angle at 90 degrees. Inhale and draw your navel towards the spine, lift the ribcage off the waist. On the exhalation roll the ball away from you and focus on the stretch in the left hip flexor, psoas and quadriceps. Hold for three seconds and repeat ten times. Switch sides.
Place the left leg forward at a 90 degree angle to the body and the right leg behind the body at a 90 degree angle. Focus on the stretch in the adductors and internal and external hip rotators. Note: If you feel any discomfort in the knees do not practice this pose. Hold for five breaths, folding forward slightly to increase the intensity of the stretch. Repeat three times and switch sides.
Note: This pose is considered to be advanced and is not recommended for individuals with knee injuries. From the double pigeon pose, extend your right leg behind you. Do not allow the leg to externally rotate. Do not allow your body to fall to the left. If your left glut is off the floor (the most common position) place a towel under your hip so you can relax in this pose.
Fold the upper body forward and hold for one to two minutes. Slowly come out of the pose and switch sides.
If you have back discomfort sit with the spine against the wall. Spread the legs as wide as possible, flex the feet towards you and engage the quads. Fold forward and hold for five breaths. Repeat five times and then hold the pose for ten breaths.
Place the arms perpendicular to the body and cross the right leg over the left. Allow the legs to fall to the left. Allow the body to sink into the floor with each exhalation. Hold for five to ten breaths and switch sides.
Check out all the new fitness DVDs and products on my website at www.KRTotalFitness.com This year give the gifts of great golf and great health!
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.