I can appreciate that not all professionals and amateurs have the same devotion (this too was evident on the practice tee as some of the players hit balls with cigarettes hanging out of their mouths) but I would like you to consider that the smallest amount of effort will reap big rewards. The next eight week program will take us through a simple and effective golf specific performance program designed to strengthen the body and mind.
This series is based on a program I entitled Eight Pillars to Maximum Performance. They are as follows:
I. Breathing ' A direct correlation to performance.
II. Flexibility ' Yoga based conditioning based on varying approaches
III. Strength ' Sport specific yoga based strength training
IV. Balance - a progressive, dynamic balance conditioning sequence
V. Core stability / Energy management ' Using the pelvic floor
VI. Proper posture ' The Foundation of a good golf swing
VII. One-pointed concentration / Moving inward
VIII. More Enjoyment of the game!
Regardless of your existing fitness level you will benefit from this eight week program. I will describe modifications for each pose. For this program, you will need 30 minutes, four days a week and the following equipment:
- Balance Ball or Stability ball ' The ball facilitates core stabilization exercises.
- Power Swing Trainer (for building strength and to assist in the flexibility conditioning phase of the program)
- Yoga mat
- Two large bath towels
This week begins with the first of the eight pillars - breathing. Before you begin this week's exercises please refer to the article on breathing dated March 10th, 2006. The article provides information and exercises on the fundamentals for deep, diaphragmatic breathing.
Sit as tall as possible and draw the navel towards the spine as you extend the arms to the side at shoulder height. Initiate the twist to the right from the core of the body on the exhalation and return to the starting position on the inhalation. Repeat ten times in each direction.
Now place the left hand on the outside of the right knee (use your right hand placed behind you as leverage to lengthen your spine). Inhale as you engage the navel towards the spine and twist on the exhalation. Repeat ten times and switch sides.
Stand with the feet wider than hip width apart, bend the knees and draw the navel towards the spine to support the core. Bring the hands together behind the back or use a towel if your hands do not connect. Inhale deeply and roll the shoulders back, chest forward on the exhalation. Repeat ten times. Do not arch your back!
Place the left foot forward approximately four to five feet and revolve the right leg and foot inward. Bring the left elbow to the left knee and lift out of the left shoulder. Extend the right arm towards the ceiling and on your exhalation revolve the ribcage towards the ceiling. Focus on the extension of the ribcage and the stretch in the intercostals.