Studies have proven that the core of the body is a key source for generating power in your swing. In the practice of yoga we continuously incorporate the use of the core ' it is an area of the body that is always working. In yoga, the Sanskrit term is called uddiyana, which translates into flying up. The notion that working the core abdominal area below the navel or lower abdominal area will fly strength up the torso or generate more power.
I have always believed in preparing the body for a workout or golf game with a good warm up routine. Over the last four years I have incorporated a core abdominal routine into the early portion of every class I teach. By initially working the core of the body, you will increase blood flow to the core and you will not be tempted to skip that part of the workout. I have noticed a significant improvement in my students as a result of this conditioning routine.
First: Their posture is greatly improved.
Second: They are able to rotate their core more efficiently, generating more speed and power.
Third: They are less prone to injury because they have taken the time to warm up the abdominals.
In your golf swing, the majority of the initial movement in the golf swing initiates from the external abdominals or obliques. Some other benefits of working the abdominals include:
- Supports a straight spine at address and throughout the golf swing
- Increases rotation
- Supports healthy lumbar spine
- Facilitates better posture
- Supports internal organs
No Bogeys: While practicing crunches, elbows should remain in the peripheral vision. Head and neck should be supported at all times. Do not pull on neck. Allow the head to rest in the supported clasped hands. Keep the lower spine pressing against the floor, engaging the lower abdominals.
This pose provides a safe, slow and effective method for working the abdominals. Note: You will begin to feel relief in the low back by practicing this pose daily.
On the back with knees bent, place towel between inner thighs, inhale, squeeze towel and exhale, pressing navel towards lumbar spine and lumbar spine towards floor. Hold for five breaths and repeat three times.
With hands laced supporting the neck, inhale squeezing the towel. Press low back toward the floor; exhale lifting the sternum and face directly toward the ceiling. Repeat fifteen to twenty times, exhaling during the exertion phase of the exercise.
The key to this pose is to move very slowly, breathing deeply through the nose. Control is the way to work the abdominals effectively. Faster is definitely NOT better!
Level One: Bend the knees, feet flat on the floor. Keep one foot on the floor, hands behind the head supporting the neck, as you exhale lift the right shoulder to meet the left knee. Switch sides repeating until the abdominals are fatigued.
As you exhale, lift the sternum and face towards the ceiling. Exhale, moving the right shoulder towards left knee and then switch sides. Repeat ten times.
Level Two: Extend the bent leg and lift the opposite leg off the floor. Repeat ten times.
Bogey: Keep the elbows in the peripheral vision and do not pull on the neck.
Bend knees and place block between thighs, feet flat on the floor. Place hands under thighs to support the back. Draw the navel into the spine, pressing the abdominals against the spine, tucking the chin in. Slowly roll back wards, squeezing the block as tightly as possible. Go to the point of muscle fatigue and roll back up. Exhale as you roll down, inhale as you roll back up. Focus on the abdominal strength. Repeat ten times.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.