Last week we discussed the abdominal section of the core and its importance as it relates to stabilization of the spine. This same training philosophy applies to the back portion of the core - the erector spinae muscles and the gluts. Without this stabilization consistency and power are compromised.
We know the golf swing puts tremendous strain on the body - particularly in the area of the low back. Professionals as well as high and low handicap golfers, have all experienced discomfort in the low back.
This week's sequence of Yoga for Golfers postures address the low back, providing strength, greater endurance, and more consistency in your swing. Combine this week and last week's core abdominal sequence for a comprehensive conditioning program. My suggestion is to do this sequence three times a week.
Here are some guidelines for working the core incorporating yoga philosophies:
- Always begin by engaging the gluts. Then draw the navel towards the spine as we do in most of the poses.
- Think of the tailbone moving downward towards the floor which will also protect the back from injury.
- Do not hyper-extend the neck in any pose.
- Remember to BREATHE!
Begin on all fours. Draw the navel in, and extend the right leg, toes and hip pointing downward. Keep the gluts active and do not arch the back. Use the core abs to stabilize the trunk.
Now lift the left arm up, extending it forward, palm facing you. Hold for five to seven breaths and switch sides.
Begin by placing a rolled up towel between the inner thighs. Squeeze the towel as your bring the legs together, engage the buttocks and draw the navel inwards. The tailbone moves down. Now squeeze the towel 50% more than the last breath. Gently lift the chest off the ground with most of the action coming from the back and not the hands. Hold for five breaths and rest. Repeat three times.
BIRDIE / EAGLE Level
Now lift the chest higher and hold for five breaths. Be sure not to hyper-extend the neck.
On your belly, draw the navel inward, tailbone down, very active gluts.
Lift the right leg and left arm. Pay attention to relaxing your neck. Eyes focus towards the floor.
Hold for five to seven breaths and switch sides.
BIRDIE / EAGLE Level
Now lift both arms and both legs. Hold for five to seven breaths. Repeat three times.
On your belly, draw the navel inward, tailbone down. Engage the buttocks and squeeze the legs together. Lace the hands behind the back. Note: you may use a towel or strap to bring the hands together.
Roll the shoulders back and lift the chest off the floor as you keep the legs pressing against the floor. Point the toes so you work the tops of the feet.
Hold for five breaths and repeat three times.
Please e-mail me and let me know about your progress. You should be feeling great and seeing tremendous benefit in your golf game!
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.