This week we add to our series called accessing your untapped power sources by addressing two very important power sources in the practice of yoga ' the pelvic floor and TVAs. For your reference I included an anatomical diagram of the TVAs.
Abdominopelvic pressure strengthens the abdominal pelvic region and protects the back, critical for golf performance. In addition, activating the pelvic floor and TVAs, brings energy to the body from the base of the spine to the head.
The Sanskrit term mula banda, the root lock refers to the pelvic floor. This area of the body is the perinium and anatomically appears as a web located at the base of the spine. The energy in the body is generated from breathing and the lifting of the pelvic floor. In women this action is referred to as a kegel exercise, in men it feels as if you are stopping urination.
The TVAs are the abdominal muscles located at the base of the spine and act as support for the lumbar spine.
In the golf swing, proper posture, specifically in the static or address phase of the swing, is essential for building power and consistency. Practicing this weeks exercises give you the tools needed for increased strength and power from the trunk.
Once you feel you have the ability to activate your TVAs and pelvic floor, incorporate this power source into your pre-shot routine. Before you begin your take-away, gently pull your navel towards your spine. This action stabilizes the lumbar spine and helps you generate power from your trunk. Trust me, it works!
Lets get started!
Pelvic floor strengthener:
Sit on the edge of a chair and focus on the lifting of the pelvic floor. Pull the navel towards the spine and lift the ribcage off the waist. Hold for five breaths, relax and repeat five times. This exercise can be practiced standing as well as seated.
TVA strengthening crunches:
Begin on all fours and pull your navel to your spine. Do not allow the back to arch. Inhale as you extend your right leg and left arm. Exhale ALL THE AIR OUT OF YOUR LUNGS and pull the right knee to the left elbow. Focus on pulling the navel deeply towards your spine. Repeat ten times and switch sides. Note: This exercise builds strength in the back as well as the abdominals.
In this pose I incorporate the use of a weighted ball. If you do not have a ball, cross your arms across your chest and tuck your chin into your chest to protect your neck. With the feet flat on the floor, knees bent, press your navel towards the spine and low back into the floor. Inhale as you roll the spine towards the floor. When the base of your ribcage touches the floor, exhale and return to the starting position.
Repeat ten to twenty times.
See you every Monday night on The Turn and this weekend I am heading to play in the Monday After The Masters, celebrity golf tournament with Hootie and The Blowfish!
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Editor's Note: Katherine Roberts, founder of Yoga for Golfers, has over 20 years of experience in fitness training, yoga studies, professional coaching and motivation. Katherine welcomes your email questions and comments, contact her at Katherine@YogaForGolfers.com or visit www.YogaForGolfers.com.