Build a Better Game from Head to Toe Week Five

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As witnessed from the sidelines
 
During the Open last week Johnny Miller talked about the tempo of some of the players, either playing too fast or too slow. One point he made was the importance of having a clear intention when stepping up to the ball. Once a player has established his intention he is ready to pull the trigger. This concept is similar in your conditioning program. Developing a clear, realistic set of intentions or goals (as I say in my book Rome wasnt built in a day) for your body, mind, spirit and golf game help you lay the groundwork for success.
 
In addition to your personal goals there are certain components necessary to build the foundation of your program. One of the keystones of the program is core conditioning.
 
NOTE: For a comprehensive core sequence combine this weeks poses with last weeks series on the back!
 
Because golf is rotational sport you need to incorporate spinal rotation poses designed to increase your flexibility and strength. This week you will need the Golf Gym Balance Ball for our yoga and Pilates based poses.
 
The benefits of core conditioning poses
 
Golf benefit: Initiates rotation of the trunk for an increased range of motion. Supports control of the golf swing and generates power by increasing the X factor.
 
Health benefit: Developing a strong core supports a straight spine, reduces the onset of back pain, and keeps the internal organs supported. A strong core decreases the onset of postural changes associated with aging.
 
Here we go!
 
Seated spinal twist sequence
 
Part One:
Seated on your yoga mat or on a rolled up towel placed under your gluts if your hips are very tight, extend your right leg straight. Place your left foot as close as possible to your groin. If necessary place your foot closer to your knee.
 

 
Place your right arm behind your back supporting your spine and place the left hand on the right knee. For more leverage place your yoga block on the outside of your extended leg.
 
Yoga tip:
On your inhalation, pull your navel towards your spine, on the exhalation initiate the twist from the spine. Do not twist from your neck!
 
Hold for seven times and switch sides.
 
Part Two:
Place the left foot over the extended right leg. Bring the left hand behind the back for leverage and place the right hand over the left knee. Inhale and pull the navel towards the spine, exhale and twist.
 

 
For a deeper stretch extend the right arm. Hold for seven deep breaths and switch sides.
 
Core strengthening sequence
 
Pilates roll down:
I love this pose for strengthening the core and reducing pain in the lumbar spine!
 
Place the Golf Gym Balance ball between your hands and apply pressure on the ball. Pull your shoulders down. Inhale as you slowly articulate the spine, creating a curve in the back (do not keep your back straight in this sequence) and roll down until your bottom ribs touch the floor.
 

 
Exhale and return to the starting position. Repeat twenty-five times, rest and repeat three more sets.
 
Abdominal crunches on the ball
 
Fitness tip:
This exercise targets your upper and oblique abdominals. Remember to exhale on the exertion phase of the exercise. Proper breathing will give you the strength to execute this exercise correctly.
 
Before we begin, place your fingers on your lowest rib. When those ribs come in contact with the ball your will crunch up, lifting the upper body off the ball.
 
Upper abdominals:
Inhale as you roll down on the ball until the lower ribs are touching the ball, hips are lifted to parallel to the floor. Use your gluts to keep the hips lifted.
 
Place the hands behind the neck, fully supporting the head and neck.
 
On the exhalation, lift the upper body. Inhale and roll down until the ribs touch the ball.
 

 
Repeat twenty-five times. Take a short rest if necessary.
 
Obliques:
Prepare by extended the arms on the outside of the knees. Exhale as your extend your left hand past your left knee. Focus on the oblique crunch.
 

 
Fitness tip:
Focus your eyes past your knees.
Inhale as you return to center and switch sides. Repeat twenty-five times on each side, rest and repeat for three sets.
 
Related Links:
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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.