Build A Better Game From The Head To Toe Week Three

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Although the low back area of the body is the number one injury in golf, shoulder injuries are a close second. The structure of the shoulder joint makes it the most delicate, unstable, hinged joint in the body. Held together by a series of muscles; the rotator cuffs, anterior, medial and posterior deltoids this area of the body is prone to injury due to the explosive nature of the golf swing. Most of us know someone who has suffered with rotator cuff injuries and we all know someone who is challenged by a lack of flexibility and turn in the upper body. If you lack strength and flexibility in your shoulders you will often see swing flaws as a result.
 
Yoga for Golfers emphasizes the importance of flexibility as well as functional strength conditioning in the shoulder.
 
This week we address the following:
 
Shoulders and upper back poses (rotator cuff, rhomboids and thoracic spine):
 
Golf benefit: Supports increased shoulder turn, reduces risk of rotator cuff injury, supports club control at the top of the swing.
 
Health benefit: Supports correct posture, relieves upper back pain as a result of a sedentary lifestyle. Note: Be conscious of the way you carry your golf bag. As in yoga the proper technique moving in and out of the pose creates awareness. The same level of awareness is necessary while lifting the golf bag on and off your body.
 
Lets get started!
 
Flexibility exercises for the upper back:
 
Standing rhomboid stretch:
Begin with the feet hip width apart, knees bent and tuck the navel towards the spine. Bring the arms to shoulder height, hands clasped and palms facing you. Inhale deeply and on the exhale press your hands away from you, tucking your chin into your chest. Hold for three breaths and repeat five times.
 

 
Seated shoulder strengthener:
Sitting on the edge of a chair, navel pulled in, lift your arms to shoulder height, palms facing away from your body. Inhale deeply and on the exhale press your palms towards each other, squeezing your shoulders blades together. Hold for one breath and repeat ten times.
 

 
Standing shoulder strengthener with the Golf Gym Power Swing Trainer or resistance tubing: (available @ or visit www.YogaForGolfers.com )
 
Place the tubing above shoulder height in the door hinge. With a slight bend at the elbow, exhale and pull your arm to waist height. Repeat ten times and switch sides.
 

 
Now place the tubing under your right foot and hold the golf grip in your right hand. On your exhalation lift the handle to shoulder height, return to the starting position and repeat with the arm at a 45 degree angle to the body, palm facing the floor. Repeat ten times in each position and switch sides.
 

 
Thoracic spine strengthener with the Dynamic Locust pose:
On your belly place the hands, palms down and place the feet and legs together. Engage plantar flexion (pointing the tops of the feet towards the floor). On the inhalation engage the gluts. Exhale and lift the upper body off the floor, pulling the arms back and focus on the strengthening in the thoracic spine. Hold for three deep breaths, relax for three breaths and repeat five to seven times.
 


 
Related Links:
  • Katherine Roberts Article Archive
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    Katherine Roberts - Yoga For GolfersEditor'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.