Building Your X-Factor - Week 1

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I have always considered my work as a teacher a true blessing. I am able to blend my passions for golf and yoga and I have the opportunity to help golfers play better and live healthier lives. Additionally, I have the honor of working with some of the most talented golf instructors in the world. This week I will be teaching a golf school with one of my favorite teachers, Hank Haney. Last year we taught four schools together and this week begins the kick-off for our six schools together in 2006. Teaching with Hank offers me an opportunity to learn an unprecedented amount of information about the golf swing and to emulate his constant curiosity about the golf swing.
 
During the golf schools we work with cross section of golfers ' varying handicaps, fitness levels, quality of equipment, etc They all share one common thread, a deep desire for improvement. Having taught fitness for golfers for twenty years I can tell you that most golfers are looking for more distance. How do you get more distance? You will need to increase your range of motion, specifically your ability to turn your trunk and shoulders in relationship to your hips! The X-factor! I use Jim McLeans term to describe the ratio of shoulder turn to hip turn.
 
According to Jim the optimal x-factor is a 90 degree shoulder turn to a 45 degree hip rotation. What does the X-factor mean to you? When I teach with Hank our objective is to make your swing as good as your swing can be. The goal of this series is to provide you with the tools, yoga poses and balance ball exercises, to help you achieve your optimal X-factor.
 
The range of motion in your trunk directly correlates to the ability to generate club head speed, maintain your spine angle for more consistency, efficiently generate power transferred from the lower body and maintain your endurance.
 
This week will use a series of yoga poses based on the Crescent lunge and trunk rotation. Training the body to rotate the shoulders separately from the hips will increase your X-Factor and increase your ability to generate power from the trunk.
 
Lets get started!
 
Crescent lunge pose with extended club ' trunk rotation:

Yoga for Golfers

Begin with the right leg bent at a ninety degree angle and slide your left leg back placing your knee on the floor.
 
Note: If your knee is sensitive place a towel under your left knee.
 
Yoga for Golfers

Place the club in your hands, extend your arms to shoulder height and take a deep breathe. Draw your navel towards your spine and elongate your waist. Inhale and rotate the trunk to the right. Twist to the left and repeat this rotation ten times over the right legs, switch legs and twist over the left leg.
 
Note: Lead the twist with your base of your spine and rotate up to your thoracic spine.
 
Crescent lunge pose with club crossed over the chest:

Yoga for Golfers

Begin in the crescent lunge position again. The objective in this pose is to stabilize the hips and rotate the trunk and shoulders. Inhale deeply as you draw the navel towards the spine, lift the ribcage off the waist and focus on stabilizing the lower body.
 
Yoga for Golfers

On your exhalation twist to the right and left ten times and switch sides.
 
Special Note: Tune in to The Golf Channel to see Katherine Roberts on How Low Can You Go? Wednesday's at 9:30 PM ET. Check out her new fitness tips in The Golf Channel Video Vault.
 
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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.