Building Your X-Factor - Week 2

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Welcome to week two of building your x-factor. My intent is to provide you with the yoga poses combined with the balance ball to increase your ratio of shoulder turn to hip turn. This week we focus on the torso ' increasing your flexibility and building strength in the oblique abdominal muscles.
 
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.
 
If you are an older golfer who is experiencing a decrease in club head speed these poses will greatly benefit you. A study conducted by the University of Kansas evaluated club head speed in older golfers, testing golfers with the median age of 64.5 years. The results proved that two factor are the primary influences effecting club head speed ' range of motion in the trunk and upper body strength.
 
Lets get started!
 
Spinal rotation with the ball:

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Place your legs on top of the ball or place the feet flat on the floor is you have lower back issues. Engage the core by pressing the navel and ribcage towards the floor. Inhale as you roll the legs to the right and on the exhalation bring the legs back to center.
 
Note: Focus on moving with control using your core and not momentum. Keep the shoulders on the floor. Switch sides and repeat ten times in each direction.
 
Intercostals extension stretch:

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Stand tall as you pull the navel towards the spine and focus on lifting the ribcage off the waist. On the inhalation bring the arms above the head and on the exhalation return the arms to the side. Repeat ten times. Try to deepen your breathing with each extension.

Now bring the arms over the head and place the right hand on the left wrist. Place the feet hip width apart and bend the knees. Extend the left side of the body over to the right side. Hold for five breaths and switch sides.
 
Side arm balance extension supported by the ball:

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Bring the right side of the body over the ball placing the ball under the right hip. Bring the right hand to the floor for support and extend the left arm over the head as you stretch the left side of the body. Hold for five breaths and switch sides.
If this seems too challenging to use the ball you can do this stretch sitting on a chair on kneeling on the floor.
 
Oblique strengthener from the side arm balance extension stretch:

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From this position bring the arms behind the head and on the exhalation lift the left shoulder to the left hip. Repeat twenty times and switch sides.
 
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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.