Top of the Backswing
One of my DVDs is designed to address one lifes biggest challenges ' time! Eight Minutes to a Better Swing provides ten, 8-10 minute sequences of exercises targeting every part of your body. From the hips, back and trunk, to balance and pre-round warm-up, the DVD is intended to give you quick, simple solutions. www.YogaForGolfers.com This week continues our new series based on a sequence of exercises requiring a minimal amount of time. If you have eight to ten minutes, I have the program for you!
Last week our program focused on the take away phase of the swing while this week we focus on the top of the backswing, one of the most physically active phases of the swing.
The following is an excerpt from Golf Biomechanics section of my book Yoga for Golfers ' A Unique Mind/Body Approach to Golf Fitness.
Summary of Backswing Biomechanics
Movement during this phase of the golf swing occurs as a dynamic sequence of events.
Rotation of the head towards the left
Counter rotation at the shoulders, mid-back and lumbar spine towards the right (approximately 90?)
Rotation of the lower extremities (approximately 45?)
The hips experience relative rotation towards the left as compared to the trunk above, allowing the golfer to maintain a stable base.
The knees will maintain a slightly bent position
A weight shift occurs causing the golfer to load the inner part of the right foot between the ball and heel
Summary of Muscle Activity
As we have seen the backswing is a complicated sequence of movements that occur as the golfer rotates the trunk and lifts the club with the upper extremities.
The shoulder muscles are active as the club moves away from the ball. The shoulder girdle will remain active, including the rotator cuff, as the golfer lifts the club.
The hand and wrist muscles all work to control the weight of the club as the club is positioned above the head at the top of the backswing.
The oblique abdominals and the erector spinae or spine extensors are working to rotate the trunk.
The right hip internal rotators and left hip external rotators are active.
Lets get started!
Supine hand to foot pose with strap:
This pose targets the hamstrings, hips and spine, designed to increase your range of motion in the trunk.
Begin on your back as you place a strap on the ball of your left foot. Extend the right leg, flexing the right foot towards you. Inhale as you slightly bend your left leg, exhale and straighten the leg. Repeat this dynamic stretch five times. Extend legs, flexing the feet and flexing the quads. Press your navel to your spine, stabilizing your right hip against the floor as you extend the left leg to the left. Focus on the stretch in the hip. Hold for five breaths. Place the strap in the right hand and bring the left leg to the right, allowing the left hip to lift off the floor. Maintain connection between the left shoulder and the floor. Hold for five to ten breaths. Switch sides.
Extended table pose:
Strengthens the muscles of the back and gluts.
Begin on all fours as you pull your navel to your spine, stabilizing your core. Note: Do not allow your back to arch! Extend your right leg back and left arm forward. Lift the leg and arm higher with each exhalation, focusing on the strength in the core, back and gluts. Hold for five to ten breaths and switch sides.
Revolving side angle pose:
Increases range of motion in the upper back, specifically your shoulder turn while stabilizing the hips.
Bring the left leg forward into a ninety degree angle, the knee placed directly over the ankle. Slide the right leg back so you are not placing any pressure on the top of the right knee. Note: if necessary place a towel under your right knee. Place the right elbow on the outside of the left knee. Place the left hand over the right fist. Inhale deeply as you pull your navel towards the spine; exhale as your lift the right shoulder AWAY from the right ear. Note: focus on initiating the stretch from the belly and feel the stretch from the shoulder down to the waist. Hold for five to ten breaths and switch sides.
See you on The Turn!
Please send me an e-mail with your thoughts at Katherine@YogaForGolfers.com
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.