Eight Minutes to a Better Swing - Week 5

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Impact ' The moment of truth!
 
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 downswing phase of the swing while this week we focus on the impact position, what I refer to as the moment of truth!
 
Lets take a closer took at the biomechanics involved at impact.
 
The following is an excerpt from the Golf Biomechanics section of my book Yoga for Golfers ' A Unique Mind/Body Approach to Golf Fitness.
 
Impact:
Definition: The phase of the golf swing where ball contact occurs.
 
It should not be surprising that the majority of the injuries occur during this phase of the golf swing when the most parts of the body are moving, maximum velocity is reached and contact is made with the ball. The spine is most susceptible if the golfer slides towards the target. Depending on the magnitude and velocity of this slide, injury can occur. For golf, sliding stresses are generally considered the most dangerous. Controlling the amount of hip slide is crucial from a physical training standpoint.
 
Summary of Impact Biomechanics
At impact the head and neck experience a side bending motion towards the right combined with a forward bend.
Shoulders are now brought back to a square position.
The mid and low back experience a side bending motion towards the right combined with a rotational motion towards the left.
Lower body is turning with the hips being slightly open towards the target.
 
Summary of Muscle Activity
The greatest muscle activity and tension is produced as the muscles contract to bring the club to the ball.
The shoulder girdle, including the rotator cuff is active. Other muscles including the serratus anterior, which connects the shoulder blade to the rib cage and the pectoral or chest muscles are actively accelerating the arms.
The mid-back muscles including the lower trapezius act to stabilizer the shoulder blade.
The trunk muscles including the abdominal groups and the erector spinae or spine extensors are active.
The hip muscles that are most active include the hip rotators, hip adductors and hip abductors. Hip rotators weakness is common in golf. If the hip adductors and abductors are dominate during this phase, the golfer may lack leg stability and a sliding motion can occur.
All leg muscles are active as weight is being transferred from the right to the left side.
 

This week we focus our eight minute series of exercises for the hips, core (back muscles) and shoulders. Our main intention is to build more strength, helping you generate maximum velocity at the point of impact.
Tip: Please print out the archived articles from the last two weeks on the hips and core abdominal / oblique exercises.
 
Lower body strengthener with shoulder circles:
Warrior Three pose:
 
Step the left foot forward and right leg back, internally rotating the right leg and foot. Bend into the left knee until the quad is parallel to the floor. Extend the arms to shoulder height. For more strength in the shoulders, rotate the arms clockwise in tight, quick circular movements. Repeat ten times and circle the arms counter clockwise. Switch legs and repeat.
 


 

Glut strengthener:
Bridge pose with yoga block
 
Place the heels close to the gluts and the block between your knees. Squeeze the block and slowly lift the hips off the floor, focusing on engaging the gluts. Hold for ten breaths, relax and repeat one time.
 


 

Back strengthener:
Locust pose (Par Level and Birdie/Eagle Level):
 
PAR Level:
Begin on your belly, face pointing towards the yoga mat. Squeeze the legs together, engage the gluts and press your palms into the floor. On the exhalation lift the legs slightly off the floor. Hold for three breaths, relax and repeat three times.
 


 

BIRDIE/EAGLE Level:
Extend the arms wider than shoulder width apart. Inhale and engage the gluts again, exhale and lift the right arm and left leg. Hold for three deep breaths and switch sides.
 


 
Counter pose: Sit back into a childs pose to stretch out your back after this series.
 

Shoulder strengthening:
Plank position with a push up:
 
An oldie but goodie, the push is a very effective way to incorporate your core and efficiently work your shoulders, arms and wrists. Place the hands directly under the shoulders, spreading the fingers as wide as possible. Pull your navel towards the spine and do not allow the low back to sink towards the floor. On your inhale, slowly lower your body until the upper arm is parallel to the floor, elbows hugging the side of your body. On your exhalation return the body to the starting position. Repeat five to ten times.
 
Tip: To modify this pose place the knees on the floor.
 

 

Next week we examine the follow through position of the swing.
 
See you on The Turn!
 
Please send me an e-mail with your thoughts at Katherine@YogaForGolfers.com
 
Related Links:

  • Katherine Roberts Article Archive
  • Katherine Roberts Video Archive
  • Health & Fitness Main Page


    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.