Last week we looked at the biomechanics of the top of the backswing, maybe the most complex series of movements on the golf swing. This week we tackle the downswing phase and look at the yoga based fitness program we can apply so you will get the most club head speed, power and consistency.
Defined as the phase of the swing when the club is brought from the top of the backswing towards impact, this action is initiated in most golfers by either the torso or trunk and for some it is initiated by the shoulder / hand action.
The abdominals, specifically the obliques will move the torso through this phase The stronger the abdominals and low back muscles the more control and power you will experience. Our objective is to maintain spine angle and keep the extraneous movements to a minimum. Less is more!
Additionally the low back and neck areas take on tremendous force. Just as you work on creating the highest angle of the X-factor at the top of the back swing, you now will need to uncoil the body as you prepare for the impact phase.
This weeks eight minute series will focus more on the hips, abdominals, low back and shoulder strengthening exercises. Incorporate last weeks oblique crunches into the series for the core abdominal strengthener segment as well as the groin/bound angle position exercises from week one.
Place the club behind your shoulders and bend your knees. Slowly, and I mean very slowly, begin to slightly rotate the torso and shoulders. As you progress and feel the body temperature rising, increase the range of motion as well as speed. Continue for twenty repetitions.
This position addresses increased rotation in the torso, shoulders, hip flexors, quads and wrists strengthening and flexibility.
Prep Position: Step the right foot forward, right knee at a 90 degree angle. Working core, bring the navel towards the spine. Keeping the back straight as you lean into the left hip. Note: Lean into the left hip, feeling the stretch in the hip flexors. Do not lean the body forward, maintain the straight spine. Hold this position for a slow count of ten.
PAR Level: Bring the left hand to the outside of the right knee as you incorporate a torso rotation or twist to the position. Press the left hand into the right knee for increased leverage. Hold for a count of ten.
BIRDIE Level: Bring the hands together creating a Ball and socket configuration with the hands. Press the left elbow into the right knee and lift out of the left shoulder. (move the left shoulder away from the left ear). Hold for a slow count of fifteen, breathing in and out through the nose and switch sides.
Catch more of my fitness tips weekly on Your Game Night and I will be in the studio live this Monday night. Keep in touch and let me know about your challenges, successes and progress.
Editor's Note: Katherine Roberts, founder of Yoga for Golfers, has 20 years of experience in fitness training, yoga studies, professional coaching and motivation. Katherine welcomes your email questions and comments, contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.