Eight Week Challenge Week 3 - Hips and Hamstrings

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Hips and Hamstrings
 
Hips initiate the downswing. They are the pivotal element in the chain reaction. Starting them first and moving them correctly ' this one action practically makes the downswing.
- Ben Hogan
 
This quote says it all according to Ben Hogan, possibly the greatest player and student of the game of all time. Tension in the hip and groin area is often a result of sitting for extended periods of time. This constriction of the hip flexors and psoas muscles causes an internal rotation of the pelvis, pulling against the lumbar spine. In addition, the lack of flexibility in the hip flexors impedes the ability of the gluts to engage, depleting maximum power in the golf swing.
 
Benefits of flexibility in the hips and hamstrings:
Increases power and distance
Supports a solid foundation
Enhances balance
Supports greater extension in the finish position.
Supports a healthy back.
Increases blood flow to the abdomen, pelvis and kidneys.

 
To recap:
I. What you can expect from your eight week challenge:
 
Core conditioning: More stability in your abdominals- Week One
More strength and power from your lower and upper abdominals ' Week Two
 
Lower Body: More flexibility in the hips and hamstrings for more hip turn
More strength in the quads and gluts for more power
 
Upper body: More flexibility in the shoulders and upper back for more rotation
More strength in the shoulders and triceps for more control
 
Balance: Get more grounded, centered, balance helps with weight transference
Progressive balance teaches proprioception
 
The Mind: Learn to quiet your mind and visualize your desired outcome.
Restorative / re-energizing poses reduces fatigue
 
II. What you need:
An eight week commitment and an open mind.
Twenty minutes a day, four days a week.
A yoga mat
A yoga block
A Golf Gym stability ball
 
Here we go!
 
Supported bound angle pose:
Bring your spine against the wall, sitting up as straight as possible. Bring the soles of your feet together and gently press the knees towards the floor. Hold for one minute to three minutes.
Tip: For more intensity place five pound sand bags on your knees and hold this stretch for three minutes.
 

 
Modified, supine pigeon pose with towel:
Bring your right ankle to the outside of your left knee. Wrap your towel around your left hamstring. On your exhalation pull the towel towards you focusing on the stretch in the right hip. Hold for ten deep breaths and switch sides. Repeat as many times as you feel is necessary.
 

 
Bridge pose with block:
Place the yoga block between your knees and lift the hips off the floor. Hold for five deep breaths, relax and repeat three times.
 

 
Supine hand to foot pose with spinal twist:
Place the Golf Gym Power swing trainer, resistance tubing or stretch out strap around your left foot. Extend your right leg and flex both feet towards you. Engage your quads and press your left heel as if you intend to kick out the ceiling. Hold for five to seven breaths.
 
Press your right hip down and extend your left leg to the left. Press your navel towards your spine to help stabilize your right hip. Hold for five to seven breaths.
 

 
Switch hands and place the strap in your right hand. Bring the left leg over to the right, allowing your hip to lift off the floor into the spinal twist. Keep your left shoulder connected to the floor. Hold for five to seven breaths and switch sides.
 

 
Next week we tackle strength in the quads and gluts.
 
See you on The Turn, Monday nights on The Golf Channel!
 
Please e-mail me and let me know how you are progressing. I am here to support you in your new eight week commitment to excellence.
 
Related Links:
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  • Health & Fitness Main Page


    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.