Eight Week Challenge Week 6 - Upper Body Strength

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Upper Body Strength
 
Few things draw two men together more surely than a mutually inability to master golf, coupled with an intense and ever-increasing love for the game.
- P.G. Wodehouse
 
So true is the above quote. My Yoga for Golfers clients often comment that youve gotta love the game of golf! We are all for the challenges that golf presents and we enjoy facing frustrating situations as well as the joys of hitting the sweet spot with our favorite golfing partners. We understand and appreciate the ability it takes to master golf and the longer we play the more we love the game. Golf is an amazing game that enables those challenges encountered while playing to be transferred into the game of life. Life is easier and more enjoyable because of golf.
 
The physical challenges of the game present conditioning needs for better performance on the course. Make it your intention and a priority to increase your upper body strength for Week Number Six of the Eight Week Challenge. You will need a yoga mat and the Golf Gym Power Swing Trainer or resistance tubing. Do these exercises 3 or 4 times per week on an every other day basis.
 
Golf benefits of week six:
Increases core stability and shoulder stability. Strengthens the muscles supporting the scapula thus providing a stable base for the shoulder blade during the swing. A stable base is a must in the shoulder joint for a successful consistent swing and to help prevent injury.
Provides greater ease of movement from the swing take away through the follow-thru.
Increases acceleration and power in the downswing creating more distance.
 
Lets get started!
 
Back-Core-Strength
Strengthens upper back and shoulders. Lie face down (prone) on yoga mat with legs together, arms at a 45 degree position with palms down and forehead on floor. Lengthen the legs by pressing through feet, lengthen arms though fingers, lengthen spine by pressing through the crown of head. Press the navel to the spine (stabilizes and strengthens core), roll shoulders up, back, and down. On an exhalation slowly lift the shoulders, arms, and chest off the floor. Head stays in line with the spine. While breathing hold posture for 30 seconds while extending through the crown, feet and hands. Release by slowly lowering to mat. Repeat exercise 3 to 5 times based on fitness level.
 

 
Plank-Core-Strength
Strengthens upper back, core, and provides shoulder stability. Start on the yoga mat in a table position (hands under shoulders, fingers spread, and knees on mat under hips). Lower the elbows to the mat placing them directly under the shoulders with forearms at a 90 degree angle. Roll shoulders back and down away from ears and keep the head in line with the spine. Press down on the elbows leveling through the back. Make sure the back remains stable and does not sag. The legs will be on a slight down slope rather than in line with the spine. Keep breathing and hold the pose for 30 seconds. Lower to table position and repeat exercise 3 to 5 times.
 

 
Plank-Core-Strength
Strengthens upper back, core, and provides shoulder stability. Start in table position on the yoga mat. Press the navel to the spine, curl the toes under, push up on toes and walk the hands forward (fingers spread) until the hands are under the shoulders. Roll the shoulders back and down away from ears. Make sure the back stays level and does not sag. The legs will be on an angle downward. Head is in line with the spine. Keep breathing and hold for 30 seconds. Lower to table position and repeat exercise 3 to 5 times. For more of a challenge add push-ups lowering the chest towards the mat keeping the elbows in close to the body. Remember to keep the navel pressed against the spinekeep the back levelno sagging permitted. If regular push-ups are too hard, lower the knees to the mat for a modified push-up. Maintain body alignment and work up to 15-20 reps times two. For the push-ups use an inhalation as the body lowers towards mat and an exhalation when pushing up.
 

 
The following exercises employ the use of the Golf Gym Power Swing Trainer or resistance tubing. These exercises will strengthen the upper back, shoulders, core and arms. Open a door and place the end of the Power Swing Trainer above the top hinge in the door. Close and lock the door.
 
Upper Back/Rear Deltoid Exercise Prep
Once the Swing Trainer is secure in the door hinge, place the trainer in the right hand, step back from the door until there is an appropriate amount of tension on the trainer (tension will vary pending fitness level). Right arm is straight and parallel to floor. Position body so the trainer can clear the action of the exercise. Assume an athletic stance, feet shoulder width apart and parallel, knees flexed, back flat and upright, and shoulders down. Left hand is placed on hip.
 

 
Extension of Upper Back/Rear Deltoid Exercise
From the prep position, draw the navel to the spine and press the trainer down toward the right side of the body lowering the arm until it is even with the body. Do not raise the shoulder. Do not bend forwardmaintain proper body position. For a steady rhythm use 2 counts down and 2 counts up. Exhale on the downward motion and inhale on the upward motion. Work 15 ' 20 reps. Switch the trainer to the other hand to exercise the left side. Repeat the exercise starting with the right side.
 

 
Tricep Extension Prep
Athletic stance as described before starting with the right side. With appropriate tension on the trainer bend the right arm until the forearm is parallel to the floor, elbow is close to the body.
 

 
Tricep Extension
From the prep position, draw the navel to the spine, maintain the athletic position, keep the back flat and upright, and shoulders down. Press the hand downward towards the floor until the right arm is straightened by the right side and the knuckles of the hand face the floor. Use the rhythm count of 2 down and 2 up. Exhale on downward motion, inhale on upward motion. Do 15 to 20 reps. Switch trainer to left hand and exercise. Repeat both sides starting with the right side.
 

 
This will do it for Week Six. More to follow for Week 7 and Week 8.
 
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:
  • Katherine Roberts Article Archive
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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.