Fit Over 50 and 60 - Perfect Posture

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How do you define good posture? Are you standing tall, walking through your day with confidence or are your shoulders slumped with a forward head position? Now worries.I am here to help! Good posture is defined by a plumb line drawn from the ears over the shoulders, shoulders over the hips and hips over the knees and ankles. When the spine is not in the optimal position the ability to efficiently generate power as well as effectively and consistently repeat your swing will be challenged. When the spine, specifically the thoracic spine is rounded, we refer to this condition as kyphosis.
 
This week our Fit over 50 and 60 offers you a series of yoga based exercises designed to enhance your posture ' specifically in the thoracic spine. Add this weeks series to the last two weeks series targeting your core stabilization, trunk rotation and upper body strength.
 
In one of our two new DVD's, Lower Your Score ' Breaking 100, 90 and 80, Stan Utley and I discuss the importance of thoracic spine mobility as it relates to putting. In addition Stan offers some great tips on one of the most important part of your game - putting!
 
Remember the practice of yoga is based on one guiding principle ' breathing. Breathe deeply, in and out through the nose and focus your mind on the expansion and contraction of the diaphragm. Yoga breathing increases blood flow to the muscles, calms the nervous system and quiets the mind!
 
Here we go!
 
Lumber Spine Stretch ' Knees to Chest:

Katherine Roberts

Inhale deeply and on the exhalation pull the knees to the chest and head to the knees. Hold for two deep breaths, extend your arms over your head and stretch the body as long as possible. Repeat five times.
 
Supine Chest Stretch on the Ball:

Katherine Roberts

On the balance ball roll the body forward until the head is completely supported. Pull the navel towards the spine, engage the gluts and bring the lower body so it is parallel to the floor. Clasp the hands behind the neck and on the exhalation press your elbows towards the floor. Focus on pressing the elbows back and the sternum towards the ceiling. Hold for one deep breath and repeat ten times.
 
Seated Spinal Twist:

Katherine Roberts Katherine Roberts

Focus this stretch on the thoracic spine. Sit on the edge of the chair and pull the navel towards the spine. Bring the right hand on the outside of the left leg. Inhale deeply and twist on the exhalation. To move deeper into the stretch bring the left arm behind you and use the chair as leverage. Hold for five breaths, repeat three times and switch sides.
 
Extended Table Pose for the Upper Back and Shoulders:

Katherine Roberts

Place the balance ball under the hips and support the upper body with the hands. Bring the shoulder blades together as you engage the upper back muscles.
 
Katherine Roberts

On the exhale roll the right arm and shoulder towards the ceiling. Hold for three breaths and repeat five times. Switch sides.
 
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    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.