Flexibility Conditioning - Week 1


What do the Boys of Summer and golfers have in common? If you have researched the swing mechanics of each sport in the depth that I have you will discover that the swing mechanics of batting are very similar to the golf swing. Both require hip rotation, a similar kinetic link of generating power from the lower body and the need to maintain a consistent spine angle while coiling and un-coiling the spine. To execute either of these complicated physical movements in golf and baseball, it is necessary to have flexible pecs or as we say in yoga, an open chest (as well as many other physical attributes which we will address in the coming weeks).
During my yoga conditioning classes with the San Diego Padres as well as with my golfer professionals, we focus on these areas, enabling greater power and consistency. This week targets flexibility in the chest area ' primarily the pec major and pec minor muscle groups. Additionally these poses facilitate more mobility in the thoracic spine or mid-back area.
Chest Opener on the ball:

Katherine Roberts

Sit tall on the ball and get a sense of balance. Walk the feet forward until you are resting on the ball. Your head should rest on the ball and feel supported. Focus on the glutes and quads, lifting the hips parallel to the floor. Bend the elbows at a 90 degree angle, palms facing towards the sky. Hold for one minute.
To come out of the pose, place the hands on the ball and walk your feet back until the body is back to the starting position.
Rolling Alligator - All Levels

Katherine Roberts

In this pose it is important to maintain the torso and legs as one unit as you begin on the floor face down. Place the arms perpendicular to your body with the palms facing down. On the inhalation, squeeze the legs together and pull the abdominals inward. On the exhalation, slowly roll to one side. Inhale as you come back to the starting position.
Katherine Roberts

Switch sides and repeat five times on each side. Once the dynamic series is complete, hold each side for five breaths or a slow count of ten to fifteen. Note: if you feel strain in the neck allow your head to rest on the floor.
Extended Table pose on the ball:

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Place the ball under your belly and pull your navel towards your spine. Inhale deeply and on the exhalation lift the right leg and the left arm. Return to the starting position and switch sides.
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Repeat in this fluid, dynamic movement for ten repetitions on each side. Focus on the entire back, specifically your upper back.
The Yoga of Golf
This week I had the pleasure (or shall I say the honor) of playing Cypress Point on the Monterey Peninsula. To tell you the truth I was feeling first tee jitters just thinking about playing a golf course with so much history and prestige. On the practice tee I told myself that this day is a gift ' a once in a lifetime opportunity to play one of the best golf courses in the world.
I made a conscious decision to let go of my ego. No more swing mechanics in my thoughts ' just breathe, be present and enjoy the day. My swing thoughts for the day were simple; feel each footprint, appreciate the beauty of the cypress trees and the playfulness of the sea lions. At the end of the day, what is more beautiful than a golf course at sunset?
By the way.the net result ' I played great golf!
Have a great week! - - Katherine
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    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 Katherine@KRTotalFitness.com or visit www.KRTotalFitness.com.