Flexibility Conditioning - Week 2

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Shoulders and Upper Back
 
As we continue our series on flexibility conditioning, this week our focus takes us to the upper body. Specifically the chest, shoulders and upper back are targeted, providing you with a comprehensive program for the home, and a few tips for the practice tee.
 
This week I utilize two new pieced of fitness apparatus - the weighted club (available in 28 and 38 ounces) and the Power Swing Trainer. This summer I developed and produced two DVDs incorporating these tools and applicable golf- specific exercises. The products and the DVDs, as well as a new series with the Balance Ball will be available next week on my website.
 
The following outlines the golf benefits from this weeks series:
 
  • Supports better posture at address.
  • Develops a consistent swing plane.
  • Supports increased club head speed.
  • Increases range of motion in the trunk for more power and distance.
     
    Are you ready? Here we go!
     
    Chest Opener on the Ball:

    Yoga for Golfers

    Bring the upper back and head to the ball. It is important that your neck be supported in this position. Lift the hips up supporting the low back. Allow the arms to open with the palms facing the ceiling. Focus on the stretch in the chest. Hold for one to two minutes.
     
    Note: This pose provides tremendous benefits as a post-round stretch. I like this stretch after a long day of travel or working on the computer.
     
    Standing Chest Opener with the Weighted Club:

    Yoga for Golfers

    Stand tall, feet placed wider than hip width apart. Bring the club behind your back and place the hands as close together as possible on the club. Draw the navel towards the spine. Slightly tuck the pelvis under, reducing the arch in your low back. On your exhalation lift the arms towards the ceiling. Inhale and allow the arms to return to the resting position. Repeat five to ten times.
     
    Note: This is a great tool as a warm up on the practice tee or during the round.
     
    Dynamic Dolphin pose:

    Yoga for Golfers

    Begin on the forearms, palms clasped together and knees on the floor. Draw the navel towards the spine protecting the low back. On the inhalation bring the upper body towards the hands without dropping the shoulders towards the hands.
     
    Yoga for Golfers

    On the exhalation press the upper body away from the hands. Focus on the stretch in the shoulders. Move slowly and repeat five to ten times.
     
    Note: This stretch is not recommended for golfers with acute rotator cuff injuries.
     
    Shoulder Opener with Torso Twist:

    In this photo I utilize a foam roller place directly under my thoracic spine. If you do not own a foam roller, roll up a towel.
     
    Yoga for Golfers

    Begin with the roller placed under the thoracic spine. Roll onto your left side and bring the palms together.
     
    Yoga for Golfers

    On the exhalation begin to slide the right hand towards the chest as you slowly begin to open the chest towards the ceiling. On the inhalation, return the hands to the starting position, palms together. Use five breaths to come completely into the pose and hold for five breaths. Switch sides and repeat.
     
    Shoulder Twist with the Power Swing Trainer:

    Yoga for Golfers

    Place the Power Swing Trainer behind the back, specifically behind the shoulder blades. Get into your athletic golf position and draw the navel towards the spine. Focus on twisting from the core and twist ten to fifteen times. Begin slowly and gradually increase your speed.
     
    Note: This is extremely beneficial on the practice tee and throughout the round.
     
    Related Links:
  • Katherine Roberts Article Archive
  • Health & Fitness Main Page
     
    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.