Four Weeks to a Strong Back - Week 4


This week the back series focuses on twisting poses. When the body moves in a twisting or rotational position it benefits the spine, hips and shoulders, breathing capacity and visceral system. Your range of motion will increase supporting the 45-degree hip angle and the 90-degree shoulder turn angle at the top of the back swing, provide better posture and more a consistent repeatable swing path. Endurance increases and almost instantly the muscles become more pliable alleviating back pain. When you are pain free your body moves with effortlessly and you hit the ball without fear of impending pain. Effortless power!
As always begin with the warm up sequence from week one. On all these poses center your attention on the following:
  • Core stabilization ' pull the abs in to stabilize the spine.

  • Posture ' lengthen the spine, sitting up as tall as possible.

  • Inhale as you lengthen the spine, exhale and deeper into the stretch.

  • When coming out of the pose move very slowly.

Here we go!
Seated Twist in chair:

Seated Twist in chair

Sit up as straight as possible on the edge of a chair, pull the navel towards the spine, lifting the ribcage, exhale and twist. Slightly release the pose but not fully, inhale and repeat. Do this twist five times on the right and then switch sides. Note: this is a great pose to do in the office or when you travel. If you see me on an airplane I can assure you I am doing this pose!
Eagle Twist:

Dynamic Twist

On your back, place your arms perpendicular to the body, palms facing up, and knees close to the gluts. Cross the right leg over the left. Inhale, bringing legs slightly to the left, hold for a count of five and exhale as you move deeper into the pose. Hold that position and repeat. Move deeper into the pose with each exhalation. After five repetitions, switch sides.
Seated Twist:

Seated Twist

Sitting up as tall as possible, cross the right leg over the straight left leg, right foot remains flat on the floor. Place the right hand up against the gluts as additional support for a straight spine. Inhale, sitting up as tall as possible, bringing the left arm on the outside of the right knee. Exhale and increase the twist. Repeat five times and switch sides.
Alligator Twist:

Alligator Twist

On your back, arms perpendicular to the body, legs straight. Bring the left foot to the right knee.
Alligator Twist

Inhale and twist to the right, exhale and let your body move deeper into the pose. Keep the right shoulder on the floor. Hold for a slow count of five and switch sides.
Post-Round Twist:

Post-Round Twist

Studies prove that it is extremely effective to stretch at night before going to sleep because the body has the most opportunity for healing during sleep. This pose should be done at night.
On your back bring the arms perpendicular to the body. Heels come to the gluts and then allow the legs to fall to the left. Place towels under the knees as shown to protect the low back if the knees do not touch the floor. Keep the right shoulder on the floor. Hold for a few minutes and slowly switch sides.
Always finish any twisting series of poses with a counter pose. Bring the knees into chest as in the warm up sequence.
Print out the four week Total Back Series and do the exercises a minimum of three days a week. By the end of the month I will have be offering the Total Golfers Back Book for traveling and The Total Golfers Back Conditioning Program available on DVD on my website @ Stay in touchI want to hear how you are progressing.
Coming up, we will work the most important golf fitness component of all ' the mind!
Katherine Roberts is the author of Yoga for Golfers (McGraw-Hill, June 2004) and can be seen every Monday night on Your Game Night on The Golf Channel.
Related Links:
  • Four Weeks to a Strong Back - Week 1
  • Four Weeks to a Strong Back - Week 2
  • Four Weeks to a Strong Back - Week 3
  • 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