In week one of the healthy back series I explained the importance of working many areas of the body that effect the back. In this series we have successfully targeted the following areas:
- Core strength
- Hip flexibility
- Hamstring flexibility
- Lumbar spine strength and flexibility
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Begin on all fours, hands placed directly under the shoulders. Inhale as you lift the left arm and right leg off the floor. Exhale deeply as you tuck your elbow towards your knee. Repeat ten times.
Now extend the left arm and right leg, keeping the hips parallel to the floor. Hold for ten deep breaths and switch sides.
Par Level: Begin on your belly with the chin tucked in (this protects your cervical spine) and palms face the floor. Pull the navel towards the spine, squeeze the legs together and engage the gluts. Inhale deeply and on the exhalation lift the chest off the floor. Repeat dynamically (moving on each breath) five times.
Eagle level: Hold for five breaths and lift the legs off the floor.
Preparation: Place the balance ball directly under the low belly and hips. If you are more flexible place the feet together, less flexible and balanced, place the feet wider than hip width apart. Tuck the navel in and engage the gluts.
Par Level: Lift the chest off the ball with the support of your hands. Once you are fully extended focus on squeezing the shoulder blades together. Hold for five breaths, relax and repeat three times.
Birdie Level: Place hands on the waist and hold for five breaths.
Eagle Level: Clasp the hands behind the back and hold for five breaths.
If you struggle with knee flexion, place a rolled up towel behind the knees. Relax the entire body and hold for en deep breaths. Focus on the rise and fall of the ribcage in this pose. Allow your body to sink deeper in the pose with every exhalation.
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.