Hip Power and Posture

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This weeks series of yoga poses will increase strength in the muscles supporting the hips and will also challenge your ability to maintain proper posture while executing the exercises. When we work with amateur and professional golfers I perform a twenty-two point assessment program. During the assessment process we uncover mobility, stability, posture and coordination issues. The quality of the movement, the ability to maintain proper posture and core stability is often an indicator of the golfers ability to maintain posture during the dynamic phase of the golf swing.
 
While you practice this weeks series of hip strengthening poses focus on your core stabilization and maintaining proper posture. Regarding posture, the shoulder blades should be moving together and down the back, shoulders are moving down and away from the ears and the mid-back (thoracic spine) is not rounded.
 
Lets begin!
 
Standing crescent lunges with arms over the head:

Yoga for Golfers Yoga for Golfers

Begin by standing tall and engaging the navel towards the spine and lifting the ribcage off the waist. Lift the arms over the head but do not scrunch the shoulders towards the ears. Inhale and lunge the right leg forward (maintain a 90 degree angle in the right knee). Hold this position and pulse the right leg up and down for a count of ten. Return to the starting position and switch sides. Repeat three times on each side.
 
Power chair pose:

Yoga for Golfers Yoga for Golfers

I demonstrate this pose using a balance ball but feel free to incorporate a chair. The purpose of this pose is to activate the gluts, core and maintain your posture. Inhale and engage the core as you move the gluts towards the ball, as if you were sitting in a chair. Do not allow the gluts to touch the ball. Hold for a count of five and repeat five to ten times.
 
Locust pose on the ball or on the floor:

Yoga for Golfers Yoga for Golfers

Place the ball under your hips or place your body on the floor. Draw the navel towards your spine and squeeze the gluts as tight as possible. On the exhalation slowly lift the legs off the floor. Hold for a count of three and repeat five times.
 
Yoga for Golfers

If you want to increase the intensity continue to lift the legs higher. Focus on the glutes and the lumbar spine.
 
Practice these poses three days a week with the last three weeks series of hip flexibility and strengthening exercises and you will generate more power in your swing.
 
Yoga for GolfersSide Note: Last summer I had the honor of teaching Yoga for Golfers in Scotland and London for six weeks. As a dog lover, (we donate a portion of our product proceeds to Best Friends Animal sanctuary in Utah) I was thrilled to discover that I was able to bring my dogs on the course with me. Playing golf with my dogs is my idea of pure happiness!! Here is a photo of my dogs after the round.
 
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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@KRTotalFitness.com or visit www.KRTotalFitness.com.