Golf specific fitness training often focuses on the back, shoulder and hips, important components in the golf swing. However the feet and ankles play a significant roll in the swing as well.
Everyday I receive an e-mail from a golfer who is experiencing pain in their feet or ankles. Often these injuries are a result of a trauma that occurred off the course but has a negative impact on their game. Even if you have not experienced an injury a general lack of flexibility or strength in the feet and ankles affects your swing. If this type of condition resonates with you I recommend you practice the following yoga poses three to four days a week.
A few specific benefits of flexibility and strength in the feet and ankles:
A solid, balanced set-up position.
The ability to transfer power from the ground to the hips.
The ability to complete your swing and remain in a balanced finish position. (balanced on the right toe)
Endurance while walking the course
Ability to maintain balance and power in an uneven lie.
Lets get started!
Flexion and extension of the ankle:
Seated in a chair, with your shoes removed, flex and point the feet ten times. Move slowly and hold the flexion and extension for two deep breaths.
Golf ball foot massage:
Seated in a chair or on the floor remove your shoes and roll the golf ball from the ball of the foot to the heel. Tip: place a golf ball in the freezer for a few minutes before your massage.
Crescent lunge for foot and ankle strength and stretch:
Step your right foot forward and the left leg back. Use a golf club or chair for additional balance. Lift as high as possible onto the left toes, shifting your weight to the ball of your foot. Hold for two breaths and repeat five times. Switch sides.
Side angle pose for ankle flexibility:
Continue with the right leg bent and rotate the left leg and left foot to a forty-five degree angle. This pose stretches the ankle and outside of the left lower leg. Hold for ten breaths and switch sides. Tip: do not allow the outside of the left foot to lift off the floor.
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