Maximum Performance Week 2

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Lower Body Flexibility
 
This week we enter the second phase of our eight pillars to maximum performance ' flexibility. Lets begin by defining the three types of flexibility conditioning I utilize in my Yoga for Golfers program:
  1. Dynamic ' Defines a flow style of movement in which we do not hold the pose for longer than five seconds or one deep breath.

  2.  
  3. Static
  4. ' Defines a static stretch in which we hold the pose for a longer duration, typically for 30 seconds or more. It is important to engage the core while practicing static stretching.
     
  5. Active Elongation
  6. ' Defined by moving to the full range of motion of the joint and then activating the muscles associated with the area.
Because flexibility is a critical component to golf performance this section of the Maximum performance series is separated into two weeks ' lower and upper body. This week will target the following areas:
 
1. Ankles and feet
2. Quads and hip flexors
3. Hamstrings
4. Internal and external hip rotators
 
Here we go!
 
Ankles and Feet
Dynamic stretch:

In your bare feet stand on the edge of a step and allow your heels to drop towards the floor. Slightly bend the knees and focus on the stretch in the Achilles and ankles. On your exhalation, lift the heels as high as possible coming onto the balls of the feet. Move slowly and repeat ten times.
 
Quad / Hip Flexor
Static stretch:

Yoga for Golfers

Place the left foot in the left hand and keep the knees in alignment. Draw your navel towards your spine and press the left hip towards the front of your yoga mat. Hold for 30 seconds, relax and repeat three times. Switch sides.
 
Stretch with the ball
Active Elongation:

Yoga for Golfers

Place the ball against the wall for stability and place the right foot against the ball. Place your right knee on the floor and press the right hip towards the floor. Focus on supporting your back by engaging your core. Once you have moved into your full range of motion take a deep inhalation and on the exhalation press your right foot into the ball activating your quads and hamstrings. Hold for five seconds, breathe, relax and repeat five to ten times. Switch sides.
 
Hamstrings
Dynamic and Static stretch:

Yoga for Golfers

Andy is showing this pose by placing his right hand to his right big toe. This is the traditional way to practice this pose intended for the VERY flexible student. Please use a strap or belt around your right foot, relax the shoulders and rest your head on the floor.
 
Extend your left leg against the floor and activate your left quad. Flex both feet back towards you and on your exhalation press the right heel towards the ceiling and the left heel away from your body. Work the feet by spreading the toes as wide as possible and activating the arches. Inhale as you slightly bend the right knee and on straighten the leg on the full range of motion. On your exhalation fully engage the quads and hold for five seconds. Relax slightly and repeat ten times. Now hold the pose in your full range of motion for 30 seconds. Switch sides.
 
Internal and external hip rotators:
Dynamic window washers:

Yoga for Golfers

Begin with your feet wider than the yoga mat.
 
Yoga for Golfers

Inhale as you bring the knees to the left, exhale and return to the starting position. Repeat ten times.
 
Active elongation:

Yoga for Golfers

Bring the left foot to the top of the right knee and press the right hip towards the ceiling by activating the gluts and quads. Hold for 30 seconds and switch sides.
 
Pigeon pose with the ball
Dynamic stretch:

Yoga for Golfers

Place the left foot on the ball and the right foot on the outside of the left knee.
 
Yoga for Golfers

Inhale as you roll the ball away from you extending the left leg and on the exhalation roll the ball towards you feeling the stretch in the right hip and glutes. Repeat ten times and switch sides.
 
Practice these poses three to four days a week and you will gain more flexibility in the lower body translating to more power, distance, consistency and endurance!
 
Related Links:
  • Katherine Roberts Article Archive
  • Health & Fitness Main Page
     
    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.