Maximum Performance Week 6

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Balancing Body and Mind
 
The fourth pillar in The Eight Pillars to Maximum Performance is balance. Practicing this progressive balance sequence will translate to better balance in your dynamic swing sequence and provide a better sense of feeling grounded and stable in your address position.
 
As the body ages it is common to experience a loss of balance, but this process is not necessary. Here are a few tips to help you execute the following balancing poses:
  • Take a few deep breaths and focus on the sense of feeling grounded or connected to the earth before you begin the pose. The process is similar to setting your stance in your pre-shot routine.

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  • Draw the navel towards the spine and lift the ribcage off the waist.

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  • Pick a spot on the floor approximately three feet in front of you and place a ball in that spot. Keep you eyes on the ball and do not allow your focus to deviate as you move in and out of the poses.
Standing Extended Leg pose
Par Level

Phil Mickelson competes in the fourth and final round of the Memorial Tournament Presented by Morgan Stanley at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, OH, on June 4, 2006.Photo by Hunter Martin/WireImage.com

Zach Johnson competes in the fourth and final round of the Memorial Tournament Presented by Morgan Stanley at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, OH, on June 4, 2006.Photo by Hunter Martin/WireImage.com

Place the left foot on the ball and bring the hands to the waist. Hold for five breaths and lift your leg off the ball. If you feel strong extend your left leg and flex the foot towards you. Hold for five more breaths and switch sides.
 
Balancing Hamstring stretch
Par / Birdie Level


Extend your leg and place your heel on the ball as you flex the foot towards you. Bring your hands to your waist and fold forward from the hips. Maintain proper posture in your upper body. Hold for five breaths and switch sides. If you want more of a challenge close your eyes and hold the pose for up to twenty seconds.
 
Half-moon pose at wall with balance ball
Birdie / Eagle Level

Trevor Immelman competes in the fourth and final round of the Memorial Tournament Presented by Morgan Stanley at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, OH, on June 4, 2006.Photo by Hunter Martin/WireImage.com Jack and Barbara Nicklaus walk to the 18th green during the fourth and final round of Memorial Tournament Presented by Morgan Stanley at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, OH, on June 4, 2006.Photo by: Chris Condon/PGA TOUR


Place your left foot three inches off the wall and bring your left hip / gluts against the wall. Bend your left knee as you shift your weight into your left leg and place the hand on the balance ball. Bring all your weight to the left leg and lift the right leg off the floor.
 
Initially the right hip is pointed towards the floor but for more stretch in the hips and adductors roll the right hip and trunk open. Allow your body to be completely supported by the wall. Roll the right shoulder back so your shoulders are now resting against the wall. Draw the navel towards the spine so the lumbar spine has minimal arch in the back. Engage the left quad and lift in the left arch. Feel the left hip lifting off the left hip. BREATHE!!
 
For more intensity lift the left arm off the ball and balance for three to five more breaths. Eventually you will practice this pose off the wall!
 
Special Note: Tune in to The Golf Channel to see Katherine Roberts on How Low Can You Go? Wednesday's at 9:30 PM ET. For more balancing poses check out my new fitness tips in The Golf Channel Video Vault.
 
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.