Maximum Performance - Week 6

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Posture and the Upper Body
 
I have written many articles on the importance of posture in your golf swing and in your daily life. Many aspects of physical conditioning such as flexibility, strength, core conditioning and hip mobility all effect posture. This week targets flexibility in the chest area ' primarily the pec major and pec minor muscle groups. Additionally these poses facilitate more mobility in the thoracic spine or mid-back area. Note: you may include the thoracic mobilization pose from a few weeks ago to warm up the upper back area.
 
These poses are restorative yoga postures characterized by the use of props and the duration with which you will hold the pose. All the products are available in my Pro Shop. While in the pose you do not use your muscles, but instead use your breathing and gravity to move you deeper into the stretch. Once in the proper position, allow the upper body to release with each exhalation. Hold the chest opening pose in the roller and the twist with towels for three to five minutes. Hold the chest opening pose on the ball for one minute.
 
The physical poses also benefits you mentally. You will experience relaxation, a quieting of your mind and a stress relieving component. Let tension go in the body and mind with each exhalation.
 
Chest Opener on the ball:

Katherine Roberts

Sit tall on the ball and get a sense of balance. Walk the feet forward until you are resting on the ball.
 
Katherine Roberts

Your head should rest on the ball and feel supported. Focus on the gluts and quads, lifting the hips parallel to the floor. Bend the elbows at a 90 degree angle, palms facing towards the sky. Hold for one minute.
To come out of the pose, place the hands on the ball and walk your feet back until the body is back to the starting position.
 
Chest Opener with foam roller or towels:

Katherine Roberts

Prepare for this pose with your foam roller or rolled up towels to recreate the diameter and length of the roller. Sit on the roller with the knees bent and lie back.
 
Katherine Roberts

Support the head on the roller or place a small towel under the head. Allow the arms to open, palms facing up. Place towels or a second roller under your knees supporting your low back. Hold for three to five minutes. To come out of the pose, bend the knees and roll off the roller. Use the strength of the hands to bring the body up to a seated position.
 
Restorative Twisting pose with yoga blocks:

Katherine Roberts

Bend your knees and bring the heels close to the gluts. Place the arms perpendicular to the body, palms facing up. Roll the shoulders under, facilitating an opening in the chest. Allow the knees to fall to the left and come to rest on the yoga blocks. Your level of flexibility determines how many yoga blocks you need. Rest in this position for three to five minutes. Switch sides.
 
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    Editor's Note: Katherine Roberts, founder of Yoga for Golfers, has 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.