The New Year Challenge ' Lower Body ' Assessments and Solutions
This weeks New Year challenge moves our focus from the lower body to the upper body. This week is a big sports week here in Scottsdale. We have the FBR Open and the Super Bowl all on the same weekend! We have had a tremendous amount of rain here in the Valley of the Sun and that makes for thicker roughs and heavy sand. (I have played the TPC Scottsdale a week before the FBR and trust me, the rough is thick!) When playing in these conditions a strong upper body is critical.
The following exercises use the weight of your body against gravity in the push-up position and utilize the Golf Gym Power Swing Trainer (PST) for the other exercises.
Lets get started!
Note: This series is a snip-it of the total upper body program. For the full program, blending yoga and strength training with resistance tubing check out my DVDs Eight Minutes to a Better Swing or the Golf Gym Workout utilizing the PST at www.yogaforgolfers.com
Internal and external shoulder mobility:
This test is a good indicator of the breakdowns that often occur on your golf swing.
Bring your right arm to shoulder height with a ninety degree angle at the elbow. Internally rotate the arm from the shoulder. Measure the internal range of motion.
Externally rotate the arm and measure the external range of motion.
Chest / shoulder stretch at the wall:
Begin in a modified lunge position with the right leg forward. Place your right hand against the wall, slightly lower than shoulder height. Place a moderate amount of pressure against the wall as your rotate your upper body away from the wall. Once you feel you have reached the edge of your stretch, hold for ten deep breaths. Switch sides.
Golf tip: During your round use the vertical stanchion of the golf cart as resistance in this stretch.
One arm row from the lunge position:
This strength training exercise utilizes the Golf Gym Power Swing Trainer (available at www.yogaforgolfers.com) If you do not have the PST you can use the cable machine at your local gym.
Move into a lunge position, left leg forward. Extend your right arm and focus on the stretch in the right shoulder and lat. Inhale as you load the right shoulder, exhale and pull the right arm back, maintaining contact between the arm and the body. Repeat ten times and switch sides.
Rear delts / tricep:
Place the PST above the highest hinge of your door jam. Facing the PST, bend your knees and engage your core. With the arm extended, engage your tricep but do not hyper-extend your arm. Exhale as you bring your hand parallel to your hip. Hold for a few seconds and repeat ten times. Switch sides.
Front and side raises:
Place the PST under your right foot, grip in your right hand. Bend your knees slightly to protect your back. Put a slight bend in your right elbow. With the back of your hand facing the ceiling lift your arm to shoulder height. Hold for a few seconds and slowly lower the arm back to the starting position. Bring the arm parallel to your body and lift to shoulder height. Repeat ten times and switch sides.
Begin on your knees, core engaged, hands placed directly under your shoulders, fingers spread wide. Inhale as you lower your upper body towards the floor, exhale as you return to the starting position. Repeat the push-up ten to twenty times. Rest for two minutes and repeat three sets.
Tip: Move slowly, using your muscles, not momentum to build upper body strength.
Place your hips on the balance ball. Repeat the push-up ten to twenty times. Rest for two minutes and repeat three sets.
See you this week on The Turn!
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@YogaForGolfers.com or visit www.YogaForGolfers.com.