Playing from the Core Week 1

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The core of the body represents the fundamental stabilizing forces of the body. In my opinion, core and core stabilization is the most important component in yoga, followed by the breath and calmness of mind. The term core encompasses the abdominals, lumbar spine muscles, gluts and pelvic floor. Working the core supports the spine, posture, address as well as the visceral systems of the body.
 
In the next four weeks we will implement a series of yoga poses supporting your physical and mental strengths. Core concepts represent thoughts for the week intended to enhance the performance which cannot be physically measured. Remember that the mind rules the body! These yoga poses are beneficial for all ages and fitness / flexibility levels. Golf benefits of working the core include:
 
  • Stabilization of the body angle at the address or set-up position
  • Assists in maintaining your spine angle throughout the swing phase
  • Facilitates awareness of core strength and stability
  • Increases power and distance
  • Supports consistency
     
    Pilates Roll:

    Yoga for Golfers

    Begin by sitting up as tall as possible, zipping up the lower belly and rolling the shoulders back.
     
    Yoga for Golfers

    Pull the navel towards the spine as you round the back and lower the upper body. When you feel the abdominals fully engaged, hold for ten seconds and then repeat five to ten times. Elongating the spine is equally as important as rounding the back. Proper posture is essential in the set-up position of the golf swing.
     
    Sphinx pose:

    Yoga for Golfers

    The most essential element of this pose is the awareness of the low belly or TVA. Focus on lengthening out of the low back by drawing the navel towards the spine and the ribcage off the waist. Squeeze the gluts to protect the lumbar spine. Note: you should not feel a compression in the low back but more of a strengthening of the lumbar spine and gluts.
     
    Place the elbows under the shoulders, palms flat on the mat. Bring the legs together, tops of the feet on the floor and squeeze the gluts.
     
    Note: In this photo I placed a towel between the upper thighs which helps bring awareness to the concept of engaging the legs together.
     
    Inhale as you activate the lower body and on the exhale lift the chest. Repeat this dynamic motion five to ten times.
     
    Note: Lift out of the shoulders and press the thoracic spine forward.
     
    Supported Bridge pose:

    Yoga for Golfers

    Place a yoga block under the tail bone as represented in the photo. Focus on the extension of the front of the body. You should not feel a restriction in the lumbar spine. Allow the body to rest on the yoga block for three to five minutes. Breathe deeply in and out through the nose.
     
    The Supported Bridge pose will be practiced every week as the counter pose for core exercises. Demonstrating the pose is Golf Magazine Top 100 Instructor Paul Trittler. He is the director of instruction for the Kostis-McCord Learning Center in Scottsdale, Arizona.
     
    A Core Concept
    Function follows thought, you are what you think, like creates like. These concepts have one common thread; you create that which you focus on. Professional athletes, coaches and performance specialists agree that the mind rules the body. Every physical action is initiated by the brain. The brain helps to create the desired outcome. This week pay close attention to the action of your mind. Are you hyper-critical of others, hyper critical of yourself on the golf course? Take time each morning to envision your desired outcome. The body, mind and the universe will support your intention. Function follows thought!
     
    Have a great week! - - Katherine
     
    Related Links:
  • Katherine Roberts Article Archive
  • Health & Fitness Main Page
     
    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.