Playing from the Core Week 2

RSS

This week is a perfect opportunity to implement the core philosophy of last weeks article - - Form Follows Function. The mind is a powerful aspect of physical conditioning and it is proven that when one focuses on the engaged or active muscle the results are remarkable. Focus the mind on the specific part of the body and the function of the exercise will net a greater result. The form of the body follows the function of the mind and movement. This is the core component of yoga - - the mind and body connection.
 
As in all my fitness programs, I incorporate varying styles of flexibility and strength conditioning - - dynamic, static, active elongation and explosive. This weeks focus is on slow, however intense, abdominal training.
 
Golf benefits of working the core:
  • 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
     
    The following yoga poses are beneficial for all ages, specifically intended for senior golfers, and all levels of fitness.
     
    Core Stabilization with knee lifts and oblique crunches:

    Yoga for Golfers

    Place your body on the yoga mat with the knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Before beginning the oblique crunches as demonstrated in the photo, begin by pressing the navel towards the spine while maintaining a slight curve in the lumbar spine. Inhale deeply and on the exhalation, SLOWLY lift the right leg off the floor. The most important aspect of this exercise is the stability in the core. Maintain the curved spine angle while utilizing your core to lift the leg. Switch sides and repeat ten times.
     
    Oblique Crunches:

    Adjust your focus now to the oblique abdominals. Follow the photo as you lift the right shoulder to the left knee. Switch sides and repeat ten times or until muscle failure.
     
    Table Top pose abdominal pulls:

    Yoga for Golfers

    Place the hands directly under the shoulders and the knees directly under the hips. Relax the cervical spine by maintaining a neutral head position. Inhale deeply and on the exhalation pull the navel towards the spine. This action is done with a rapid and forceful movement. The exhalation is through the nose and sounds as if you are directing someone to be quiet. Note: the sound is a forceful ssshh. Do not allow the spine to move which forces the engagement of the abdominals.
     
    Repeat as many times as possible, ultimately working up to 50 repetitions.
     
    Supported Bridge pose:

    Yoga for Golfers

    This pose will be practiced every week as the counter pose for core exercises. 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.
     
    Combine last week's Pilates roll and Sphinx pose with this weeks series as you build your core strengthening program.
     
    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.