The first pose targets flexibility in the hip flexors and lumbar spine while the other poses build strength in the glutes, hamstrings and lumbar spine. Both require integration of the core abdominals muscles as do all my yoga for golfers exercises. I utilize the Balance Ball in all my new Yoga Balance Ball DVD programs for golfers requiring you to utilize the core as well as balance and focus. The balls are available at www.KRTotalFitness.com.
The golf benefits of these two poses:
Place the right foot approximately one foot away from the left knee as shown in the photo. Your neck, shoulders, arms and hands are relaxed. As always, breathe deeply in and out of the nose for a slow count of four. Inhale, draw the navel towards the spine as you activate the lower abdominal muscles.
Exhale and slowly lift the right hip towards the ceiling. Inhale and lower slightly while you maintain the action in the lower abdominals. Repeat and now lift the hip higher as you will start in to integrate the lower back. Inhales bring you down, exhales lift you up. Continue for five times on the right and switch sides.
Place the Balance Ball close to your buttocks and place the feet on the ball. Inhale deeply, pressing the navel towards the spine. Exhale, squeeze the gluts and lift the hips off the floor. Inhale, lower the hips and repeat ten times.
At the top of the pose, hold for a slow count of five. Note: to increase the intensity of the pose place a towel between your adductors (inner thighs) and squeeze the towel while practicing the pose.
This pose builds strength in the gluts as well as the lumbar spine.
Place the ball low on the hips and support the upper body with strong arms. Inhale as you engage your gluts, exhale and lift the legs off the floor. Repeat five times.
PAR Level: Lift the legs so they are parallel to the floor.
BIRDIE / EAGLE Level: Lift the legs higher than the hips.
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.