Programming note: See you next week on The Golf Channel! I will be giving you fitness tips on The Turn, premiering Monday night!
For many years I have had the pleasure of teaching golf fitness with some of the best PGA professionals in the world. When I teach with Hank Haney at his schools we evaluate the students swing on the practice tee as well as with video swing analysis. In my own facility I use 3D motion analysis which measures the kinetic link, telling me where your swing is breaking down.
One of the most common swing flaws I see, particularly in higher handicap golfers is coming over the top. This occurs when the upper body controls the swing leaving the lower body behind and the club head is thrown outside towards the inside swing path. The main result of this swing flaw is inconsistency and a lack of power.
The lower body needs to participate in the kinetic link of the golf swing. If the golfer cannot get the lower body initiated, specifically in the downswing phase of the golf swing, the upper body will take over. Additionally good balance is important for proper weight shift. I try to exercise in the most efficient way possible so this week we combine the hip and balancing exercise together.
Lets get started!
One leg balance pose:
This pose supports better balance, focus and the mental ability to move inward. Bring your attention to the standing or supported leg. Focus on feeling the entire leg connected to the ground, specifically the feet. Pull the navel towards the spine, lift the ribcage off the waist and bring the leg off the floor. Hold for five to ten breaths.
Birdie Level: Extend the leg and hold for five to ten more breaths.
Note: Pay attention to how you move in and out of the poses. Stay focused on remaining present as you transition between poses. Practicing more awareness on the mat translates to staying focused on the course.
Half-moon pose at the wall:
This pose will challenge your balance (I modify this pose by having you practice at the wall). For the Eagle level, practice this pose off wall. This pose increases hip mobility in the standing leg, specifically in the adductor muscles, the hamstring and in the internal rotators of the right leg and hip.
Tip: Keep your navel pressed against your spine and do not allow your lumbar spine to arch.
Place your left foot three inches off the wall but allow your left side body to rest against the wall. Shift your weight into the left leg and bring the right leg off the floor. Rest your left hand on the ball or yoga block.
Once the left leg is straight roll the right hip back, bring the right glut, shoulders and back of the hand against the wall. Hold for five breaths and switch sides.
Balancing hip opening pose:
Place the left ankle on the outside of the right. Bring the hands to the waist, draw the navel towards the spine and hinge at the hips.
Hold for five breaths and extend the arms parallel to the ground. Hold for five more breaths and switch sides.
Next week we address the core stabilization and increased spinal rotation needed to stop you from coming over the top!