Swing Faults and Fixes - Week 6

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The Sway
 
This week concludes our series of articles on swing flaws and the yoga-based exercises to fix these common concerns. Week six tackles one of the most common swing flaws ' sway.
 
Sway occurs in the backswing when the lower body moves laterally and the right hip (in a right handed golfer) moves to the right of the right foot. This shifts all the weight to the right side, making it challenging to transition to the proper downswing phase.
 
Physically, sway is caused by an inability to internally rotate the hips due to a lack of flexibility as well as a lack of strength in the gluts. Poor strength inhibits control of the hips and depletes power and distance. Golf professionals often refer to the X-factor as an optimal hip rotation at 45 degrees while the shoulders rotate to a 90 degree angle.
 

Physical factors effecting sway:
 
Flexibility and strength in the hips.
Hip adduction (inner thigh) and abduction (outer thigh) mobility
Internal and external rotators of the hips
Lack of strength in the gluts
Lack of flexibility in the psoas
 
Lets get started!
 
Hip lifts:

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Par Level: Bend the right knee, placing the right foot next to the left knee. Inhale deeply and on the exhalation slightly lift the right hip. Inhale and return to the starting position. On the next exhalation, lift the hips higher. Move slowly and breathe deeply. Switch sides.
 
Modified lunge pose against the wall:

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All levels: Begin on all fours and place the top of the left foot against the wall. Inhale deeply and on the exhale press the top of the foot into the wall while you press your hip towards the floor. Inhale and release the stretch exhale and repeat. Continue for five to ten reps and switch sides.
 
Tip: For a more challenging position place the foot on the GolfGym balance ball.
 
Double pigeon pose:

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Birdie and Eagle levels: Place the left leg forward, the right leg back and bend both knees at a 90 degree angle. Press the hips towards the front foot and feel the stretch in the hips. For a deeper stretch begin to fold the body over the front leg. Hold for five deep breaths and switch sides.
 
Bridge pose on the ball:

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All levels: Place both feet, hip width apart on the GolfGym balance ball.
Par level: Place feet flat on the floor, heels placed close to the gluts.
 
Inhale, drawing the navel towards the spine, exhale and lift the hips. Focus on the power in the gluts. Inhale and bring the hips down, exhale and lift again. Repeat ten times.
 
Next week we tackle one of the most challenging issues in golf ' an over active mind! See you Monday nights on The Turn!
 

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    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.