Basics of Stretching - Week 3

By Katherine RobertsMarch 15, 2007, 4:00 pm
Your Back!
 
One of the greatest gifts I receive in my line of work is the ability to spread the word of the benefits of health, wellness and peak performance ' on and off the course or field. This week has been particularly busy with spring training in full gear. I am fully entrenched in my third season as the yoga / flexibility conditioning expert with the San Diego Padres, the start of a two day golf school with Hank Haney in Scottsdale, AZ. and a golf fitness presentation at Golf Galaxy in Denver, CO.
 
During my presentations I open the floor for questions and the most common question is What are some basic stretches I can do to alleviate my back pain? Considering the incidence of lumbar spine injury in golf and in our society as a whole, this question is not surprising.
 
This weeks series of back stretches is the foundation for the programs I teach everyday with the Padres, with my students at Hank Haneys school and in my presentations to amateur golfers. You will learn six basic, effective stretches designed to increase flexibility and strengthen your back. Please pay attention to deep, diaphragmatic breathing, in and out through the nose. Move slowly and draw the navel towards the spine, stabilizing your core before each exercise.
 
NOTE: As in our new DVD, Lower Your Score, this series on the basics of stretching is divided into sections targeting the lower body, core and upper body. The core section of the DVD I teach you the same fundamentals taught to my professional athletes. Your will get flexibility and strengthening exercises in this DVD.
 
Lets get started!
 
Chest opener on the ball:

 
Katherine Roberts

Sit on the ball and slowly walk the feet forward as the ball rolls under the upper back AND neck. Note: keep the head and neck supported, engage the gluts and keep the hips parallel to the floor. The knees are placed at a ninety degree angle.
Extend the arms and focus on the stretch in the chest. Hold for five to ten breaths, place the hands back on the ball and walk the feet back to the starting position.
 
Back stretch over the Golf Gym balance ball:

 
Katherine Roberts

Roll the ball under the hips and allow your body to rest, stretching the back over the ball. Hold for five to ten deep breaths. Come out of this pose very slowly.
 
Cat / cow pose:

Roll off the ball, begin the hands and knees. Place the hands directly under the shoulders, knees directly under your hips. Inhale and you press your spine towards the floor, roll the shoulders back. Do not hyper-extend your neck. Exhale as you press your navel towards your spine, engage your gluts, press your spine towards the ceiling and tuck the chin into the chest. Repeat this pose ten times in each direction.
 
Modified cobra to upward facing dog:

 
Katherine Roberts

Begin on your belly, palms placed below your shoulders, elbows pressed against your body.
 
Katherine Roberts

Bring the legs together, squeeze your gluts and on your exhalation lift your chest off the floor. Roll the shoulders back away from your ears and do not hyper-extend your neck. Return to the starting position and repeat five times.
 
Upward facing dog:

Katherine Roberts

If you feel you are ready to move deeper into the stretch roll to the tops of the feet and lift the legs off the floor. Hold for three breaths.
 
Eagle twist:

 
Katherine Roberts Katherine Roberts

On your back bring your heels to your gluts. Cross your right leg over the left. Place the arms perpendicular to the body and allow the legs to fall to the right. Hold for five dep breaths and switch sides.
 
Thank you for your continuous flurry of e-mail questions. Keep them coming!
 
See you Monday nights on The Turn!
 
Related Links:
  • Katherine Roberts Article Archive
  • Katherine Roberts Video Archive
  • Health & Fitness Main Page


    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.
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    Next up for Koepka: Buddies and a bachelor party

    By Will GrayJune 24, 2018, 7:46 pm

    CROMWELL, Conn. – Coming off a successful title defense at the U.S. Open, Brooks Koepka arrived at the Travelers Championship in need of a nap. It appears he won’t be getting one anytime soon.

    Koepka normally wakes up by 6 a.m. without using an alarm, but without much down time since his victory at Shinnecock Hills he slept in until 8:20 a.m. Sunday morning, prior to his 10:40 a.m. tee time. Any impact to his pre-round routine appeared negligible, as Koepka fired a 5-under 65 that included seven birdies over his first 13 holes.

    “I felt like today was kind of the first day I got everything back,” Koepka said. “I was definitely running behind, but it was nice to catch up on some sleep.”

    Koepka became the first U.S. Open winner to play the week after since Justin Rose in 2013, and he finished the Travelers at 9 under with four straight sub-par rounds. While he’s got some free time in the coming days, it won’t exactly be restful.


    Full-field scores from the Travelers Championship

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    “We’ve got 11 guys that I’m pretty close with, so I’m looking forward to hanging out with them in Boston for a few days and then [getting] back down to West Palm for a night, and then we’re off to my best friend’s bachelor party,” Koepka said. “I was really hoping to get some rest, but I don’t know how much that will happen.”

    Last year, Koepka took a month off following his U.S. Open win at Erin Hills, only touched a club once, and still finished T-6 at The Open at Royal Birkdale. While this will be his final competitive start before Carnoustie, he expects to make a strong run toward a third major title next month in Scotland.

    “I’m shutting it down for a while. I don’t feel like I need to play,” Koepka said. “I feel like my game’s in a good spot, played really well this week. Just some stupid mistakes and mental errors. That’s all it was, lack of focus and low energy. To be honest with you, I’m not surprised. I did play well though, I putted well, and I’m somewhat pleased.”

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    Spieth ends busy stretch without top-10 finish

    By Will GrayJune 24, 2018, 7:39 pm

    CROMWELL, Conn. – There were no final-round heroics this time around for Jordan Spieth at the Travelers Championship.

    After taking the title last year with perhaps the most memorable shot of the year, Spieth appeared poised to make a robust defense of his title after an opening-round 63 gave him a share of the lead. But that proved to be as good as it would get, as he played the next three rounds in a combined 3 over to drop outside the top 40 on the final leaderboard.

    It marked the end of a pedestrian run of six events in seven weeks for Spieth, during which his best finish was a tie for 21st at the AT&T Byron Nelson.

    “A lot of cut-line golf, which is somewhat unusual historically for me, fortunately,” Spieth said after closing with a 1-under 69. “Kind of a grind, but I made actually a lot of progress where I needed to within the last few weeks.”


    Full-field scores from the Travelers Championship

    Travelers Championship: Articles, photos and videos


    Spieth has struggled to get on track on the greens this year, but he has started to turn a corner in recent weeks, specifically during a missed cut at the Memorial Tournament, and he picked up more than three shots on the field this week in strokes gained: putting.

    “My putting’s right on point where it needs to be. It’s getting better every single week,” Spieth said. “It’s the best it’s been in a couple years.”

    Unfortunately for Spieth, a slight uptick in putting has coincided with some regression from his normally reliable ball-striking. Of the 74 players who made the cut at TPC River Highlands, he ranked 61st in strokes gained: tee-to-green.

    “I’ve just got to kind of get my alignment back in order on the full swing. It’s tough when you swing and you think you hit a good shot, and you look up and the ball’s, it could be 15 yards right or 15 yards left, and it’s all because of alignment,” Spieth said. “It’s literally the same thing I went through with the putting. I’ve just got to find a way to get it back on track with the full swing.”

    Having concluded a busy stretch, Spieth noted that he now has “a few weeks off.” But still in search of his first quality chance to contend heading into a final round this year, he didn’t rule out the notion of adding a start before defending his title at Carnoustie next month.

    Spieth is not in the field for next week’s Quicken Loans National, but he won the John Deere Classic in both 2013 and 2015, which will be played the week before The Open.

    “As far as leading into The Open, we’ll see,” Spieth said. “Last year I went in after three weeks off and it didn’t hurt me. So I believe I can get the work in whether I’m playing or not, to get the repetitions.”

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    Chamblee comments on Choi's unique step-through swing

    By Golf Channel DigitalJune 24, 2018, 3:55 pm

    The golf world found itself enamored with a largely unknown journeyman this weekend.

    Ho-sung Choi went from 554th in the world to No. 1 in the hearts of all those who swing the golf club just a little bit differently thanks to his run at the Korean Open.

    The 44-year-old with the exaggerated step through impact found himself two off the pace through 54 holes and in contention for one of two available invitations to this year's Open Championship at Carnoustie.

    Choi fell out of the hunt for tournament title and the Open exemption with a final-round 74, but nonetheless left an impression with his tie for fifth.



    Asked about Choi's swing Saturday night, Golf Channel analyst Brandel Chamblee offered the following:

    "If Chi Chi Rodriguez and Gary Player had a golf school, what would their first professional golfer swing like? Voila," Chamblee said.

    "Both those legends had walk through finishes, but Ho Sung has taken this move to a new level with a borderline pirouette to keep from hanging back.

    "In an era when professional golfers get accused of having golf swings that all look alike, I’ve never seen anyone swing quite like Ho Sung Choi.

    "I can’t wait to try this on the range tomorrow."

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    Wallace holds off charges to win BMW International

    By Associated PressJune 24, 2018, 3:43 pm

    PULHEIM, Germany - England's Matt Wallace shot a 7-under 65 to hold off a record-breaking charge from Thorbjorn Olesen and win the BMW International Open on Sunday.

    Wallace finished on 10-under 278 - just ahead of Olesen, Mikko Korhonen and 2008 winner Martin Kaymer, whose chances took a blow with a bogey on the 17th hole.

    ''I want to keep building on this,'' Wallace said after his third European Tour win. ''Obviously this gives me a lot of confidence to go on and play well and I want to kick on and hopefully do this in the bigger events from now on.''


    Full-field scores from the BMW International Open


    Olesen had played himself into contention with the lowest round in tournament history, with nine birdies and an eagle for an 11-under 61. It was the lowest round of his European Tour career and it gave the Dane a three-shot lead before the final group had even teed off.

    ''I was just trying today to go out there and build on my game, see if I could shoot a low score,'' Olesen said. ''Obviously as the round progressed I kept on thinking birdies and trying to make the round better. Finishing with four birdies was pretty nice.''

    Wallace turned in 34 but then made five birdies in seven holes from the turn to edge a shot past Olesen. He waited as Kaymer and Korhonen went close with rounds of 68 and 67, respectively.

    England's Aaron Rai and Denmark's Lucas Bjerregaard finished joint-fifth with rounds of 69.