Build A Better Game From The Head To Toe Week One

By Katherine RobertsMay 24, 2007, 4:00 pm
One of the greatest gifts of yoga are the physical and mental health benefits. What does good health mean to you? It is important to be clear regarding your intentions, expectations and goals for your health and golf. Before each yoga practice I set a clear intention of what it is I want to create for myself. Perhaps it is more strength, more peace, a quiet mind, etc
Similarly in golf it is essential that your practice has a purpose. Standing on the practice tee and aimlessly cracking balls is not the way to develop a solid game. Take the time to write down your goals and list the obstacles you feel are blocking you from reaching those goals. . Be specific. For example, write down the handicap you wish to reach by the end of the summer. Perhaps you intend to create more distance and you know your limited range of motion in your back blocks you from obtaining the power you need to hit it long off the tee. Perhaps balance is an issue for you (common among older golfers) so you set the intention to increase your balance.
Just like mowing the lawn you need to see where you have been to understand where you are going. The same is true about warming up before you play. You really cant perform at your best until your body is warmed up and loose. Heres a quick and easy way to get your mind and body ready to play.
VIDEO: The Ultimate 5 Minute Warm-up!
During the eight week series Build a better game from head to toe ,we address the following areas of body, designed to increase your flexibility and strength:
  • Neck and traps or upper shoulder

  • Hands and wrists

  • Shoulders and upper back including the rotator cuff, rhomboids and thoracic spine

  • Lumbar spine

  • Core conditioning for the abdominals and back

  • Lower body including the hips and hamstrings

  • Knees, calves and feet

  • Better balance

Here we go!
Poses for the neck, traps and upper shoulders:
Golf benefit: Maintain the proper head position in the static as well as dynamic phases of the swing without pain.
Health benefit: Yoga postures such as shoulder shrugs, neck releasers, and Eagle arms relieve neck and shoulder tension. We will learn to create slight traction in the neck relieving compression in the cervical vertebrae. This area is a common place to hold your stress.
PAR - Ear to shoulder:
While seated or standing, slowly press your left ear towards the left shoulder. Keep the face pointing forward. Hold for three breaths and switch sides.

BIRDIE ' To intensify the stretch, press your right arm towards the floor.
Rotation with hand on jaw:
Turn the face and chin towards the right shoulder. Use the hand for additional resistance. Hold for three breaths and switch sides.

Shoulder shrugs:
Lift the shoulders towards the ears, roll the shoulder blades together and feel as if the shoulder blades are moving down your back. Repeat five times and reverse the process for five more repetitions.

Neck massage with golf balls:
Place the golf balls at the top of your cervical spine, just at the base of your neck. Tuck your chin into your chest and roll the balls up and down the cervical spine.

Note: This works better if you have a significant other to do this for you.
Shoulder and tricep stretch:
Bring the left arm above the head, palm facing you and allow the arm to bend at the elbow. Place the right hand on the left elbow and press the left arm down, focusing on the stretch in the left tricep and shoulder. Hold for five breaths, switch sides and repeat three times.

Next week we will tackle flexibility and strength in the hands and wrists.
See you 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 or visit
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