Take away phase of the swing
One of my DVDs is designed to address one lifes biggest challenges ' time! Eight Minutes to a Better Swing provides ten, 8-10 minute sequences of exercises targeting every part of your body. From the hips, back and trunk, to balance and pre-round warm-up, the DVD is intended to give you quick, simple solutions. www.YogaForGolfers.com This week continues our new series based on a sequence of exercises requiring a minimal amount of time. If you have eight to ten minutes, I have the program for you!
Last week our program focused on the address position, this week we look at the take away phase of your swing.
Lets get started!
The takeaway, or first part of the backswing, is not particularly stressful with the shoulders and trunk ideally rotating as one stable unit. The trunk and abdominal muscles are most responsible for controlling this movement. These muscle groups are utilized to control stress to the spine by providing stability from the top of the pelvis to the bottom of the ribs. The trunk stabilizers include the abdominal and the back muscles. These muscles tighten together to brace and protect this region of the body.
The shoulder muscles are active as the club moves away from the ball. The shoulder girdle will remain active, including the rotator cuff, as the golfer lifts the club. The hand and wrist muscles all work to control the weight of the club as the club is positioned above the head at the top of the backswing. The oblique abdominals and the erector spinae or spine extensors are working to rotate the trunk. The right hip internal rotators and left hip external rotators are active.
Considering the movement begins with the activation of the oblique abdominal muscles we focus this week on the abs.
These exercises are a hybrid of yoga and Pilates and require a yoga block, weighted ball and yoga mat. If you do not have props, use a rolled up towel between your hands.
Core stabilization exercise:
Preparation and attention to detail in this pose is critical for success. You MUST maintain contact between your low back, rib cage and the floor. To feel this action place one hand under your low back and press your navel towards your spine (pressing against your hand). You should be applying so much pressure against your hand it will be difficult to remove your hand from below your back. Once you make contact between your back and the floor, place your hands directly on your ribcage and press the ribcage towards the floor. Now you are ready to begin!
PAR LEVEL: Place the yoga block between your hands and press your shoulders down, away from your ears. Apply pressure to the block, (you will feel more resistance in your core) and slowly lift one leg off the floor. Hold for two breaths and slowly lower the leg. Switch sides and repeat ten times.
Tip: move the legs on the exhalation portion of your breathing.
BIRDIE / EAGLE LEVEL:
Bring the left leg off the floor, knee to a ninety degree angle as you extend the right leg off the floor. Slowly, with focus, switch sides.
Abdominal and oblique strengthener:
Place the weighted ball between the hands, extending the arm just below shoulder height. Inhale deeply as you slowly roll down until your bottom rib slightly touches the floor. Exhale and return to the starting position. Tip: Keep the chin tucked into the chest and keep the back rounded not straight! Repeat this action ten times. Bring the torso to a position where you feel the most activation in your abdominals. FROM YOUR CORE, initiate the oblique twist as the eyes and head follow the hands. Repeat ten times and take a rest. Pull your knees into your chest for five deep breaths.
Next week we target the top of the backswing!
See you on The Turn!
Please send me an e-mail with your thoughts at Katherine@YogaForGolfers.com
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.