For the next eight weeks put yourself first for eight minutes a day. The one constant in my life is the two hours everyday I devote to exercise (and my dogs!). My commitment is not negotiable and I often schedule my appointments around my yoga fitness time. I am sensitive to the time limitations we all face. So, all you need over next eight weeks is eight minutes a day.
Eight phases of the swing in eight minutes a day
Each week will target specific phases of the swing and the areas of the body necessary to successfully execute the swing. The biomechanical information on the eight positions of the swing can fill a library but I have modified them for our purposes. In my upcoming book I explain the biomechanics in more detail. Although I am an avid golfer (if the truth be known I am a fanatical golfer) and an expert in the biomechanics of the swing, I am not a teacher of the golf swing. Please see your PGA teaching professional for specific questions regarding your swing mechanics.
Eight positions of the swing:
The definition of address is 'the position of your body just prior to initiating the golf swing.' At address the muscle activity is as follows:
- Arms are relaxed but the forearms, hands and wrists are activated.
- Core abdominals and back muscles are activated to stabilize the body
- Lower body muscles such as quads, adductors (inner thighs) hamstrings and calves are active.
Step the right foot forward, keeping the left heel off the floor. Inhale; raise the arms above the head, stretching from the waist, drawing the navel inward towards the spine. Exhale bending the right knee, bringing the elbows to a 90 degree angle. Focus on squeezing the shoulder blades together as you activate the muscles of the upper and middle back. Repeat this pose five times and switch sides. Note: Focus on keeping the core of the body engaged, do not allow the lower back to arch.
PAR Level: Placing the hands directly under the shoulders spread the fingers as wide as possible. Try placing a golf ball between each fingerokay, it sounds weird but give it a try. Press the base of the forefinger into the floor and activate the muscles of the forearms. Focus on lifting out of the wrists, not sinking into the wrists. Hold for a slow count of ten. Now release and turn the hands in the other direction with back of the hand facing the floor. Be gentle and do not put your full weight on your hands. Hold for a count of five.
PAR Level: Squeeze your hands into as tight a fist as possible, hold for ten seconds, then spread your fingers as wide as possible for ten seconds. Repeat seven times. This is a great exercise if you sit at a computer all day.
On all fours, inhale, draw the navel inward pressing the spine towards the sky. Exhale, pressing the buttocks to the heels.
Inhale bringing the body to a plank position on the knees, exhale and lower the body to the floor.
Inhale, bring the inner thighs together, engage the buttocks and lift the chest off the floor. Repeat three to five times.
PAR Level: This pose works the hamstrings, inner thighs and low back. Extend the left leg placing the strap around the left foot. Place the right foot to the left inner thigh. Be sure the hips are facing the extended leg. Fold forward over the extended leg and hold for a count of thirty. Switch sides. Remember to breathe!
BIRDIE Level: Remove the strap and reach for the shin or foot.
Feel free to print out the next eight weeks of content so you will develop a program specific to the eight positions. In my next series of DVDs I offer a longer sequence of exercise for the address position.
I recommend you do these exercises a minimum of three days a week with five days a week being the optimal. Finding eight minutes a day to work on your body for the season will reap big rewards, on and off the golf course.
Editor's Note: Katherine Roberts, founder of Yoga for Golfers, has 20 years of experience in fitness training, yoga studies, professional coaching and motivation. Katherine welcomes your email questions and comments, contact her at email@example.com.