Flexibility Conditioning - Week 3

By Katherine RobertsJuly 8, 2005, 4:00 pm
Low Back Flexibility
Sixy-three percent of golfers will experience low back strain due to the stress of the body from the golf swing. If you play golf in addition to other sports you are 40% more likely to experience a back injury. Your body is asked to perform a complex movement, involving every joint and muscle as well as the brain and nervous system. Each phase of the golf swing, from address to finish and the putting stance put shear, compression and rotational force on the lumbar spine. This week we work on the increasing flexibility in the lumbar spine. Please note: This is one in a series of low back stretches and is what I consider the Par level. A higher level of intensity poses will follow in the weeks to come.
These exercises are simple, easy and effective. Remember to engage the navel towards the spine, elongate the spine and breathe deeply, inhaling and exhaling through the nose.
Cat pose:

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On all fours, hands placed directly under the shoulder, inhale deeply. On the exhalation, drive the navel towards the spine, engage the gluts, press the spine towards the ceiling and tuck the chin into the chest. Relax, allowing the body to come to a table top position. Repeat ten times.
Pelvic tilts on the ball:

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Sitting on the Thera-Ball, inhale deeply and lift the ribcage up. Exhale and tilt the pelvis forward focusing on the stretch in the lower back and working the lower abdominals. Repeat this ten to twenty times.
Seated twist on the ball:

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Begin by elongating your torso ' lifting the ribcage up and off the waist. Place your left hand on the right knee.
Inhale deeply and on the exhalation twist from the lower abdominals. Repeat five to ten times and increase the rotation with every exhalation. Switch sides.
Note: Maintain a plum line from your nose straight down to your sternum as you elongate your cervical spine. Focus the eyes over the right shoulder to increase the rotation. (In yoga we call this your drishti or gaze.more on this topic to follow in the Yoga of Golf)
Supine rotation with the ball:

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Perform this dynamic movement by focusing on the obliques and strengthens the lower back and core abdominals. This pose / rotation can be performed with the legs on the ball or feet on the floor. Inhale and press the navel towards the spine. On the next inhalation, roll the ball or legs to the left, exhale and bring the legs back to the starting position. Switch sides. Hold each rotation for one or two deep breaths.
Oblique / Side stretch:

Katherine Roberts

Lying on the ball, brace your lower body by placing the feet against the wall. Allow your body to hang and relax feeling the stretch on the intercostals muscles and hips. In this photo I increased the intensity of the stretch by incorporating a weighted ball. This is optional. Breathe deeply, focus on the stretch. Hold for 30 seconds to one minute and switch sides.
The Yoga of Golf
During my teaching I always talk about the power of the mind. We all know the fear of standing over a golf shot that requires hitting over a water hazard. If you focus on the water, nine times out of ten your ball will end up in the water.
You will draw towards you what and where you focus. In this article I mention the yoga concept of drishti or gaze. You can move the energy in your body, change a negative attitude, regain focus, control emotions and bring positive results to your game and your life based on your focus.
This week pay attention to your focusliterally where your eyes gaze and what you choose to focus on. You can and will change your experience simply based on your focus.
May you hit them straight and long and OVER the water! - - Katherine
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    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 Katherine@KRTotalFitness.com or visit www.KRTotalFitness.com.
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    Expired visa, helicopter, odd clubs all part of Vegas' journey

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 19, 2018, 3:48 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Jhonattan Vegas thought someone was playing a practical joke on him.

    Or maybe he was stuck in the middle of a horror movie.

    Scheduled to leave for The Open a week ago, he didn’t arrive at Carnoustie until a little more than an hour before his first-round tee time Thursday.

    “Even if somebody tried to do that on purpose,” he said, “you couldn’t really do it.”

    The problem was an expired visa.

    Vegas said that he must have gotten confused by the transposed date on the visa – “Guessing I’ve been living in America too long” – and assumed that he was cleared to travel.

    No problem, he was told. He’d have a new visa in 24 hours.

    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

    Except the consulate in New York didn’t respond to his application the next day, keeping him in limbo through the weekend. Then, on Monday, he was told that he’d applied for the wrong visa. UPS got shut down in New York and his visa never left, so Vegas waited in vain for seven hours in front of the consulate in Houston. He finally secured his visa on Wednesday morning, boarded a flight from Houston to Toronto, and then flew to Glasgow, the final leg of a 14-hour journey.

    His agent arranged a helicopter ride from Glasgow to Carnoustie to ensure that he could make his 10:31 a.m. (local) tee time.

    One more issue? His clubs never made it. They were left back in Toronto.

    His caddie, Ruben Yorio, scrambled to put together a new bag, with a mismatched set of woods, irons, wedges and putter.

    “Luckily the (equipment) vans are still here,” Vegas said. “Otherwise I probably would have played with members’ clubs today.”

    He hit about 20 balls on the range – “Luckily they were going forward” – but Carnoustie is one of the most challenging links in the world, and Vegas was working off of two hours’ sleep and without his own custom-built clubs. He shot 76 but, hey, at least he tried.

    “It was fun,” he said, “even though the journey was frustrating.”

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    'Brain fart' leads to Spieth's late collapse

    By Rex HoggardJuly 19, 2018, 2:44 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – The closing stretch at Carnoustie has famously ruined many a solid round, so Jordan Spieth’s misadventures on Thursday should not have been a complete surprise, but the truth is the defending champion’s miscues were very much self-inflicted.

    Spieth was cruising along at 3 under par, just two shots off the early lead, when he made a combination of errors at the par-4 15th hole. He hit the wrong club off the tee (4-iron) and the wrong club for his approach (6-iron) on his way to a double bogey-6.

    “The problem was on the second shot, I should have hit enough club to reach the front of the green, and even if it goes 20 yards over the green, it's an easy up-and-down,” Spieth said. “I just had a brain fart, and I missed it into the location where the only pot bunker where I could actually get in trouble, and it plugged deep into it. It was a really, really poor decision on the second shot, and that cost me.”

    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

    Spieth continued to compound his problems with a sloppy bogey at the 16th hole, and a drive that sailed left at 18 found the Barry Burn en route to a closing bogey and a 1-over 72.

    The miscues were more mental, a lack of execution, than they were an example of how difficult the closing stretch at Carnoustie can be, and that’s not good enough for Spieth.

    “That's what I would consider as a significant advantage for me is recognizing where the misses are,” said Spieth, who was tied for 68th when he completed his round. “It felt like a missed opportunity.”

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    Perez: R&A does it right, 'not like the USGA'

    By Rex HoggardJuly 19, 2018, 2:28 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Pat Perez didn’t even attempt to hide his frustration with the USGA at last month’s U.S. Open, and after an opening-round 69 at The Open, he took the opportunity to double down on his displeasure.

    “They (the R&A) do it right, not like the USGA,” Perez said of the setup at Carnoustie. “They've got the opposite [philosophy] here. I told them, you guys have it right, let the course get baked, but you've got the greens receptive. They're not going to run and be out of control. They could have easily had the greens just like the fairway, but they didn't. The course is just set up perfect.”

    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

    Concerns at Shinnecock Hills reached a crescendo on Saturday when the scoring average ballooned to 75.3 and only three players broke the par of 70. Of particular concern for many players, including Perez, were some of the hole locations, given how fast and firm the greens were.

    “The U.S. Open could have been like this more if they wanted to. They could have made the greens a bit more receptive,” Perez said. “These greens are really flat compared to Shinnecock. So that was kind of the problem there is they let it get out of control and they made the greens too hard.”