Welcome to week four of our program designed to maximize your performance! To date, our yoga-based sequences have addressed breathing as well as lower and upper body flexibility. This week we move to the strength training portion of our series, specifically the lower body ' quads, glutes and legs.
The leg sequencing provides some flexibility but primarily focuses on strength in the legs. In the golf swing as much as 75% of the body weight is distributed to the right side (for right handed golfers) and as much as half the power generated is initiated from the lower body. To prevent the body from sliding, strong legs and hips support the bodys ability to properly load and generate power. The golf specific benefits of this sequence are as follows:
Step the left foot forward keeping the right leg straight. Keep the left knee at a ninety-degree angle. Draw the navel in towards the spine and telescope the rib cage off the waist. Press the right hip forward increasing the stretch in the hip. Inhale, begin to bend the left knee, moving the right knee towards the floor and lowering the body closer to the floor. Exhale as you return to the starting position. Hands can remain on the waist or for more intensity raise the hands above the head. Keep the shoulders down, palms facing each other. Continue for five to ten repetitions or until muscle failure. Switch sides and repeat.
Step the left foot forward approximately four feet or one leg length long. Place the right foot on the floor, angled inward at a ninety to forty-five degree angle. Note: Imagine a line down the middle of the mat. The right foot is to the right of the midline, the left foot to the left of the midline. In Warrior B, the hips face slightly to the left. Raise the arms to shoulder height, rolling the shoulder blades together and down the back. Palms face down, eyes focus over the right hand. Hold for five to ten breaths and switch sides. Bogey: Do not shrug the shoulders and continue to draw the navel towards the spine, telescoping the ribcage off the waist.
Birdie / Eagle Level
Stepping the right foot forward into a crescent lunge position, place the left knee on the floor. Bring the left elbow to the outside of the right knee. Place the left hand into a fist position with the right palm resting on top. Press the left arm into the right knee, lifting out of the left shoulder. Focus twisting from the core to the shoulders, eyes focused towards the floor. For more lower body intensity, curl the left toes under, bringing the left knee off the floor while holding the left leg straight. Hold for five breaths, and then switch sides.
This pose effectively targets range of motion, a strong foundation, opening in the hips and increased extension. While maintaining the Warrior B pose, begin to bring the left hand or left elbow (depending on your flexibility) down to the left knee. The right arm stretches straight up and if possible over the right ear. Extend the arm as much as possible and revolve the ribcage towards the ceiling. Hold for five breaths and switch sides. Note: When I do this pose, I imagine I want to hit the ball twenty yards further so I stretch with twenty percent more intensity!
Par / Birdie Level
Bring the feet hip width apart. Inhale, begin to bend the knees, hinging at the hips as if preparing to sit in a chair. Draw the navel in, tailbone tucks under and the weight is shifted towards the heels. Exhale, bringing the hands to the waist or lift the arms with palms facing each other. Hold for five breaths and then pulse up and down for ten repetitions. Focus on maintaining your posture and engaging the gluts.
Special Note: Tune in to The Golf Channel to see Katherine Roberts on these special shows:
Monday after the Masters - Premieres May 13 at 9 PM ET
How Low Can You Go? - Premieres May 17 at 9 PM ET
Also, coming soon to The Golf Channel Video Vault...How Low Can You Go? streaming video exercise tips to help you break the 80, 90 or 100 scoring barrier!