Here is a test to determine your postural challenges. Stand in your natural relaxed posture in front of a mirror and look at your hands. If the back of your hands face forward chances are good your shoulders are rolling inward or forward, the thoracic spine is rounded and your posture is compromised.
In addition to the upper back and chest, weak abdominals negatively impact posture.
In yoga, we continually draw or gently pull the navel towards the spine as you lift the ribcage upwards. As you stand in front of the mirror practice this abdominal exercise and observe the changes in your posture.
These yoga poses will facilitate better posture and a supported spine angle.
Chest Opener pose:
Standing with feet shoulder width apart, clasping the hands behind the back. Tip: If the hands do not come together use a towel or a belt to get them as close as possible. Draw the navel towards the spine removing any arch in the low back. Roll the shoulders back, chest forward. Hold for ten long deep breaths.
Standing with feet shoulder width apart, knees bent. Lift arms to shoulder height, hands laced together, palms facing inward. Draw the navel towards the spine and press the hands AWAY from you. Feel the stretch in the upper back and mid-thoracic region of the spine. Hold for ten breaths.
Take a large bath towel and roll into a noodle like configuration. The towel should be the length of your spine.
Sitting on the floor, place the long towel under your spine as you lye back, resting on the towel. The towel should cover the entire length of the spine and should not cause any discomfort in the low back.
Use a second towel and place it under your knees to support your low back. Use a third towel to support your head and neck. Lye on your back in this yoga pose for five minutes with the eyes closed. Practice deep breathing and focus on the opening in the chest.
On course tip...Once you have set your stance, lightly draw the navel towards the spine before you begin your take away. You will feel a greater sense of strength and control in your swing.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.