Ten Week Challenge - Week 4

By Katherine RobertsJanuary 30, 2004, 5:00 pm
Three Components to Better Balance
 
In a recent radio interview, Tom Lehman shared that his 'commitment to fitness allows him to swing as hard as possible while staying balanced and maintaining
tempo.
 
In week four, our main focus is balance. This weeks sequence of poses is as much about the function of balance, the importance of the core to initiate balance and the most important component to good balance -- intense concentration.
 
According to Paul Chek, Golf Biomechanical specialist and founder of the C.H.E.K. Institute in San Diego, California, It has been scientifically proven that before there is any movement in the arms or legs, there is a contraction of the abdominals, setting up a stability system preparing the body for movement. In yoga we refer to the concept of drawing the navel towards the spine, engaging the abdominals.
 
Note: As you move your body visualize each movement originating from the core and moving towards the rest of the body. Moving from the inside out.
 
Begin by focusing on a spot on the floor approximately four feet in front of you. Continue this focus as you move in and out of the pose as well as between poses. On the golf course, we have all allowed the mind to wander. Maintaining focus through this sequence of poses can help you stay focused on the course.
 
Balancing Tree Pose:

Yoga for Golfers - Balancing Tree pose

Bring the right foot up placing it on the inside of the left knee or the inner thigh. Hands come to the waist. Hold for five breaths. Lift arms over the head and hold for five more breaths. Switch sides.
 
Hip Opening Balancing Pose:

Yoga for Golfers - Hip Opening Balancing pose

PAR Level: Begin by concentrating, then bring the left heel on the outside of the right knee. Try to press your knee towards the floor. Note: You should feel a stretch in the hip, not the knee.
 
Yoga for Golfers - Hip Opening Balancing pose

BIRDIE Level: Bring the hands to the waist; draw the navel in working the core and hinge at the hips. Note: Keep the back flat, not rounded. Hold for five breaths. Extend the arms out to the side and hold for another five breaths. Switch sides.
 
Warrior Three Pose:

Yoga for Golfers - Warrior Three pose

PAR Level: Begin by stepping the right foot forward approximately two feet. Drawing the navel inward, hinge at the hips, arms by the side, bringing the upper body towards the shin. Keep the hips level and you will also develop strength in the legs, hips and gluts.
 
Note: If necessary, you may slightly bend your supporting leg, maintain your balance and then begin to straighten the leg.
 
Engage or squeeze the buttocks on the left side as you flex the left foot.
 
Yoga for Golfers - Warrior Three pose

BIRDIE / EAGLE Level: Arms come to the side like the parallel to the floor or extend them forward, palms facing each other.
 
Note: You should not feel this in the back ' maintain the core strength.
 
Hold for five to seven breaths and switch sides.
 
On Course Tip: I suggest incorporating this concept into your pre-shot routine. Set your stance, take a deep inhalation and cleansing exhalation, then draw the navel towards the spine. Now begin your take away. Pay attention to the increased stability and balance you experience.
 
Related Links:
  • Ten Week Challenge - Week 1
  • Ten Week Challenge - Week 2
  • Ten Week Challenge - Week 3
  • Health & Fitness Main Page
     
    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 info@yogaforgolfers.com.
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    Dustin Johnson heads into The Open as the top-ranked player in the world, and he's also an understandable betting favorite as he looks to win a second career major.

    Johnson has not played since the U.S. Open, where he led by four shots at the halfway point and eventually finished third. He has three top-10 finishes in nine Open appearances, notably a T-2 finish at Royal St. George's in 2011.

    Johnson opened as a 12/1 favorite when the Westgate Las Vegas Superbook first published odds for Carnoustie after the U.S. Open, and he remains at that number with the first round just three days away.

    Here's a look at the latest odds on some of the other top contenders, according to the Westgate:

    12/1: Dustin Johnson

    16/1: Rory McIlroy, Rickie Fowler, Justin Rose

    20/1: Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Tommy Fleetwood, Brooks Koepka, Jon Rahm

    25/1: Jason Day, Henrik Stenson, Tiger Woods

    30/1: Sergio Garcia, Francesco Molinari, Paul Casey, Alex Noren, Patrick Reed

    40/1: Hideki Matsuyama, Marc Leishman, Branden Grace, Tyrrell Hatton

    50/1: Phil Mickelson, Ian Poulter, Matthew Fitzpatrick

    60/1: Russell Knox, Louis Oosthuizen, Matt Kuchar, Bryson DeChambeau, Zach Johnson, Tony Finau, Bubba Watson

    80/1: Lee Westwood, Adam Scott, Patrick Cantlay, Rafael Cabrera-Bello, Thomas Pieters, Xander Schauffele

    100/1: Shane Lowry, Webb Simpson, Brandt Snedeker, Ryan Fox, Thorbjorn Olesen

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    Woods needs top-10 at Open to qualify for WGC

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    If Tiger Woods is going to qualify for the final WGC-Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone Country Club, he'll need to do something he hasn't done in five years this week at The Open.

    Woods has won eight times at Firestone, including his most recent PGA Tour victory in 2013, and has openly stated that he would like to qualify for the no-cut event in Akron before it shifts to Memphis next year. But in order to do so, Woods will need to move into the top 50 in the Official World Golf Ranking after this week's event at Carnoustie.

    Woods is currently ranked No. 71 in the world, down two spots from last week, and based on projections it means that he'll need to finish no worse than a tie for eighth to have a chance of cracking the top 50. Woods' last top-10 finish at a major came at the 2013 Open at Muirfield, where he tied for sixth.


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    There are actually two OWGR cutoffs for the Bridgestone, July 23 and July 30. That means that Woods could theoretically still add a start at next week's RBC Canadian Open to chase a spot in the top 50, but he has said on multiple occasions that this week will be his last start of the month. The WGC-Bridgestone Invitational will be played Aug. 2-5.

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    Despite taking the week off, Sweden's Alex Noren moved up three spots from No. 14 to No. 11, passing Patrick Reed, Bubba Watson and Paul Casey.

    John Deere Classic champ Michael Kim went from No. 473 to No. 215 in the latest rankings, while South African Brandon Stone jumped from 371st to 110th with his win at the Scottish Open.

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    Spieth takes familiar break ahead of Open defense

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    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – As his title chances seemed to be slipping away during the final round of last year’s Open Championship, Jordan Spieth’s caddie took a moment to remind him who he was.

    Following a bogey at No. 13, Michael Greller referenced a recent vacation he’d taken to Mexico where he’d spent time with Michael Phelps and Michael Jordan and why he deserved to be among that group of singular athletes.

    Spieth, who won last year’s Open, decided to continue the tradition, spending time in Cabo again before this week’s championship.


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    “I kind of went through the same schedule,” Spieth said on Monday at Carnoustie. “It was nice to have a little vacation.”

    Spieth hasn’t played since the Travelers Championship; instead he attended the Special Olympics USA Games earlier this month in Seattle with his sister. It was Spieth’s first time back to the Pacific Northwest since he won the 2015 U.S. Open.

    “I went out to Chambers Bay with [Greller],” Spieth said. “We kind of walked down the 18th hole. It was cool reliving those memories.”

    But most of all Spieth said he needed a break after a particularly tough season.

    “I had the itch to get back to it after a couple weeks of not really working,” he said. “It was nice to kind of have that itch to get back.”