First let me say congratulations! You have made the commitment to incorporate this Yoga for Golfers program into your daily fitness routine. Please take the time to email me and let me know about your progress, successes and challenges. I am here for you and want to help you achieve the best golf and health possible!
The importance of working the core through this conditioning sequence is a very simple equation - - if you cannot stabilize the core you will lose power and compromise the full potential of your swing.
It has been proven that when the spine is in alignment and is supported with strong core muscles of the body, the smallest amount of energy is required to move. Translated to the golf swing this means that you will become efficient in your use of energy and fatigue less on the course.
Working the muscles that support the ability to stabilize the core are essential for managing power in your swing.
We know that when one part of the body is compromised, like when someone breaks a leg, another part of the body will take over. It has also been proven that when there is lack of stability in the core the rest of the body will compensate. In the golf swing the arms and wrists will over ride the lack of core strength.
Here are some guidelines for working the core incorporating yoga philosophies:
- Always begin by pressing the navel towards the spine. This initiates the contraction / work in the lower abdominals muscles and increases the action in all the abdominals.
- Relax the neck ' the head and neck should rest comfortably in your hands.
- Lace the hands together to support the neck. Do not pull on the head.
- Keep the chin moving away from the chest.
- Practice these poses three to five days a week for maximum benefit.
Now on to this week's poses.
Place a towel between the knees, feet placed flat on the floor. Note: You may also want to try this pose with the legs on the seat of a chair, knees at a 90 degree angle.
Hands rest by your side or behind your neck. Press you navel towards the floor so that there is absolutely no space under the low back. It is acceptable to feel a slight tilt in the pelvis. Breathe deeply and hold for ten breaths. Repeat ten times.
PAR / BIRDIE Level
Hold the lower body position and now add ten crunches. The most important thing to remember in this pose is to move slowly. Inhale, pressing the navel towards the spine, exhale and crunch as you lift the shoulders as high as possible off the floor. Slower is always better!
Now add a twist to this pose. Bring the left knee to the right shoulder (Not the right elbow). Repeat on each side ten times. Keep breathing!
PAR - Sitting up as tall as possible, place a towel between the knees. Squeeze the towel as tightly as possible. This is so important because it helps stabilize the abdominals.
Note: When practicing the Boat poses you should not feel discomfort in the back. Round the back if necessary to help you feel the work in the abdominals and not the low back.
Draw the navel towards the spine and lift the arm as high as the knees. Eyes look over the knees, chin is up. Hold for five breaths.
BIRDIE / EAGLE Levels
BIRDIE ' Lift the knees off the floor so the lower leg is parallel to the floor. Hold for five more breaths.
EAGLE ' Lift the legs so they are fully extended and toes are spread wide. Hold for five breaths.
Repeat sequence three times.
Next week we will include a sequence for the back and gluts ' also considered the core of the body!
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.