Golfers are finding that strength training, especially in their core, can increase power in the rotation of their swing. Greater power can produce longer drives. A stronger core can also protect your back from injury. For best results, do these postures 3-5 times per week. Consult your physician prior to beginning a new exercise program.
Kumbhakasana (Plank Pose)|
Plank can strengthen muscles in the abdomen, spine, shoulder, arms and wrists. This pose can be modified for wrist pain by dropping to your forearms. A beginner modification is to drop your knees to the floor until you gain strength.
- Begin in Tabletop position on all fours with wrists lined up beneath shoulders.
- Extend the legs behind you, lifting hips towards the ceiling.
- Draw the shoulder blades down your back to widen your collarbone.
- Engage your core.
- Press hands into the mat, equally engaging the thumbs and index fingers with pinky fingers.
- Lengthen the spine towards your heels making the torso parallel to the floor.
- Elongate the neck looking down.
- Hold this pose for 30 seconds to 1 minute, working towards 2 minutes.
- Drop knees back to Tabletop position to rest then repeat 5 times.
Vasisthasana (Side Plank)
Side Plank is more challenging, so add to your strengthening routine after performing Plank a few times. This pose works the abdominal muscles, including the obliques, spine, shoulders, wrists, and legs. Proper alignment is important to avoid injury to shoulders and wrists. A modification for this pose can be performed on your forearm to avoid wrist pain. Another modification is dropping your knee to the floor while you are gaining strength.
- This pose can begin in Tabletop position or in Plank.
- Line the wrist slightly in front of the shoulder with straightened arms.
- Extend the legs as if you were doing a Plank, then shift weight on to the left hand and outside of the left foot.
- Extend right hand to the ceiling while stacking right foot on top of your left.
- Engage your core, staying lifted in a diagonal line from the head to feet.
- Hold for 15-30 seconds, working up to 1 minute.
- Return to Plank pose, with wrists still just slightly in front of shoulders.
- Repeat on the other side.
Navasana (Boat Pose)
Boat Pose is a wonderful core strengthener for the abs, spine, and hip flexors. It can be modified for all levels.
- Begin in a seated position with legs together, knees bent and feet on the floor.
- Engage your core, leaning back slightly until balancing on your tailbone.
- Keep your spine straight and widen the collar bone while expanding the chest.
- Lift your legs off the ground and extend outstretched arms in front of you, palms facing.
- Lengthen through the spine while elongating through the back of the neck.
- Draw shoulder blades down the back, widening collar bone to lift chest.
- Continue to breath slow and deep making sure to not hold your breath.
- Feet can remain barely lifted off the ground for beginners, building up to lifting shins parallel to the ground. Legs can be straightened in a ‘V’ shape for an advanced option.
- Hold for several breaths, beginning with 15-30 seconds, working up to 1 minute.
- Lower the feet back to the ground, bringing torso upright to release Boat.
- Repeat 3-5 times.
By Kristi Grosse, CYT