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Yoga For Golf and Core Conditioning

by Katherine Roberts - contributor for GolfOnline

The big buzzword in athletic training these days is "core conditioning". What exactly does core conditioning mean and why do golfers need to improve their core strength? Core conditioning refers to the center of the body - the abdominals, back and buttocks. Core strength will enable the golfer to maintain proper spine alignment throughout the golf swing and develop a consistent, repeatable golf swing. The walls of the abdominal cavity are supported entirely by the strength of the muscles located there, as no bones provide support for this area. Weak abdominal will stress the low back as the muscles do not provide adequate support for the spine.

These exercises will strengthen and stabilize the back - increasing rotation and decreasing risk of injury. Core strength and flexibility will maintain your primary spine angle and allow a reproduce able swing. Without core strength the golfer will have trouble maintaining a proper set up posture.

Three things to remember when working the core strength of the body - M.B.A: Move slowly, Breath deeply exhaling on exertion, and Align the body with total support of the neck.

Core abdominal presses:

To begin, lie on your back with bent knees and feet on the floor, relaxing the neck and shoulders. Begin by pressing your lower abdominals towards your spine and your spine towards the floor. Imagine you are pressing a penny into the floor under your low back. You should maintain this action while breathing deeply through your nose. Envision you are creating an imprint of the penny on the floor below your back. Hold this for one minute.

Core abdominal presses

For more advanced students you can begin to lift the legs and lower slowly while maintaining the low back touching the floor. Raise and lower the legs as slowly as possible for one to two minutes. Once you cannot keep the low back on the floor or you experience any sensation in the low back immediately bring your legs back to the set up position.

Bicycle Oblique Crunches:

Lying on your back with your knees bent place one foot flat on the floor and the other leg extended approximately six inches off the floor. Supporting your neck with your clasped hands bring your right elbow to your left knee. Keep your elbow in your peripheral vision, twisting from the trunk not just the arms. Switch sides slowly exhaling as you twist. Continue as long as you can maintain the low back pressed against the floor.

Bicycle oblique crunches

Traditional Crunches:

Lying on your back with your knees bent and press your low back into the floor. Support your neck with the fingers interlaced. Very slowly exhale and lift your upper body towards the ceiling. Note: Keep your face and sternum facing the ceiling without straining your neck. Hold for five breaths and then lower. Repeat as many times as possible while maintaining proper alignment.

Practicing your exercises will build strength and you will continue to maintain your proper spine angle and reproduce your swing consistently. In my next article we will address the muscles of the spine continuing to build your core strength.

Katherine Roberts is a nationally recognized writer and presenter on golf fitness. Katherine's unique mind-body approach to golf fitness is available through workshops, retreats or on her award winning videos "Yoga for GolfersBecause Your Body Doesn't Get A Mulligan!". Contact her with questions or comments at www.yogaforgolfers.com or 888-313-YOGA.

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