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Top 5 Poses for Golfers

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Taking it the Course? Here are the top 5 yoga poses to up your game

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By Gwen Lawrence | July, 2016

Special to espnW

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Each month, yoga coach Gwen Lawrence shows us five yoga poses designed to keep athletes in the game. This month, she’s tackling the top 5 poses to boost your golf game and turn good play into great scores.

Since golf is a seriously one side dominant game, it is crucial to do these poses to maintain symmetry and avoid injury.

Here are five yoga poses you can do to alleviate tech neck and still succeed as a social media mogul. (As always, consult a doctor before you begin any new exercise program.)

Wipers

 

Courtesy of Gwen Lawrence

This yoga moves is important to do first, pre game or post to warm up the spine and identify tight areas. It is also a great move to do to pump the breath and settle down the nerves.

Keys to the pose

* Start on your back, knees to chest and flex your feet to keep the leg muscles engaged and safe.

* Hold a block between your inner thighs, and slowly drop side to side.

* Your arms should be out to your sides, directly extended from the shoulders and palms flat to the floor. Maintain a long wingspan.

* When your knees drop right, accentuate the reach of the left arm and vice versa.

* Do this move for 2-4 minutes.

Locust pose

 

Courtesy of Gwen Lawrence

This pose almost looks like the shape the golfer makes when she takes a swing, long extended and with an extended arm reach. It is a great strengthener of the bock muscles and really stretched the side body and lats.

Keys to the pose

* Start on your stomach, and stretch your arms over your head and reach them with all you go in you.

* Keep your head in a neutral position so you do not strain the neck; make the move about the back, not the head.

* Inhale lift the upper body and lower body as high as they can go. Hold for 3 breaths and release. Repeat for 2-4 minutes.

* Try all different angles of your arms, and different positions to face the palms and use what feels right for your shoulders. Camel pose

 

Courtesy of Gwen Lawrence

Camel pose is a great front body opener. The fact is, the more elongated the front of the spine and back of the spine are the deeper more powerful your rotation with be. Rotation is king for golfers and increasing the authority in their swing.

Keys to the pose

* For this version, start kneeling with your toes un-tucked to help keep the feet open and cramp free, a bonus to this pose.

* Tuck the tailbone under to protect your low back from too much pressure.

* Reach back and rest your right hand on your right heel, once you are open enough rest the left hand on the left heel at the same time.

* The action in the pose should feel like you are lifting the heart to the sky, pressing the hips forward, and if your neck is ok, drop the head back.

* Hold the pose with confidence for 3-5 breaths and release to rest, repeat it 3 or 4 times until your spine feels supple and abdominals feel a good stretch.

Seated spinal twists

 

Courtesy of Gwen Lawrence

This pose will be the one pose that truly brings your awareness to the spine and its ability to maintain symmetry and be open. It can gently realign the spine and help increase deep respiration. When you can breath deeply you can eliminate some of the anxieties an intense golf game can bring.

Keys to the pose

* Start in a seated position, hug the right knee into your chest and gently start to turn right.

* Inhale extend the spine tall and straight, and on the exhale push the back of the left arm against the outside of the right thigh to deepen the twist.

* Keep your hips rooted firmly in the ground.

* Gently add the rotation of the neck as well, turning the chin over the right shoulder.

* Release gently, after about a minute, and repeat it on the other side.

Reverse grip neck stretch

 

Courtesy of Gwen Lawrence

It is very important for golfers to open the neck in all directions. This pose will flex extend and bring your attention to the chest being tight and stiff areas of the neck.

Keys to the pose

* Start seated or standing in a comfortable position.

* Bring both hands behind the back and try to grab opposite hand to opposite elbow, if your chest and shoulders are too tight at first, grip your forearms with your hands.

* Roll your shoulders up back and down several times to settle into a nice chest opener that also targets the fronts of the shoulders.

* Now you can customize the pose to your needs by: dropping ear to shoulders or dropping your chin to your chest and doing small half circles to open and stretch the neck in all directions.

* Repeat the rolls and stretches until you feel release and change I the tightness of the neck. Carefully lift the chin and release the arms.