Archives for March 2015

Spring Sports Tune-up? Yoga for golf, tennis, baseball and more!

Golf, tennis and baseball all rely on the spine. You can rely on yoga to keep your spine fine for years to come!

Golf, tennis and baseball all rely on the spine. You can rely on yoga to keep your spine fine for years to come!

  What do Kevin Love, Trevor May, LeBraun James, Novak Djokovic
Shaquille O’Neal and Tiger Woods have in common? They all turn to yoga to improve their games–physically and mentally.
  Katherine Roberts, Author of Yoga for Golf and fitness expert for The Golf Channel explains why yoga is so effective for golf: ” Swing power is generated from the lower body to the hips, the trunk, the shoulders, the arms, and out to the club–a lot of yoga postures are good at getting deep into the connective tissue and musculature of the hips. The hips initiate the downswing, so having mobility in the hips and strong glutes is critical for generating power.”
   “All the curls in the world” won’t help you hit farther or more accurately  says Roberts who recommends yoga in lieu of conventional strength training to her clients. Strengh is only one variable in the equation. You also have to figure flexibility, balance, breath and focus.  Yoga covers all of those, including the strength part–every try holding plank for a few dozen breaths?
  Many of the same principles above apply to tennis.  Tennis players have notoriously tight hips which often refer up through the psoas  muscle manifesting as lower back pain. Asymmetrical in nature, tennis, golf and baseball all wreck havoc with the spine as one side of the body over-develops.
  Some studies say over 50% of golfers have lower back pain which can impede performance and mental focus.  Consider these words of wisdom from LeBraun: “Yoga isn’t just about the body, it’s also about the mind, and it’s a technique that has really helped me.  I had some lower-back problems a few years ago and once I started to do the yoga, it has helped them go away for now.”
  For many spring and summer sports, including golf, tennis and baseball, the coiling/uncoiling motions of the spine hold the key to success. Why not try a practice devoted to spinal health and longevity while ensuring overall health and mobility in the future? Yoga is the ultimate in prevention, and you don’t have to be naturally flexible to do it–in fact, if you’re not, you need it all the more!
  “The Shaq,” once admitted  he was the “worst yoga student in the history of yoga” but went on to explain how he turned to yoga later in his career to “preserve his body.”  What are you doing to preserve yours?