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Footwork is where everything starts

Katherine RobertsBy Katherine Roberts,

The two most important things in golf are your hands and feet. We have two connections: hands to the club and feet to the ground. In the golf stance, the weight distribution is 50-50, right and left. Heel and toe weight is on the middle balls of the feet - in line with the last shoe lace.

Exercises for the feet will provide benefits for the golfer such as:

Stability - Keeping the weight to the middle to insides of your feet and not allowing the weight to shift past the outsides of the feet.

Endurance - Maintaining strength over a four- to six-mile distance.

Balance - Proper footwork is critical to good balance and added push-off power.

Flexibility - Decreases risk of injury.

Grounded - Feeling the toes gripping the ground.

As the club begins the take-away in your back swing, your right foot begins to brace and grab the ground. The weight shifts from the ball of the back foot and transfers into the back heel at the top of the back swing.

Note: Before you begin this or any other exercise get written permission from your doctor. Remember to move slowly and breathe deeply. You should not experience any pain.

Practice these yoga-based exercises for greater strength and flexibility in the feet.

Footwork: Sit in a chair with your right foot off the floor. Inhale and flex your foot toward you, spreading your toes as wide as possible. Exhale, pointing your foot away from your body. Repeat five to 10 times on each foot.

Step stretcher and strengthener: Stand on the edge of a step, with heels hanging off. Inhale deeply and allow the heels to drop below the step and then exhale coming high onto your toes. Move very slowly, repeating three to 10 times.

Grounding exercise: Standing with your feet hip-width apart, begin to ground or press the three corners of your feet. Press down on the base of your big toe and small toe and your heel. Lift in the arches, without rolling onto the outside edges of your feet. Hold for three to five breaths and repeat.

Katherine Roberts and her highly successful Yoga for Golfers program, five instructional videos/DVD and, book have been featured in USA Today, Sports Illustrated, Golf Magazine, Self Magazine, Golf for Women, Athlon Golf, Affluent Golfer Magazine and numerous other media. She is a member of Golf Magazine's fitness panel. Katherine can often be seen on The Golf Channel.

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