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Building a strong back

Katherine RobertsBy Katherine Roberts,

The golf swing is a complex biomechanical movement that requires tremendous power to be generated from a static position. The golf swing is completed in less than three seconds, from start to finish. Most golfers make this repetitive motion more than 100 times during a four-hour round of golf. In addition, the average golfer will bend over from 30 to 40 times during a round. It is no surprise that golf is a demanding sport for the muscles of the lumbar spine or erector spinae muscles.

The No. 1 injury seen in professional and amateur golfers is the lower back injury. And a back injury will cause a golfer to anticipate pain, which leads to hesitation and tension in the swing.

A comprehensive approach to conditioning is required to stretch and strengthen the lumbar region of the body. The abdominals, erector spinae, rhomboid and gluteal muscles must all be taken into consideration. For this section, we will focus on strengthening the back muscles.

A few tips to remember when exercising the lower back:

· Remember it is critical that you move very slowly and breathe deeply through the nose.

· You will feel the back muscles working but should not experience any pain.

· To protect the back, always squeeze or engage the buttocks before you begin the poses.

Locust Pose Par

Draw navel towards spine, engage buttocks - press palms toward the floor.

Lift legs and shoulders off the floor. Look down at the floor. Do not hyperextend the neck.

Place arms wider than shoulder-width apart, palms facing each other. Legs are hip-width apart. Engage buttocks and draw shoulders away from the ears.

Eyes toward the floor.

Lift left arm and right leg. Hold for five breaths.


Lift both arms and legs simultaneously. Hold for five breaths.

Areas affected:

Back muscles
Upper back

Golf benefits:

Increases strength and endurance
Power and distance
Reduce risk of back injuries
Supports effective turn Shoulders

Extended Table Pose

Begin on all fours and draw navel towards spine providing additional support for the spine. Begin by lifting the right leg up, hip pointing towards the floor. Slowly lift the left arm extending through the hand. Hold the pose for five breaths, lifting the leg and arm as high as possible. Note: Do not arch the back. Engage the core of the body to providing more support.

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.

Reader Comments / Reviews Leave a comment
  • Locust pose, the first pose.

    Byron wrote on: May 2, 2013

    You forgot to say what position you are to get into to start. On your back on the floor, on your stomach, what?