Monday, January 16, 2012

Golf Benefits of Obliques

Dynamic rotational strength and flexibility characterize the precise and fluid golf swing. These complex rotary movements demand internal and external oblique strength, combined with hip and upper torso flexibility. Oblique workouts whose movements bear some similarity to the golf swing and its muscle-firing sequences provide the most effective golf-training exercises.
Hip Rotation
The golf swing involves a rotational movement that begins in the hips and follows through to the upper torso. This Pilates-evolved oblique exercise teaches you to use your obliques to control hip movements. Lie with your knees bent, your legs lifted in a tabletop position and your arms out to the side at shoulder height. Contract your abdominal muscles, lift your right hip and draw both knees to the left, without letting them touch the floor. Push your right hip into the floor to return to center and repeat the exercise in the opposite direction.
Upper Torso Rotation
Lie with your knees bent and dropped toward your left shoulder. Place your right leg on top of your left and open your arms to shoulder height. Inhale and raise your right arm toward the ceiling. Exhale and rotate your right oblique to the left, placing your right hand on top of the left and turning your head so you lie on your left side. Reach your right rib toward the ceiling and return to the starting position.
Hip-Torso Combo
The hip-torso combo combines the hip rotation with the upper torso oblique movement. This exercise teaches you to fire your muscles in a sequence transferable to the golf swing. Lie face up with your knees bent and your arms at shoulder level. Use your obliques to bring both legs to the left, but let them drop to the floor. Next, perform the upper torso rotation by folding your right oblique to the left. Keep your right hand on top of the left and initiate the turn by pushing your right hip back toward the floor. Follow the hip initiation with your upper body and repeat in the opposite direction.
Reverse Plank Twist
In addition to their rotational functions, your body tasks your obliques with spinal stabilization. The reverse plank twist, performed on the stability ball, uses both of your oblique muscle functions. Assume a pushup position on the ball, with your knees bent and your shins against the front face of the ball. Contract your abdominal muscles and roll the ball toward your left shoulder. Return to center and repeat to the other side. Keep your elbows straight, but not locked.

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