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Kathi Casey
The Healthy Boomer Body Expert

Kathi is an author, coach, popular speaker and talk radio show guest, writes monthly columns for the South Shore Senior News, Life After 50, Boomers Forever and Retirement Living Magazines, produces her own TV show called To Your Health" in the Berkshires and owns the Healthy Boomer Body Studio in Otis, MA. Her programs combine good fun and humor with simple yet powerful techniques that fit easily into busy schedules.

How To Improve Your Golf Game

As I drove past the golf course the other day I found myself wondering how the only green grass in town is always on the course – and WOW! Is it green! The houses all around still have mud and brown lawns, as do I in my yard, but the greens on the course were like Emerald Isles in the middle of a sea of brown.

I know that all of you golfers out there are anxious to get back into the “swing” of your favorite season, so this month I'd like to give you a couple of tips that will insure that you have your best season yet, without strain or injury!

Golf is an asymmetrical sport, so the best way to prevent injury is to keep you core strong, and then swing from your core. Many people think that means they have to do lots of ab crunches – it DOESN'T. Too many ab crunches can strain your iliopsoas muscle, which then throws your pelvic area out of alignment.

The ideal way to strengthen your core is through a series of exercises that strengthen all of the muscles surrounding your spine. Here are my top two:

•  Forearm Plank strengthens all of your core muscles and takes only a minute or two.

Begin face down on the floor, elbows under your shoulders, keeping the forearms and hands flat on the floor, about shoulder width apart, forearms parallel to the body.

Next, curl your toes and lift your body into a plank position, but instead of having your weight on your hands as in a pushup, you are balancing on your forearms, this makes it a little more difficult.

Hold this position for several seconds, then rest for a breath or two, and repeat. Work up to holding for at least ten seconds, repeating twice.

Note - Make sure that your lower back is not arched toward the floor. If you tend to do that, simply raise your hips slightly toward the ceiling to protect your lower back.

•  Pilates Swimming is another good exercise for strengthening both your upper and lower back. This exercise also loosens your hip and shoulder joints.

Begin lying on your stomach with your arms extended straight past your head (Super Man style!) and your legs about hip width apart. Keep your head centered – don't move from side to side.

Inhale as you lift and stretch your right hand and left leg. Exhale and lower. Then inhale and lift your left arm and right leg. Exhale and lower. Repeat five or six times.

Note - Keep your arms and legs straight and your spine long throughout this exercise. It is a stretch, not a leg lift. If you feel any tension in your lower back, tighten your buttocks and that will remove the tension.

 

Pilates exercises are great for golfers – Tiger Woods, Annika Sorenstam, and Camilo Villegas all say that Pilates has improved their golf game. This is because Pilates is designed to strengthen your core. Once your core is strong and you learn how to move your body properly and use your core strength to drive the ball, the results will speak for themselves. Many of my students have not only improved their strength, but have also shaved 3 – 5 strokes off the golf score! Bet that would get your attention…

Enroll in a Beginners Pilates class or pick up my Get Ready For Pilates ® DVD today so that you can enjoy your favorite past time well into your “golden years” without strain or pain.

 

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