Written by Teresa Thompson and Peggy Nolan
I never really thought about my wrists before I started playing golf. However, once I took up the sport, I realized just how important they are for a good golf swing.
When I first started playing, I was amazed at how sore my wrists could get after a day on the course or a practice session at the range. I’ve tried a variety of things to help loosen up my joints and forearms, but the stretch that helps the most is the one Peggy showed me for our Yoga for Golf series.
When Peggy took her lesson from Matt, we worked specifically on how to properly grip the golf club. Peggy noticed right away that she needed proper wrist alignment and flexibility in her grip in order to swing the club correctly.
My wrists tend to be super tight and I have a difficult time getting them to roll over in time to square my club face with the ball at impact, especially with my longer clubs. So I absolutely LOVE this wrist stretch! Peggy paired it with a posture called Thread the Needle.
Thread the Needle is a nice, gentle stretch for the shoulders and back. I’ve found that doing these two stretches together after my range sessions relaxes my muscles and soothes my joints.
Let’s look at how Peggy breaks down each stretch…
For this weeks blog post, both Thread the needle and the wrist stretch begin with Table Pose.
While the focus is on stretching wrists and shoulders, table pose is a stabilizing and grounding pose that creates a base for the body to engage in our targeted stretches.
1. Begin in table pose
2. Knees directly under hips, wrists directly under shoulders
3. Press fingers firmly into earth
4. Press tops of feet firmly into earth
5. Lengthen from tailbone to crown of head
6. Press belly button towards spine, engage abdomen
For Wrist Stretch in this posture
1. Rotate both hands, one at a time, so that fingers tips face knees.
2. Remain here for 3 breaths OR if you would like more of a wrist stretch, slowly press hips to heels.
Only go as far as your wrists will allow. Back off or come out of the stretch if you feel any pain.
For Thread The Needle
1. Inhale and raise right arm towards sky, exhale and lower right arm behind left arm, threading right arm through. Gently bring right corner of head to mat. Press hips to heels. Stretch left arm to top of mat. Remain here for 3-5 breaths.
2. To come out of pose, bring left hand near your face, pressing into left hand, raise right arm towards sky, exhale and return right hand to center, coming into table pose.
Repeat on the left side.
Benefits of Table Pose
1. Strengthens low back and abdomen
2. Creates stability in wrists, elbows, shoulders, hips, knees
Benefits of wrist stretch
1. Flexibility, wrist extension, for some – pain relief.
Benefits of Thread the Needle
1. Warm up or cool down the shoulders
2. Create space in shoulder
3. Improve flexibility
4. Reduce tension, stress, and soreness
Watch the video below – and join Peggy and Teresa for Thread the Needle and Wrist Stretch
Food for thought this week:
What is yoga without practice?
What is golf without practice?