Excerpt – The Alexander Technique Applied to the Golf Technique of Tiger Woods (Posture)(Pain)(Strain)(Injuries)(Albuquerque)

by ethankind on April 11, 2012

My ebook, The Alexander Technique Applied to the Golf Technique of Tiger Woods, is published on this website in a PDF format. It is very detailed and practical, and it will give you the physical tools you need to take the limits off of your ability to play golf with ease, power, pain-free, and with accuracy.
This ebook is also for sale on all AMAZON websites in a KINDLE format.
Located in Albuquerque, New Mexico, U.S.A. (MOVEMENT THERAPY)

In the Alexander Technique there is a basic posture called monkey in Alexandrian terminology. It is the posture that a person moves through as they go from standing to sitting or squatting. If it is done with incredible good body use and with beautiful posture and alignment, then you have a head neck and spine that is as aligned in this diagonal pivot, as it is in beautiful upright posture.

This position named monkey by F. M. Alexander is the position a golfer plays in as he or she strikes the ball, from driving to chipping to putting.

The only pictures I’ve seen of a golfer with the true Alexandrian posture of incredibly good use in this partial squat position is Tiger on pages 96 and 97 of his book (How I Play Golf); but on pages 98 and 99 his head is slightly forward and there is a small hump in his upper back.

Tiger’s posture on pages 98 and 99 is what he usually does. Everything I’ve seen and read on posture in golf tells you to try to keep a straight back, but the feeling I get from all of these sources is it is an unattainable goal in the instructor’s eyes. It isn’t! Tiger is accomplishing this powerful posture on page 96 and 97, and every certified Alexander Technique teacher does it consistently.

As an Alexander Technique teacher I would not instruct someone to keep a straight back, but I would say allow your head to lead a released neck and a lengthening spine into up. Up is the directing of the spine into lengthening and full spinal alignment that allows the head neck and spine to be in its most powerful alignment and flow, in everything from golf to squatting hundreds of pounds, so you don’t compress any disks vertebrae or spinal nerves.

When the head, neck, and spine is in optimal flow and alignment, then the spine is allowed its natural curves that distribute equal weight without compression on any single side of the disks. In other words, if you collapse your back forwards, you put more pressure on the front of the disks. If you arch your back like a lot of weightlifters do to squat, you create compression on the back side of the disks, which is why so many weightlifters get hurt squatting.

In the three photos of Tiger in How I Play Golf on pages 96 and 97, his head neck and back are in extraordinarily good alignment, and he is in the optimal place with knees bent just enough in the third largest picture to drive the ball. Here is how I would ask him to get into that postural stance as an Alexander Technique teacher. From a full upright position I would ask him to release his knees and let his thighs lengthen, as he bends his knees, as he pivots his torso, with his head leading a lengthening spine up and over his legs.

The bottom of the rear, the sit bones is the bottom of the back, so I ask the golfer to pivot over the legs with a sense of lengthening an alignment from the top of the head to the bottom of the rear, the sit bones. This means you divide the body at the hip joints, not the lower back, and that the lower body, legs, starts from the hip joint down, which is at the crease between leg and abdominals.

I would never tell him to stick out his rear. All this does is cut off the torso from the rest of itself, the pelvis, and causes the golfer to sway the lower back.

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