Breathe Like Tiger Woods The Secret to A Fluid Golf Swing

Published: 01st December 2008
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Tiger Woods and other top pro golfers use a specific breathing method to relax their bodies for a fluid golf swing.

You can easily do the same thing. But first, let's do a quick test to see where you currently stand.

In just a moment, I want you to take a big, deep breath.

And I want you to pay attention to what happens to your chest and to your stomach as you do it.

OK...do that now.

If you're like 95% of all golfers, then your chest probably expanded outward right away, while your stomach went inward toward your spine.

If that's the case, then you actually took a very shallow breath, not a deep one.

You would be classified as a "chest breather"!

Note: Tiger Woods is NOT a chest breather.

Try not to panic. I am trained to alleviate you from this chronic condition.

Okay, but why should you care?

Less than optimal breathing (chest breathing) can cause:

• An increased rate of breathing

• Increased tension in your neck muscles

• Headaches

• Feelings of anxiety

• Increased stress

• Increased sensation of pain

• Fatigued, stiff muscles

• Restricted and stiff joints

• Poor sleep patterns

• Poor circulation

• Poor posture

• Inefficient movement patterns

Experiencing any of the above side effects means your golf game will suck! Or at least it will not be up to its full potential.

On the other hand, proper breathing:

• Elicits a relaxation response

• Provides an optimal amount of oxygen to your body

• Improves circulation

• Helps maintain a healthy musculature (including your back)

Let me be very clear about this -

The manner in which you breathe will literally determine the physiology of your body - for better or for worse.

Do you still think this breathing thing is a no-brainer?

The good news is that with a little practice and awareness, you can reprogram your breathing techniques and reap the corresponding benefits.

Optimal Breathing Exercise

Phase 1:

1. Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor.

2. Place one hand on your abdomen and one on your chest.

3. Slowly inhale through your nose. Try to imagine the air going all the way down into your lower lungs (abdominal area). It may help to imagine your abdomen as a balloon, and as you inhale, the balloon inflates. Do not try to force your abdomen outward; rather simply allow the air from your inhalation to expand it.

4. Stop the inhalation before the hand on your chest begins to move.

5. Hold your breath for 5 seconds.

6. Exhale slowly through your nose or mouth. Use your hand to feel your "abdominal balloon" slowly deflate, as your navel moves towards your spine.

Perform 10 or more repetitions. I recommend starting with this "abdomen only" phase, and sticking with it until it feels relatively natural and easy.

Phase 2:

In actuality, the Phase 1 exercise was only a 2/3rds breath. This is an improvement over the chest breathing, but still not quite optimal. Now we will integrate the upper 1/3rd of your breath capacity - the upper chest area.

1. Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor.

2. Place one hand on your abdomen and one on your chest.

3. Slowly inhale through your nose. Try to imagine the air going all the way down into your lower lungs (abdominal area). It may help to imagine your abdomen as a balloon, and as you inhale, the balloon inflates. Do not try to force your abdomen outward; rather simply allow the air from your inhalation to expand it.

4. Instead of stopping the "inflation" at the upper abdomen area, allow the breath to continue into the upper lungs and cause the chest to rise.

5. Hold your breath for 5 seconds.

6. Exhale slowly through your nose or mouth. The order of "deflation" should be the opposite of the "inflation" pattern. I.e. your chest hand should fall first, and then your abdomen hand.

Now that is a full, optimal breath.

This may take a bit of practice, but it is well worth the time and effort.

I would suggest spending five minutes in the morning, and again in the evening just prior to bed, mastering this technique. Once this technique feels quite natural lying on the ground, integrate it into your standing posture, for use on the course.

Now go get em, Tiger!

Stephen Ladd is a Golf Performance Coach pioneering breakthrough energy psychology techniques, and the creator of Renegade Mindset Techniques for Golf. Visit http://www.RenegadeMentalGolf.com for free reports, videos, newsletters and an 8 part email mini-tutorial!



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