If you're a golfing professional, amateur, or just have an appreciation for the sport, you understand the importance of staying in good shape to progress. Yoga can be a reliable resource for the golfing athlete. It provides multi-level results for the golfer: strength, agility, release, and focus.
Since golfing involves the whole body, key areas need to be targeted to build stamina, flexibility, and power: shoulders, torso, and legs. These yoga exercises can be performed before or after a golf game to gain the intended benefits.
Standing Shoulder Stretch
Your shoulders need to be flexible and strong during golf, which makes this stretch ideal as a pre-game stretch and a post-game cool down.
- Stand tall with both feet rooted into the ground.
- Take a nice full inhale and raise your arms overhead.
- As you exhale, bring your arms down and behind you so you can interlace your fingers.
- Hold here for a moment to allow the shoulders to roll back to experience release in the pectoral and front deltoid muscles.
- Place a slight bend in your knees and slowly fold forward. As you do so, carefully lift your clasped hands away from your back and toward the ceiling. Only move to a range of motion that is best suited for your current flexibility. Not only does this provide release in the shoulder heads, but some engagement in the upper back. Hold this posture for 10 to 20 breaths to experience a good stretch.
Chair Pose Twist
This posture will create a rotation in the torso for both stretching and strengthening. It limbers up the upper body so you will have a full range of motion when you make your tee-off swings. The sitting nature of the pose will begin to build strength in your legs.
- Stand with your feet about hip distance apart.
- Inhale to raise your arms into the air.
- Exhale and feel as if you are sitting back into an imaginary chair.
- Bring your hands to a prayer position at your heart. Hold this posture.
- Take another full inhale to fill your lungs.
- Exhale and slowly rotate your whole torso to the right. Be sure that your feet stay grounded and your hips remain aligned as you twist. (You can monitor the movement of your hips by looking at your knees. If they have shifted significantly, that means you have moved your hips out of alignment.)
- If you are low enough in this yoga pose, you may be able to hook your left elbow on the outside of your right thigh to hold the posture.
- Stay here for at least 10 breaths before unwinding and practicing the pose on the other side.
Revolving Side Angle Pose
This yoga pose continues the progress toward a strong and agile core, flexible shoulders, stamina in your legs, and adds focus and balance to the routine.
- Start in a standing position with your feet together.
- Step your left foot back; remain on your toes with your back heel lifted as you create this wide-legged lunge.
- Extend both arms into the air when you inhale.
- As you breathe out, bring your hands to your heart and simultaneously rotate toward your right bent knee.
- Hook your left elbow on the outside of your right thigh. Hold the posture for at least 10 breaths before practicing on the other side.
It takes much effort to remain balanced while concentrating in stillness in this yoga posture. It is okay if you lose your balance and need to step out of the pose. With continued practice, you will gain the necessary focus to sustain this lunging/revolving yoga position.
Try out these helpful yoga poses as a way to enhance your golf game. These three yoga positions can be practiced before you step onto the greens, and is also very effective as a stretch and cool down after your 18th hole.