Is yoga beneficial for golfers? Golfing requires a certain level of mobility and strength in order to be successful. Unfortunately, a lot of golfers struggle with a lack of mobility. This means you won’t be able to hit the ball as far as you’d like. Your swing won’t be as fluid and you definitely won’t do your best when you’re playing 18 holes. If you want to improve as a golfer, it’s important to increase your range of motion, build strength, and rebuild flexibility. Utilizing yoga, taught in the right way, will help you become a stronger, healthier golfer in no time.
In this article, we will:
- Review common areas of pain golfers
- Assess the benefits of yoga for golfers
- Go through 9 yoga poses with descriptions
- Provide a FREE 30 minute workout video
Common Problem Areas Golfers Have That Yoga Addresses
There are three areas of your body that you’re likely experiencing pain as a golfer: your lower back, shoulders, and knees. This is often due to both being hunched over as you pick up the ball, standing for hours on end, and the repeated movement of swinging the club. Many golfers also spend a decent amount of time sitting which leads to a lack of flexibility and back pain. Yoga is great for golfers as it can address these problem areas and work to counteract them.
A lack of core and hip strength as well as the lack of hip and spine mobility are some of the main causes of lower back pain. In order to improve and prevent lower back pain – you’ll want to focus on poses that work on your balance, core strength, posture, hip strength and general mobility.
You’re actively working your shoulders when swinging your golf club which can lead to general shoulder pain or even, in extreme cases, a rotator cuff injury. In order to help relieve some pain or even prevent the onslaught of it to begin with, you’ll want to ensure you have good posture. Additionally, you’ll want to ensure you do poses and exercises that will strengthen your shoulders and improve their mobility.
Similarly to your lower back, knee pain can often happen due to a lack of mobility and strength in your core, hips, and ankles. You’ll want to focus on poses that work on your balance, core strength, hip strength, ankle strength, and mobility. Knees can also get hurt more easily if you’re not stretching after working out or golfing.
Each of the poses described below are perfect for addressing problem areas and building mobility and strength that’s needed to improve your golf swing.
Becoming a Better Golfer with Yoga
Golf is a sport that requires a lot of its players. It’s not only necessary to be strong throughout your body, it requires a decent level of mobility, balance and mental stamina to achieve great results. By regularly practicing yoga as part of your weekly workout routine, you’re able to improve in each of these areas. Golf is as much of a mental game as it is physical. You need the ability to concentrate and focus, have a calm attitude, have a level of awareness, and be present.
Yoga as an exercise is incredibly beneficial to golfers. It not only helps to address common problem areas that golfers have, but helps improve your skill set. By working through poses that improve your flexibility, mobility, balance, and core strength – you’re able to get your body in the best position possible to improve your swing. As yoga is also an exercise that focuses on breathing and mindfulness – it can help improve the mental side of the game.
Top 9 Yoga Poses To Improve Your Golf Game
When it comes to yoga for golfers, you’ll want to work through these poses while keeping steady control over your breath. By being able to stay in control and keeping calm while in some tough positions, you’re able to practice mindfulness and concentration that is needed while you’re teeing up.
The pigeon pose builds strength. Start in a tabletop position with your hips stacked over your knees and your shoulders stacked over your hands. Ensure that your toes are not tucked. Slide one knee towards your hand on the same side and bring that foot across your body to rest between your opposite hand and knee. Work towards a 90-degree bend in your knee. Rotate your hip so your knee is pointed outward, your inner thigh is facing up, and your outer thigh is facing down. Extend your back foot as far back as possible and release your hips towards the floor as you do so. Rest your hands in front of your bent leg and if needed – shift your body weight into your hands to help square the hips forward.
As you inhale – lengthen your torso forward and up. As you exhale, sink your hips deeper.
The bird dog pose builds strength and corrects muscular imbalances in your spine, core, hips, and shoulders that can often happen with golf. First, start in a table top position on top of your yoga mat. Have your hips stacked over your knees and your shoulders stacked over your hands. Your spine and neck should remain neutral. Lightly engage your core muscles. Next, without moving the rest of your body, you’ll want to extend one arm forward and the opposite leg straight back. You should be forming a straight line from your fingertips back to your heel.
Spend a few long breaths here, breathing in and out of your nose, before returning to your tabletop position and repeating on the other side.
Down dog is excellent for your upper torso and can increase flexibility and mobility in your shoulders, hips, and ankles. Start yourself in a high plank position with your arms extended under your shoulders, with your toes tucked, and your knees lifted. Lift your hips up and back to bring your body into a pyramid shape. Keep a straight line from your hips through shoulders and extended arms. Press down firmly through all parts of your hands. Keep your shoulders down and away from your ears. Tuck your chin to look back at your feet.
If you have limited flexibility – you can do down dog against a wall. Place your hands against the wall at shoulder width. Walk your feet back and bring your chest down to form an :-shape with your body. Bend your knees to keep your back flat.
Stand straight up with your big toes nearly touching and your heels about 1 inch apart. Hinge at your hips and bend your knees to lower them, as if you were about to sit into a chair. Do this while maintaining a straight spine. Next, as you maintain this squat, reach your arms overhead with your palms facing each other. Continue to lower your hips as low as you can while keeping your heels down and your spine neutral. The majority of your weight should be in your hips, not your knees.
As you inhale, maintain the length in your spine and hold an upright posture. When you exhale, lower yourself, deepening into the chair position.
Start in a wide-legged stance with your feet 4 – 5 feet apart. Your toes should be pointed slightly inward. You should feel light stretching in both sides of the groin. Turn one foot to face straight out and bend the front knee until it is directly over your ankle. Keep your hips and shoulders squared to the side. Extend your arms to the sides with your palms facing down and press your fingertips of your opposite hands away from each other. Turn your head to look directly past your front hand’s middle finger.
Be sure to lift your ribs away from your hips to engage your core and create space in your hips. Squeeze your glutes so that your hips remain in proper pelvic alignment.
As you inhale, lengthen your spine and grow taller. As you exhale, try to sink deeper into the lunge.
Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder width apart. Your front foot should face the top of the mat as your back toes turn slightly in. Reach down and extend one arm to the inside of your front foot while maintaining a straight line through your core. Keep a slight bend to your front knee. Your back leg should stay locked out with quads firmly engaged. Extend your other arm upward, with your palm facing outward. Do your best to form a straight vertical line from hand to hand. When you inhale, press the top of your head in the same direction of your front foot. When you exhale, press your front hip towards your back hip and go deeper into the hip stretch and open your torso further into the twist.
You may use a block as necessary, placing it on the inside of your front foot. You can rest your hand there to give your lower body and core a bit of a break.
Bridge pose increases your flexibility and mobility in your hips, as well as corrects muscular imbalances in your hips, core, and spine. Lie on your back with your arms by your side. Plant your feet hip width apart with your knees bent and your heels just in front of your hips. Next, press your feet into the floor and lift your hips as high as possible. Lift your chest towards your chin and reach the chin away from the chest.
Hold this pose for 30 – 45 seconds.
The boat pose is perfect for building overall core and hip strength. First start in a seated position with your feet planted in front of you, with your knees bent. Place your hands on either side of your hips and sit upright. Lean back just slightly to point your chest upward. Slowly lift your feet off the floor. You can stay here – or you can begin to straighten your legs as much as possible while maintaining a straight spine. Be sure to maintain openness in your chest.
Remain here for a few long breaths.
The reclined twist position is great to do as part of your cool-down routine. It’s also a great pose for opening up the lumbar spine and releasing lower-back stiffness. Lie on your back with your knees directly over your hips. Lower your legs to one side, while keeping them stacked. While you do this, keep your shoulders pressed to the ground. Place one of your hands on your stacked knees, while the other arm is extended by your side. Draw in your chest to keep your spine neutral and to deepen the stretch in your back. Inhale to maintain your position. Exhale to deepen the twist.
Hold this for a few long breaths on each side.
FREE 30 Minute Yoga For Golfers Workout
Follow along with Man Flow Yoga Founder Dean Pohlman as he takes you through a 30 minute workout specifically designed for golfers.