If taking a swing with a golf club hurts your lower back, it might be time to incorporate yoga into your routine. What you may not know is that the secret to amping up your golf game and improving your flexibility lies in a few yoga stretches that are easy to do and effective to maintain your pro-golfing status.
Your back is put through a lot of stress when you play golf and it is extremely common for golfers to feel sore in their back muscles.
The benefits of adding yoga to your routine go beyond just helping you relax — it comes with the advantage of upping your golfing technique.
Some of the benefits of practicing yoga for golfers include:
- Reduced risk of injury and joint pain
- Improved flexibility
- Increased overall strength, including core strength
- Better concentration and focus
Yoga Poses for Golfers
The following yoga poses are extremely beneficial for golfers, giving them a little edge to their game.
1. Bird Dog Pose
Bird dog pose works to strengthen your entire core and improves balance and coordination with regular practice.
- Position yourself on your hands and knees and stack your hand directly under your shoulders. Spread your fingers wide and press onto the thumb and index finger instead of sinking your wrist.
- Keep your back flat and bring your belly in. Keeping the core engaged, extend your left arm out in front of you and simultaneously extend your right leg back.
- Hold bird dog pose for two breaths and return to the starting position. Repeat on the other side.
- Perform 10 reps on each side.
2. Half Lord of the Fishes
Half lord of the fishes pose will give the body an excellent twist which opens up the chest, torso and hips.
- Start by sitting with your legs extended straight out. You can add a folded blanket or block under you if you need support to sit up with a straight spine.
- Bend your left knee to plant your foot on the outside of your right thigh.
- Place your left hand on the mat behind your sitting bones and get as close to the back as possible.
- Inhale and reach your right arm toward the ceiling.
- As you exhale, rotate to twist your waist to the left and place your elbow on the outside of the left quad. Shift your gaze over your left shoulder.
- Hold half lord of the fishes pose for 60 seconds and switch sides.
3. Sphinx Pose
Sphinx pose will help to strengthen the shoulders, stretch the back and open the front of the shoulders and chest.
- Lie down on your belly and rest on your forearms, with elbows stacked under your shoulders.
- Exhale to press your forearms and lengthen your lower back while moving your shoulder blades down toward your waist.
- Hold sphinx pose for three long breaths and release.
- Rest for two breaths and repeat three times.
4. Supine Twist
Supine twists are excellent to detox your torso and release all the stress and tension you may be holding on to.
- Start by lying on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat. Extend your arms horizontally with your shoulder blades on the mat.
- Exhale to drop both knees to the left side and gently shift your head to the right side. Let your knees fall as close to the floor as possible.
- Hold this twist for a couple of breaths and on your next inhalation, bring your knees back to your chest.
- Exhale to release your knees to the right and repeat this twist.
- Lift your knees to your chest for a few breaths and exhale to extend your legs straight.
- Release to relax for a few minutes.
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Petretti, C. (2013, January 22). Yoga for Golfers: 3 Poses You Should Practice. Retrieved from https://www.active.com/golf/articles/yoga-for-golfers-3-poses-you-should-practice?page=1
Santas, D. (2016, April 07). Swing like Spieth: 3 yoga moves to improve your golf game. Retrieved from https://www.cnn.com/2015/04/23/health/yoga-for-golf/index.html
YogaOutlet.com. (n.d.). Yoga for Golfers. Retrieved from https://www.yogaoutlet.com/guides/yoga-for-golfers