The benefits of Yoga for golfers are far-reaching. Yoga can improve your golfing performance, improve your ability to swing a golf club and increase your longevity as a player. In this article we’ll cover the benefits of Yoga, key body areas to target and I have a couple of great Yoga routines you can use to improve your golf conditioning.
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Benefits of Yoga for golfers
An effective Yoga routine performed twice a week can make a considerable difference in just two to three weeks. To swing a golf club you require:
- Mobility – the ability to move a joint into a position.
- Stability – the ability to stabilise a joint in a given position.
- Strength – the ability to generate force.
- Power – the ability to apply maximum force in a short period of time.
Yoga can help a golfer with the first three requirements (mobility, stability and strength). Unlike many general stretching routines Yoga is excellent at targeting key joints and ranges of motion used during the golf swing.
Yoga for golfers: Key body areas to target
The golf swing has three main points of rotation, your two hips (internal/external rotation) and your thoracic spine. When any of these three areas are lacking in rotation we begin to see many compensatory movements from other parts of the body (loss of posture, swaying and arms bending).
A lack of mobility in these areas also leads to unwanted strain and loading on your lumbar (lower) spine. This is a key cause of lower back pain for golfers.
At a minimum, it is worth targeting your hips and thoracic spine with Yoga. However, I could write another 1,000 words on the additional benefits of Yoga for golfers: postural stability, scapular stabilisation, oblique strengthening and …. far too many more to mention.
Let’s move on to some great Yoga resources for you:
Yoga for golfers: Improving mobility and stability
To begin with, focus on improving your stability and mobility in the key areas discussed above. The following video is from Erin at 5 Parks Yoga. Hands down 5 Parks Yoga is one of the best Yoga resources on the internet.
The morning routine featured below is a great 20-minute Yoga session for any golfer new to Yoga and wanting to improve their mobility and stability.
If you can fit this in two to three times a week you’ll begin to make some great progress with your mobility and stability.
Yoga for golfers: Improving stability and strength
Once you have the basics, you can begin to move onto Yoga sessions that help develop stability and strength. The following session is packed full of useful Yoga poses for a keen golfer.
I’ll be the first to say, don’t worry if you can only complete 60 – 70% of the Yoga positions and transitions when you begin – I’m still working my way towards a floating knee ~ elbow hold…
This second video is more advanced, but there are some excellent poses for strengthening rotation in key joints.
Yoga for golfers: Summary
I hope you found this article helpful. Remember to focus on your hips and thoracic spine as a starting point. Adding in other areas will certainly be beneficial as you progress.
The two featured videos are just examples of the great resources out there for golfers. Check out 5 Parks Yoga for more content. For a modern guide to golf stretching check out this guide, click here for a read of how to build your own golf training regimen and follow this link for a specific golf warm-up routine.
If you would like more articles on golf coaching, practice and performance come and sign up for the golf insider weekly post.
Happy golfing, Will.
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