Every golfer knows the importance of flexibility in the shoulders to achieve a better swing. In addition to tight shoulders and back, the body can become imbalanced with the continual repetitive rotation that occurs with the golf swing. Yoga can assist in increasing range of motion in the shoulders, increase core strength and balance, help gain better breath control, and improve overall flexibility, which can in turn reduce pain and injury.
The true power of a golf swing comes from a greater torque between the upper and lower body, therefore increased flexibility in the shoulders and spine can help to create more power in your swing. Here are a few yoga poses that every golfer should be incorporating in their practice. These postures can be practiced daily for best results, with a minimum of a couple of times a week to see an improvement. As with any exercise program, it is always recommended to consult your physician prior to beginning yoga.
• Begin in a seated position, both sits bones evenly on the floor and legs extended in front
• Bend the right knee placing the foot over the left leg on the floor, knee lifts towards the ceiling
• Slide the left foot underneath the right, close to your bottom, or leave it straight if hips are tight
• Place the right hand on the floor near the base of the spine to lengthen through the torso
• Left arm lifts over the right knee, hugging it into the torso
• Inhale lengthening through the crown of the head, extending through the spine
• Exhale initiating the rotation from the base of the spine working up, neck is the last to twist
• Continue inhaling to lengthen, exhaling to twist, going as far as you comfortably can
• Hold the pose for 5-10 slow breaths
• Release by slowly untwisting, returning to the starting pose
• Repeat on the other side.
By Kristi Grosse, CYT