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8 Yoga Poses for Golfers to Improve Your Swing

Golfers, did you know there are specific yoga poses for golfers that can improve your swing and overall performance? What’s more, is these yoga poses can also help balance out your body.

According to the golf magazine 19th Hole Mag, yoga can improve your golf game by improving your balance, flexibility, core strength, and mental focus.

As a yoga instructor, I tell my clients who golf and complain of shoulder tightness, undertrained obliques, and wrist pain that any sport that uses one side of the body more than another is going to create an imbalance.

The key is to train the body symmetrically, and to choose yoga poses that will help strengthen your hips and core while opening your spine and shoulders. Luckily, there are many excellent yoga poses for golfers that do just that.

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Try doing your less dominant, or ‘weaker’ side, first in order to create strength and symmetry in your golf game.

 

1. Supine Spinal Twist

supine twist

Borrowing from the world of Pilates, this is one of my personal favorite yoga poses for golfers. Instead of the rested version, activate your abs by hovering over the ground.

Let’s try it:

  • Lay on your back with your arms in the shape of the letter T. Press all 10 fingers into the ground
  • Lift your knees to 90 degrees, creating a little tabletop with your shins
  • While pressing your shoulders into the floor, inhale and rotate your knees over to the right
  • Hold to challenge the hover
  • Exhale and bring your knees back to center
  • Repeat on the left side – inhale to twist and exhale to return to center
  • Do a total set of 10 to 12 repetitions for strength

2. Downward Facing Dog

down dog 1

Downward Facing Dog, aka Down Dog, is one of the most well-known yoga poses, and for good reason. This basic pose stretches your calves and shoulders, teaches you to lengthen your spine, and helps you focus on breathing – which is why it’s one of the best yoga poses for golfers.

Let’s try it:

  • Start on your hands and knees and take a deep breath in
  • As you exhale, lift your hips to the sky and press your heels toward the earth
  • Create an upside down V shape by pressing your full palm into the floor, tilting your tailbone up, and lengthening your spine from your hips to your head
  • Stretch your hamstrings and calves as you try to straighten your knees
  • Pull your shoulders away from your ears to create space for your neck and breath
  • Rotate your arm bones so that the creases of your elbows point forward and your triceps activate
  • Stay for five to 10 breaths and repeat up to five times

 
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3. Low Lunge

Low Lunge 1

This is a great pose to warm up your hips and quads, and also stretch the muscles in your torso.

Let’s try it:

  • From Downward Facing Dog, step your right foot forward next to your right thumb as you exhale
  • Drop your left knee down to the ground, and as you inhale, lift your torso upright and bring your hands to the top of your right thigh
  • Find space in your low back by shifting your hips back slightly. Engage your core and then lengthen your tail toward the earth
  • Deepen into the lunge forward and feel your hips and left quads stretch
  • Stay for five to 10 breaths and feel your heart expand as you open up the front line of your body
  • Repeat on the other side

 

4. High Lunge Presses

High Lunge

This is a balance and strength-training drill to tone your legs and abs. New to balancing? Use a wall or chair for an assist.

Let’s try it:

  • Start in a High Lunge position, with your left foot forward and your right foot back and your arms extended skyward
  • Bend your left knee so it tracks over your left ankle and lengthen your right leg behind you, pressing into the ball mound of your right foot
  • Pressing into the ball of your right foot and the full foot of your left side, straighten your left knee
  • Feel your quads tone and think of pressing your legs center like blades of a scissor
  • Inhale and re-bend your left knee
  • Repeat eight to 12 times and then switch sides

5. Chair Pose

Chair 1

Like the last yoga pose for golfers, Chair Pose (Utkatasana) is great for toning your outer hips.

Let’s try it:

  • Stand with your feet together and your hands by your sides
  • Inhale and sit your hips back to about 45 degrees and reach your arms above your head
  • You’ll notice you’re in a zig zag shape from the side (which is why some call this Thunderbolt Pose)
  • Send your drishti, or gaze, forward to help you balance
  • Squeeze your knees together and ensure your tailbone is not tilted upward. Envision a laser beam coming out your tailbone and let it shine behind you on the floor
  • Draw your front ribs in to your midline to engage your abs and spread your toes into the ground
  • Hold for five to eight breaths, then return to standing

 
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6. Revolved Chair Pose

Revolved Chair 1

A literal twist on the last pose, Revolved Chair Pose adds a stretch of the spine and an engagement of your obliques, making it one of the best yoga poses for golfers on this list. Be mindful of your knee and hip alignment – they can be easily forgotten as you twist!

Let’s try it:

  • From Chair Pose, glue your palms together overhead and then draw them into your sternum
  • Take a deep inhale and as you engage your abs, lift your heart and twist to the right
  • Ensure your left knee and hip have not shifted in space. Instead, draw your navel back to your spine to support the pelvis
  • Stay here, gazing sideways, or if you’d like to challenge your twist even more, link your left elbow to the outside of your right knee
  • Again, check that the left hip bone or kneecap haven’t drifted forward. Use your outer glutes to square your hips
  • Stay for three to eight breaths, then exhale to return to center
  • Repeat on the second side for the same amount of time

 
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7. Bird Dog

Bird Dog 1

This is one of the best yoga poses for golfers because it works stability and balance across the full body.

Let’s try it:

  • Start on all fours, with your hands stacked under your shoulders and your knees underneath your hips
  • Raise your left arm forward and your right leg back. Try to get them both as high as your spine
  • Support the left hip by pulling up your abs and your right shoulder by drawing the arm bone away from the floor
  • Stay here, gazing toward the ground, for five to eight breaths
  • Repeat on the second side for the same amount of time

 
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8. Boat Pose to Half Boat Pose

Two more great yoga poses for golfers, both Boat and Half Boat build lots of core strength.

Let’s try it:

  • Start seated on the floor and lift your legs into the air to create a V-shape with your body
  • Reach your arms toward your toes. Balance on your tailbone in this Boat Pose
  • With a deep inhale, press your feet forward to straighten your legs and lean back until your mid-spine is on the floor. Bring your hands to prayer position
  • As you exhale, return to the V-shape, reaching your fingers to your toes
  • Inhale as you lower down to Half Boat Pose
  • Exhale as you lift your body back to full Boat Pose
  • Repeat five to 10 times or until your abs jump ship (haha!)

 

Use These Yoga Poses for Golfers to Improve Your Game

Golf can do wonders for your physical and mental state, and these yoga poses for golfers can help you up your game and bring ease to your body.

Repeat them three to five times per week to see how your core strengthens and your shoulders open.

They will keep you playing longer, playing stronger, and might even lower your golf score. Now off to that hole in one!

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