Yoga for golfers?
If you’re looking to change up your workouts and improve your golf game, yoga might be just the thing.
It improves flexibility, builds strength, and helps improve the focus that is so crucial on the course. In a lot of ways, yoga is perfect for golfers.
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Benefits of Yoga for Golfers
If yoga brings up mental images of incense burning and soft-spoken teachers talking about aligning your chakras, think again. Yoga has gone fully mainstream and several professional athletes like Lexi Thompson, Michelle Wie, LeBron, and Blake Griffin have made yoga part of their fitness routine.
Yoga, especially for athletes, is about functional flexibility. In other words, the kind of flexibility that makes everyday activities easier. With regular practice, yoga can increase your functional flexibility and make a huge difference in your golf score.
Being loose in your shoulders, back, and hips helps you develop (and keep) the full range of motion you need to have a smooth swing. It also helps keep that post-round soreness away and reduces the chances of injury.
In addition to keeping you flexible, yoga builds strength. If you think yoga is just deep breathing and stretching, you’re in for a sweaty surprise. Plank is a total body strengthener and poses like chair, warrior two, and high lunge strengthen your entire body, especially your legs and glutes. Boat really fires up your core while chaturanga will help you build upper body strength. More strength means more endurance and more power behind your swing. Twists mimic the motion of a swing and keep your back and shoulders flexible
But for a lot of golfers, one of the biggest benefits of regular practice are the mental benefits. Yoga helps quiet the mind and teaches you to be more intentional with your breathe and movements. All of this helps combat the negative self-talk so many golfers struggle with on the course.
Regular Practice is Key
Before you start yoga, it’s important to know that regular practice is essential. You probably won’t notice a difference after practicing once or twice, but after a month of practicing a few times a week, you’ll notice improvements in your flexibility and strength.
What Do You Need to Practice Yoga?
The great thing about yoga is that you don’t need anything except a mat. We like Gaiam yoga mats because they’re affordable, durable, and come in a wide variety of colors.
If you’re brand new to yoga and working on your flexibility, you might find blocks or straps helpful, but you can definitely practice without them. (Tip: a belt, scarf, or even a rolled-up towel will work as a strap in a pinch!)
You really only need a mat if you’re going to be doing a full flow like the ones below. If you’re just doing a few stretches, you don’t need anything! You can do a few quick poses on the course, at the driving range, or even in the parking lot before you tee off.
How to Get Started With Yoga
There are a few ways to add yoga to your fitness routine. You can find a studio near you and attend a few classes. If you have a gym membership, check the group class schedule. You may already have access to yoga classes!
But if the thought of practicing in public seems intimidating, the internet has your back. There are thousands of free yoga videos on YouTube, a lot of which are made just for golfers. Here are a few of the best: