3 Reasons Why Yoga Will Improve Your Golf
Are you one of the many people who think a few stretches and hours at the driving range is all it takes to be a decent golfer? You're not alone. But, if you want to really maximize your potential or feel better on the course, then there's more you can do other than just hit balls at the driving range until your hands are calloused. Yoga can help golfers in many ways.
Most of us can appreciate how beneficial Yoga can be for your mind and body, but for many it might seem strange to even consider yoga as part of your golf training regime. However, whatever level you find yourself at, here’s 3 main reasons to consider why being active in Yoga could improve your golf ability and help you elevate your game to the next level.
#1 It improves muscle strength and flexibility
Yoga also helps improve posture and core strength, key to maintaining a consistent swing by strengthening the muscles in your lower back.
Yoga builds strength through isometric and isotonic muscle contractions that occur when holding poses. Isometric contractions occur when static poses are held in place, like your setup to the top of your backswing. Isotonic refers to muscle in motion and occurs when you change your body position from one yoga pose to the next, or in following on from the previous example, the same contractions that occur during your downswing into your follow-through.
Using specific yoga poses in the same way a player uses different grips, clubs or ball positions can help golfers condition their core strength and flexibility in the muscle groups specific to golf.
#2 It improves your focus and concentration
There is no question that golf is as much a mental game as it is a physical one, if not more so. There is nothing worse than getting your round off to a good start only to slowly feel your game slip away as you move on to the final greens.
The mental and physical fatigue that starts to set in as you move around the course makes the game tougher, which is why you need to take a bit of time away from refining your swing technique to zone in on your mental game. Afterall, having a good swing becomes redundant when your concentration starts to crumble.
In addition, the slow natural decay of our concentration as we tire is also exacerbated by the frustration that builds off poorly executed strokes. This sets off a death spiral of anxiety that is often difficult to recover our focus from, leaving you at the 18th hole feeling relieved the day is over.
Yoga can help you avoid this, as it is an easy way to train your mental game. It does this by stimulating your parasympathetic nervous system through calm breathing techniques known as pranayama, or breath, in order to focus on the moment and concentrate on the course. This works by controlling your breathing that, in turn, helps slow the release of stress hormones that are known to impair cognitive function.
In addition, studies have shown that regular yoga training helps boost serotonin levels in the brain. This will help you stay calm and maintain focus for longer periods of time.
#3 It improves balance and coordination.
Perhaps more than any sport, golf relies on good balance and coordination. In fact, these are probably the two most important attributes because they are essential to good stroke technique. In some respects, your golf swing is basically a flow sequence of yoga-esc poses. So, if you have better balance and coordination, you’ll see results in your golf strokes.
It’s almost no surprise that yoga has become so popular in the past several years among professional golfers. Yoga is more than just holding certain poses. The shifting static-dynamic nature will help you become more aware of your body and movement, ultimately improving control through a combination of better balance and coordination.
Yoga will help any golfer find a more composed and focused approach to their game. It can help you get the most out of your physicality while teaching you how to relax and focus on each swing.
For parents, encouraging young, aspiring golfers to learn yoga from an early age could be a good way to get them into the habit of addressing their mental game early on, while also conditioning their strength, balance and coordination as well.
In addition, if the rain is constantly preventing you from getting a decent round in on the course, yoga can be a great indoor alternative that will enhance your game from the comfort of your living room floor. So, if you’re looking for something a little unconventional to your training schedule, swap the knickerbockers for some leggings and try out some of the recommended yoga training videos we have curated for you below. Namaste.