Could yoga help your golf game?

Katherine Roberts
Photo courtesy Michael Zagaris
Katherine Roberts has become a leading yoga teacher to athletes of all types
By John Kim
PGA.com

Series: Golf Buzz

Published: Wednesday, May 08, 2013 | 10:39 p.m.

 

I hate to admit it but it's true, I'm getting older. I still feel I have the same strength as I did ten years ago, but I'm positive I don't have near the same flexibility. Even with the new technology, I've lost significant distance off the tee. (I'm still just early 40s folks...not like I'm 80!). This year I'm going to do something about that...but what?
 
It seems like yoga is the "hot" topic these days for fitness folks (no pun intended for the bikram yoga enthuisasts.) I hear many (men and women) sing its praises in all sports - including a growing number of golfers.
 
I reached out to one of the nation's top yoga instructors, Katherine Roberts, who specializes in yoga for athletes, to ask her if she could provide one tip for golfers (my selfish way of saying...one tip for me.)
 
Here's what she shared.:
 
"Hi John! 

I had a great few weeks down at Spring Training and now able to think more about golfers. But in truth, regardless of the sport, in order for athletes to excel -  flexibility is paramount. The ability to stretch properly can add strength and improve performance in the ballpark and on the golf course (and other sports too of course).
 
Most golfers recognize that the golf swing consists of a motion that coils and uncoils the spine over a powerful lower body. There are yoga poses that help efficient torso turn and increase lower body strength.  In addition to torso rotation, proper stabilization of the shoulder supports club control and reduces shoulder injury. 
Remember, the upper arm bone should be drawn into the shoulder socket before the rotation for more stability and strength. The spinal rotation initiates from the deepest part of the lower abdominal muscles and funnels through the shoulder and out through the extended hand.
 
In your pre-round warm up, you might consider this yoga pose:
 
Starting Position- Step your left leg back into a long lunge, lift your left heel as high as possible. Right knee is at a 90-degree angle. Place your left hand directly under your left shoulder. Draw the right knee toward the mid-line of your body. Inhale deeply as you open your torso to the right. Exhale as you bring the torso and arm parallel to the ground. Repeat five times and switch sides. 
 
Throughout this motion concentrate on deep inhalation and exhalation. Focus on the quality of your breath throughout this dynamic flexibility and strengthening movement. Deep breath plus wide stretch is the foundation to athletic success. To learn more on how yoga can enhance your golf game performance visit: http://yogaforgolfers.com/."
 
Nike Golf Swoosh Elite Staff Member Katherine Roberts is founder of Yoga for Golfers. In addition to her extensive work with yoga and golf fitness, she has spent more than a decade working with MLB players.  

Okay guys (and girls) - there you have it. Right from the expert, just apply it to your pre-round routine.  Gonna give it a try? If you do, let me know how it works out for you. Tweet me on twitter at @johnkim_10 and let me know how your golf game is coming along.