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IMGCA Article - The Mental Game of Golf


Yoga and the Golf Swing

BJ Schwehr

Flexibility, how many times have you heard that term used in describing the golf swing of many pro-golfers? Flexibility and strength are used as adjectives to describe the extreme mobility exhibited in the golf swing of Tiger Woods. His flexibility and strength have made him one of the brightest young golfers on the PGA tour.

Flexibility might be one of the most important components of a great golf swing. Flexibility increases the range of movement needed to apply force to achieve distance when hitting the ball. Studies have demonstrated that a greater amount of force is produced when a muscle is pre-stretched before performing the activity demanded of it. A pre-stretched muscle creates elastic recoil that applies additional force for a more powerful contraction. This is known as preloading the muscle. The most effective and powerful swings are produced when the force generating muscles are preloaded first.

Yoga is a well-rounded approach to improving your golf game not only physically but also mentally. Yoga helps to increase flexibility and range of motion. Yoga promotes flexibility by strengthening, toning and stretching all of the muscles of the body. In addition to improving flexibility and increased range of motion needed to execute a good or better yet, a great golf swing, yoga also bring the added benefit of improving the ability to focus and control stress. A flexible, strong body will provide fluidity to the golf swing and will help to prevent injury to the back.

Tips for beginning yoga exercise program:

  • Check with your healthcare professional before beginning any type of exercise program.
  • Look for a class with a certified yoga instructor. You can check on the internet for a studio or class in your area. Many YMCAs and recreational centers offer yoga classes.
  • Do you prefer to practice in the privacy of your own home? Be sure any instructional material or video has instructions for different levels such as beginner, intermediate and experienced. On the other hand, you may want to look for one made especially for golfers or athletes.
  • To get the maximum benefit from your yoga practice it is important that you learn proper form and how to use the breath
  • Stay with it! With daily practice, you will become more flexible, feel physically and mentally better with more energy and a better outlook on life.

Author BJ Schwehr,

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