Avoiding the Cold Shoulder

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Although the low back area of the body is the number one injury among golfers, shoulder injuries are a close second. Most of us know someone who has suffered with rotator cuff problems and we all know someone who is challenged by the shoulder turn component of the golf swing. The structure of the shoulder joint makes it the most delicate, unstable, hinged joint in the body. Held together by a series of muscles; the rotator cuffs, anterior, medial and posterior deltoids are a few of the muscles supporting the ball and socket function of shoulder movement.
 
Yoga for Golfers emphasizes the importance of flexibility as well as functional strength conditioning in the shoulder. The golf swing requires significant shoulder turn which can compromise the muscles of the region.
 
These three yoga poses promote proper shoulder mobility and function, increasing turn and more accuracy in your swing.
 
Shoulder stretch with a strap or golf club:
(to increase flexibility)

Yoga for Golfers - Shoulder Stretch with club

Standing, place a towel or golf club in the right hand. Bring the arm up allowing the right hand to fall towards the back. Bring the left hand behind the back clasping onto the towel or club. Draw the navel inward to protect the low back and feel the stretch in the shoulders. Hold for ten breaths and repeat sides.
 

Table pose with a twist:
(to increase rotation and flexibility)

Yoga for Golfers - Twisting Table pose

Begin on all fours and slide the left arm under the right hand. If possible allow the left shoulder and left ear to rest on the floor. If that is not possible, keep the shoulder off the floor. Hold for five breaths and slowly move to the other side.
 

Winged arm pose:
(for building strength)

Yoga for Golfers - Winged Arm pose with lunge

The key to this pose is keeping the elbows GLUED to the waist line. If the elbows move away from the waist the effectiveness is compromised. Standing tall or in a lunged position to increase strength in the lower body bring the elbows in tight to the waist, palms facing up. Inhale deeply and on the exhale bring the palms outward. Repeat ten times.
 
In addition to Yoga for Golfers conditioning with weights is an effective tool for increasing shoulder strength. Front and side arm raises with light weights or using resistance tubing to increase the intensity benefit strength in the shoulder stabilizing muscles.
 

 
Editor's Note: Katherine Roberts, founder of Yoga for Golfers, has 20 years of experience in fitness training, yoga studies, professional coaching and motivation. Katherine welcomes your email questions and comments, contact her at info@yogaforgolfers.com.