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Relax Your Head and Neck Now

Most of us can clearly identify where we experience tension in our bodies ' often in the low back, shoulders or neck. As someone who travels extensively, usually long trips between Scottsdale and The Golf Channel in Orlando, I can appreciate discomfort in the upper shoulders and neck. When the muscles of the body and the neck area are rigid it impedes the ability to create a smooth, rhythmic golf swing.
Tip: In golf the ability to maintain a steady and proper head position is important to a consistent swing plane. The neck muscles are also active in the takeaway and finish phases of the golf swing, requiring strength in the neck muscles.
In the following yoga poses we will be working the anterior neck muscles with flexion and rotation movements. In addition the upper trapezius and connection to the upper deltoid or shoulder muscle are affected. These poses can also be done on airplane, in the office and on the golf course.
Note: Be gentle when working the neck area. It is important to move slowly and never pull or crank on the neck. Shoulders should remain down, moving away from the ears.
PAR #1- Ear to shoulder:

Yoga for Golfers - Neck stretch (ear to shoulder)

While standing, slowly press your right ear towards the right shoulder. Keep the face pointing forward. Hold for five breaths and switch sides.
PAR #2 - Rotation with hand on jaw:

Yoga for Golfers - Neck stretch (turn head right)Yoga for Golfers - Neck stretch (turn head left)

Turn the face and chin towards the right shoulder. Use the hand for additional resistance. Hold for five breaths and switch sides.
PAR #3 - Shoulder shrugs:

Yoga for Golfers - Shoulder shrugsYoga for Golfers - Shoulder shrugs

Inhale, shrug shoulders up towards the ears. Exhale bringing shoulder blades together and move shoulder blades down the back. This lifting and external rotation of the shoulder girdle will help with proper posture and shoulder rotation. Practice slowly for five repetitions.
BIRDIE #1 - Pressing arm down:

Yoga for Golfers - Head tilt (arm extended)Yoga for Golfers - Head tilt (arm extended)

While pressing the right ear towards the right shoulder, inhale and engage the left arm, exhale and press the arm down towards the floor. This will create more resistance and intensity in the pose. Hold for five breaths and switch sides.

BIRDIE #2 - Trapezius pose:

Sitting on a blanket, lean to the right side and let the right ear move towards the shoulder while slightly looking down towards the right hand. Inhale bringing the left arm up to shoulder height, exhale while pressing the arm away from the body. Hold for five breaths and switch sides

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