Yoga For Golfers: The Best 15 Poses to Improve Your Game

Yoga will help you improve your balance, flexibility, and strength in golf. It sounds like a dream, right?

Thankfully, it’s not a dream. I have experienced the benefits of yoga for sports, including golf, first-hand. It is a fantastic way to exercise muscles that you would perhaps only exercise in isolation, often leading to neglected mobility.

Yoga for golfers starts with the right poses. Here are the best 15 yoga poses to see improvements in your game:

  1. Sun Salutations
  2. Downwards dog
  3. Bird Dog
  4. Warrior II
  5. Reclined Twist
  6. Tree Pose
  7. Triangle Pose
  8. Seated Spinal Stretch
  9. Half Moon Pose
  10. Pigeon Pose
  11. Side Plank
  12. Camel Pose
  13. Superman Pose
  14. Crow pose
  15. Handstand

You can find 3-5 poses that work really well for you, but others might not be right for your goals, so be sure to read through all the poses to find the right ones.

Read on to learn:

  • The benefits of yoga for golfers
  • Best yoga poses for golf, including how to do it, who it’s right for, and a pro tip
  • Example of a pre-round yoga routine
  • Example of a post-round yoga routine

Let’s get into it!

Benefits of Yoga for Golfers

Young woman with pink hair doing yoga at park

Here is more detail on the benefits of yoga in golf.

Golf can take its toll on you, not just emotionally but physically too. Like any sport, your muscles wear and tear if you don’t look after them properly. That doesn’t mean repetitively doing five exercises in the gym as part of a workout. It can look like yoga too.

So, taking up yoga is like adding an extra string to your bow. It can add a dimension to your game’s mobility that you may haven’t accessed to its full potential.

  • Increased Flexibility

By taking up yoga, you can enjoy a wider range of motion as you will be more flexible. This should enable you to have a more well-rounded swing.

  • Better Balance

If you take regular golf yoga workouts, you will find that you are getting better at balancing because it improves your proprioception. The balance will help you out on the course too as you will be more stable in your swing and there can be a more effective weight shift for better contact with the ball.

  • Increased Control & Ability to Relax The Mind

The mindfulness of yoga and its ability to calm you can impact your mental health positively in the sessions. Golf-wise, it can relate to your game. It can help you control your breathing, calm your nerves, and relax.

Rather than be overcome by the pressure or the nerves, you can control your mind more wisely and focus on what is important in the present – like nailing this shot.

  • Improved Posture

Think about all of the hours that you have spent hunched over your golf club either on the course or on the range, it can’t be great for you, right?

Building a golf yoga routine will improve your posture as you are able to have a greater stretch in the body. This will help your breathing too. Also, your posture will aid a more efficient swing and decrease the risk of back injuries.

  • Increased Strength

From what you were taught growing up, it might not look like ‘traditional strength training’, but yoga for golfers will definitely improve this. Putting yourself in a range of positions under tension for a sustained period will make your muscles work harder and increase strength.

Improved core and upper body strength should also enable an extra few yards on the swing.

Read more: The Best Golf Workouts

The 15 Best Yoga Poses for Golfers

Here is a list of some of the best golf yoga poses to improve your game and a detailed layout of how to do them effectively.

1. Sun Salutations

Skill level: intermediate

How To Do The Pose

  • Stand upright with a straight back
  • Raise your hands to the sky, bringing them together
  • Exhale and fold forward, creating length in the spine
  • Have your fingers in line with your toes
  • Inhale and lift halfway up
  • Step back into a plank
  • Gently lower yourself into the cobra position (lay on the ground, chest raised) by using your triceps to bring yourself down

This warm-up is an effective way to start a golf yoga routine. It combines several movements in one warm-up that stretches the spine and your shoulders. In particular, aligning your movements with your breathing will bring a calming focus, one you can translate onto the course.

Pro tip: if your body is tired it is easy to get complacent with this pose. You may fold quickly or drop yourself into the cobra position rather than gently lowering. You will see maximum benefits by doing this gently.

2. Downward Dog

Skill level: beginner

How To Do The Pose

  • Move into a high plank position with your hips high
  • Place your arms extended out but based under your shoulders
  • Have your legs out behind you (can be slightly bent if needed)
  • Recreate a pyramid shape
  • You can even bounce on your calf muscles for a stretch there too

Downward dog will aid mobility in your shoulders, calves, and core, translating to your golf swing. It is one of the best yoga exercises for golfers.

Pro tip: If you struggle with this pressure on your arms/shoulders, you can first start by doing it against a wall.

3. Bird Dog

Skill level: beginner

How To Do The Pose

  • Start on your knees with your hands out in front of you in line with your shoulders
  • Press into the yoga mat with your hands
  • Bring your right hand forward and your left leg back
  • Both must be straight
  • Inhale and outstretch your fingertips and flex your foot
  • Exhale then bring your elbow, head, and knee inwards while staying above the ground
  • Inhale and repeat

Doing this yoga exercise will strengthen the core, benefitting your stability when turning in the swing. It will also aid you in moving the body in a cohesive motion, something you will be used to in golf.

Pro tip: with many parts to remember, forgetting to outstretch your fingers and flex your foot can be easy. Doing this will engage more muscles and ensure a straight line through the body.

4. Reclined Twist

Skill level: beginner

How To Do The Pose

  • Lie on your back with bent knees and your feet on the floor
  • Bring your knees towards your chest off the ground
  • Stretch the arms out to either side
  • Let your knees fall to the right together
  • Switch sides

Feel a great stretch in your spine, relieving lower and mid back tension. It will get your back even more used to being stretched like it would on a course.

Pro tip: if you need support on the twist, place a pillow between your legs

5. Warrior II

Skill level: beginner

How To Do The Pose

  • Move into a high lunge position
  • Place your back foot at a 90-degree angle
  • Keep upright while placing tension on the front leg
  • Extend your arms out horizontally where they are in line with your head
  • Look straight over your front hand

Pro tip: if you want a deeper stretch in your quad, lean a little further forward.

6. Tree Pose

Skill level: beginner

How To Do The Pose

  • Stand on your right leg firmly, lifting your leg up gently
  • Bring your leg knee above your waist
  • Then open it like a gate
  • Place your left foot above your knee if you can
  • Keep the heel in towards the thigh
  • Bring the palms of your hands together into the center of your body
  • Hold for 15+ seconds
  • Repeat on the other side

This is all about stability. Thanks to this exercise, you will be more stable on each leg, which can help when twisting at speed on one leg during your swing.

Pro tip: If you cannot get your leg above the knee, don’t rest it on the knee. Instead, place it on your shin.

7. Triangle Pose

Skill level: intermediate

How To Do The Pose

  • Have your front foot facing forward and your back foot facing at a 45-degree angle
  • Place your hand (same side as front foot) on your ankle
  • Have your other hand open up and reach up
  • Lift your chest and have your wrist in line with your shoulder

You will be stretching your core and shoulders in this post to access a greater range of movement, which will be handy for your swing. Additionally, your spinal rotation will be helped too.

Pro tip: if you cannot reach down far enough, you can use a block to assist you

8. Seated Spinal Stretch

Skill level: beginner

How To Do The Pose

  • Place your left leg in front of you and cross your right leg over to the side of your left thigh
  • Press your right foot into the ground
  • Place your right fingertips behind you
  • Hug your left knee and bring it into your chest
  • Inhale while remaining tall
  • Exhale and twist to the right X5
  • Switch sides

This stretch will aid back mobility and further strengthen this area of your body that golfers often give little love.

Pro tip: To make it harder, put both sitting bones resting easily on the mat. Instead of having your left leg in front of you, bring it back to your hip. Also, have your elbow inside of your knee rather than hugging it on the outside for a further stretch.

9. Half Moon Pose

Skill level: intermediate

How To Do The Pose

  • Start in a lunge with your back foot at a 45-degree angle
  • Bring your head over your knee
  • Reach out your hand on the side of your front leg forward
  • Place the hand on the side of your back leg on the side of your leg
  • Rise onto the front leg, lifting the back leg up in line with your body
  • Flex the back foot at a 90-degree angle
  • Hold this position
  • Then reach your back arm towards the sky in line with your other arm touching the floor

This stretch will work on your balance and stability and stretch your arms and shoulders out for more flexibility there. It is one of the most effective and best yoga poses for golf.

Pro tip: Make it harder by gazing up to your hand instead of down

10. Pigeon Pose

Skill level: intermediate

How To Do The Pose

  • Start in the downward dog position
  • As you inhale, send your right leg upwards
  • Then bring your left knee behind the left wrist with your knee and make sure the foot comes inside and under you
  • Walk your back leg directly behind you
  • Ensure your toes are untucked and your foot is pressed into the mat
  • Check your left knee is on the outside of your hip for a great stretch
  • Prop yourself up and keep your upper body high

This will hugely stretch your hip and groin, limiting the chance of injury when swinging if it is consistently done over time.

Pro tip: if there is lots of space between your hip and the ground, you can use a block or a blanket under your butt for support

Read more: The Best Golf Stretches

11. Side Plank

Skill level: beginner

How To Do The Pose

  • Lie on your side
  • Place your other foot on top of your lower foot
  • Put one elbow from underneath your armpit
  • Ensure your arm is straight
  • Lift your body up using your core and keep your abs engaged
  • Tense your glutes
  • Keep yourself straight and your chest up high, rather than hunched over
  • Hold for 30 seconds
  • Switch

This will engage and strengthen your core – a part of your body that rotates a lot when you swing so it’s good to have a strong, stable one.

Pro tip: Make this more challenging by leaning the part of your core closest to the ground lower and then pushing back up into the base position.

12. Camel Pose

Skill level: intermediate

How To Do The Pose

  • Get on your knees and raise your body up straight
  • Inhale there
  • Exhale, push your hips forward, and move your back and upper body backward
  • Gently lower your hands to hold your ankles
  • Keep straight arms, arch your back, and have your head facing backward too

This skill will increase your flexibility, and you will really feel the stretch in your core to create a greater range of movement when swinging.

Pro tip: Do this with control. Don’t fall onto your ankles with your hands. Gently lower them to create the stretch in your core.

13. Superman Pose

Skill level: advanced

How To Do The Pose

  • Lie on your front with your forehead on the ground
  • Lift your arms out in front of you
  • Raise your chest, arms, and legs up off the ground
  • Remember the breath when holding the pose

You will find this tough. It is great for building a strong, stretchy, resistant body as many muscles are tense. The strength gained will enable a more powerful swing.

Pro tip: look straight ahead and don’t allow your head to fall to allow a greater stretch

14. Crow Pose

Skill level: advanced

How To Do The Pose

  • Start in a squatting position
  • Put your elbows just below your knees
  • Place your palms on the ground (shoulder distance apart)
  • Ensure elbows are facing directly backward
  • Move your body forward and bend your arms while on your tiptoes
  • Pull one foot in the air and into your butt
  • Bring the other foot into the butt
  • Hold the pose

The crow pose will aid your body’s balance and focus on completing a skill.

Pro tip: if you really struggle with this, start with your feet on a block and put a block in front of where your head would be too.

15. Handstand

Skill level: advanced

How To Do The Pose

  • Start in a downward dog position (pyramid shape) with your shoulders outstretched and your legs on the ground with your hips raised
  • Look just ahead of your hands
  • Bend your knees and push onto your hands
  • Try to hold the position with your knees bent
  • If successful, slowly raise your legs together high and straight so your body is in a straight line
  • To come down, bring the legs back down and move your feet back on the ground

Pro tip: if you struggle, use a wall to have a solid base behind you for assistance

Example of a Pre-Round Yoga Routine

handsome middle eastern golf player portrait at course at sunny day

Yoga exercises for golf are also helpful as part of a pre-game routine to warm-up the body. Failure to warm-up only increases the risk of pulling a muscle or getting injured. It’s not just as simple as waving your arms about to warm-up.

  • Sun Salutations – 2 minutes
  • Downward Dog – hold for 1 minute
  • Bird Dog – 1 minute each side
  • Warrior II – 1 minute each side
  • Half Moon Pose – 30 seconds each side
  • Tree pose – 30 seconds each side
  • Camel Pose – hold for 1 minute

Example of a Post-Round Yoga Routine

A post-round routine is just as important as a warm-up. Rather than finishing your round and driving off, stretching means that you won’t stiffen up and you will be feeling much fresher than you otherwise would.

  • Reclined twist for 1 minute on each side
  • Seated spinal stretch – 1 minute each side
  • Triangle Pose – 30 seconds each side
  • Pigeon pose – 30 seconds each side
  • Lie on your back with your arms and legs outstretched, practicing deep breaths for 5 minutes (Savasana)

Final Thoughts

Now you know all there is to know about yoga for golfers. It has huge benefits for your game, yet it still has to be unearthed by a surprisingly high number of golfers.

If you were to say to someone: would you like increased mobility, strength, mental game, and flexibility, I think most golfers would bite your hand off. So why isn’t it more common?

We definitely think it is worthwhile. We must add, though, it’s not something you will do twice and see benefits for the rest of your time playing. Like anything, it requires consistency and effort to reap the benefits.

Like yoga, golf is a great way to exercise and the two can go hand in hand.

If you give yoga a try after reading, let us know what you think and what is your go-to exercise!


Does Yoga Help for Golf?

Yoga helps hugely for golf. The benefits of yoga for this sport includes increased mobility, balance, range of movement, and strength. Yoga is a very underrated way for golfers to improve their performance.

How Often Should Golfers Do Yoga?

If golfers do yoga twice per week, this will allow for optimal benefits. You will be challenging your body and increasing mobility multiple times per week, while also gaining enough rest to fit it around your golfing schedule.

Does Rory McIlroy Do Yoga?

As far as we know, Rory McIlroy hasn’t said he does yoga. However, he does lean on lots of exercises for explosivity such as plyometrics and box jumps. Rory has said that more stability has helped increase his distance straight away.

Can Yoga Improve My Swing Speed?

Yes, yoga can improve your swing speed. Putting your muscles under tension for a sustained period of time, over time this builds muscle. The added muscle enables you to hit harder, add a few yards onto your swing, and increase your swing speed.

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Jack was inspired by his Grandad Ron's golfing and grew up playing this great game. Now, he enjoys both playing and writing about it. He is also a big sports fan too. Jack is always looking for ways to find the edge on the course to share with readers.

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