Maggie Trainor is the assistant pro at Dundas Valley Golf & Curling club and also part of the Smashing team at the group clinics all winter. I am so pleased that she agreed to guest blog this edition on how to stay in golf shape with yoga. Maggie teaches in Dundas and her contact info is below.
One of the things we struggle with a lot in our winter months is how to stay in golf shape and maintain the skills we have built up all season! I am a strong advocate for hitting indoors and taking golf lessons indoors, but if you don’t have a facility nearby, the least you can do is work on your flexibility. In this blog, Maggie Trainor, (who you will have met if you did any of the Skills clinics), will take you through her voews on staying in golf shape. Not only is she a great golf instructor, she is a golf yoga instructor as well! And, yes, I am very lucky to have Maggie on the Smashing team! Feel free to connect with Maggie if you have any questions or need instruction in the Dundas area.
Looking at the majority of golfers on any professional tour, it becomes clear that fitness plays a role in golf performance at any level. Tour players spend hours in the gym executing highly specialized workout routines that help increase stamina, functional strength and mobility. While it’s not likely that we can all dedicate the time and effort of a tour player to our own golf game, we can take some steps in the off-season to improve our fitness level, and stay in golf shape.
Keeping up your stamina over the winter months increases your chances of starting the golf season well, and avoiding that mid-back nine fatigue. If you’re like me and aren’t a big fan of the typical cardio workout, yoga is another way to get your blood pumping. For the biggest benefit to your heart, look for a more active style of yoga such as hatha-vinyasa.
As an instructor of both golf and yoga, I know that health and golf both require good posture. You will see great benefits from improving your posture this winter. Poor posture can lead to wayward golf shots and loss of power, as it effects your balance and stability. Good posture involves the shoulders stacking over the hips, a natural curve in the lumbar spine, shoulders pulled back, and the ribs pulled in. Reach the crown of your head towards the sky and tuck your chin slightly to align your neck with the rest of your spine.
Core strength will help to support your spine whether you are standing upright or in your golf posture. Activities like yoga and pilates are excellent options to help build the deep core muscles. Both stress the importance of keeping the spine long and in proper alignment, while also helping to build strength. Yoga has the added benefit of helping to increase your flexibility and range of motion.
To stay in golf shape this winter, look to incorporate activities that get your heart rate up and emphasize core strength and proper alignment of the spine. Try to keep a club in your hands in the off-season as well if you are hoping to get off to a quick start in the spring. Stopping in at your local indoor facility, or even taking some golf lessons over the winter can make a huge difference in the level of your game.