Golf Tips: Yoga Exercises for Back Pain

By S.F. Heron

Trying to swing a golf club with a sore back invites pain, stiffness and high scores. Many individuals have turned to yoga to improve their game because it increases muscle strength and flexibility and gently conditions the body after injury. Yoga exercises for back pain also help by using muscles throughout the body to improve posture and provide pain relief. Conveniently for golfers, many poses, such as the forward bend, can be done between holes to alleviate tension in the back.
 

Cat and Cow Stretch

Increase flexibility and strength along the spine by performing cat and cow poses. Position yourself on your hands and knees on the floor or ground. Align your back parallel to the ground and place your hands aligned under your shoulders with fingers splayed. Align the knees under the hips and relax your neck to allow the head to hang freely with eyes directed at the floor. With controlled and deep breathing, arch your back like a cat on the inhale, tucking your chin to your chest as you look toward your knees. This is cat pose. After holding this stretch for a few seconds, shift to cow pose on an exhale. For cow pose, lift your head and shoulders up, turning your spine into a gentle U-shape  Cycle between these two poses to increase flexibility and strength in your back.

Corpse Pose

Although this pose sounds rather ominous, it relieves pressure on the lower back. Lie on the floor flat on your back with your arms extended near but not touching your side and with the palms facing upward. Keep your legs in a natural, relaxed position: Your knees should turn out slightly just as they would naturally. Hold the pose for several minutes. Breathe in and out slowly as you feel the tension leave your lower back. If the corpse pose causes pain, try placing your feet flat on the floor.

Forward Bend

The bending forward posture targets the hamstrings and sciatic nerve to relieve lower back pain. Stand with your feet together and relax your entire body from the shoulders to the feet. Take a deep breath and lift your arms straight up to the ceiling and feel the stretch. Breathe out as you bend forward toward your toes in a slow, measured movement. Try to touch your toes: The ultimate goal of this posture is touching your head to your knees, something that can only be accomplished with sustained stretching. Don't overextend or you'll risk injury. Move slowly and smoothly through this posture, continuing to breathe the entire time.

Warnings

Never stretch to the point of pain. Listen to your body, if you push deeper into stretches than your body is ready for you risk serious injury. 

About The Author

S.F. Heron is an avid gardener with three years of experience in online writing and a working background in aviation and earth and ocean sciences. She is published on various sites, including Helium, eHow and Xomba. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in journalism from the University of Maryland.

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