Watch a great player’s swing and one of the things that will stand out is balance. To remain in control throughout the golf swing’s complicated motions, you need stability. You can build stability by improving your balance and strength. Lauren McMillin, a Golf Digest Certified Fitness Trainer, says doing the popular yoga move known as the “Tree Pose” is a great way to improve stability in your golf swing.
“Tree Pose is a balance pose. It can also help us build concentration, strengthen the hips, open the hips and strengthen the core,” McMillin says.
To do the pose, start by standing on your right leg and place your left foot on your right ankle. You can use a golf club to help you balance. Keep your left toes on the ground.
“This helps us get used to standing on one leg, finding a strong, stable foundation before we move further into the pose,” McMillin says.
For the next phase of the pose, feel like you’re pushing down through all parts of your right foot as you bring the left foot up to rest on your right calf. Keep your right knee flexed throughout this move.
“Keeping a bend in the standing leg makes sure the muscles in the standing leg are activated and you’re not locking out the knee joint,” McMillin says.
For some golfers, this is the right place to stop and hold the pose for a few breaths before switching sides.
But if you’re feeling good with your left foot at your right calf and think you can do more, McMillin says to engage your core as you slide your foot up to the right knee. If your hip flexibility allows it, you can take the pose a step farther and bring your foot up to your right inner thigh.
Hold for a few breaths and then switch sides.
As you build proficiency, you could be able to take the golf club you were using for balance, and lift it above your head, like McMillin is doing in the photo.
The balance, strength and concentration required to do Tree Pose mirrors what you need to remain in control throughout your golf swing. McMillin says to hold this pose for 30 second to one minute on each side and to do this five times perweek. You’ll start to feel more stable in your golf swing.