14 February 2019

Half-an-hour of yoga each week may significantly improve golf swing

Half-an-hour of yoga each week may significantly improve golf swing

A golfer in a motion capture suit

Just half-an-hour of yoga each week may significantly improve your golf swing, according to new research from Abertay University in Dundee.

Participants in the study, who were all golfers, took part in two 15-minute yoga sessions each week for a period of six-weeks.

The main focus of the exercise was the rotation of the hips to the torso, a key aspect of golf performance commonly known as the X-Factor stretch.

Sport scientists recorded a two to three degree difference in this range of motion, which can equate to increased club head speed during the golf swing.

They also recorded a slight improvement in hand speed.

Each yoga session was designed to be simple to execute, with participants following an online tutorial after having a demonstration from the lead researcher.

Dr Ashley Richardson, who co-authored the study with Dr Graeme Sorbie, said: “A common issue with golfers when it comes to training is the fear that they can’t become stronger as they’ll lose flexibility. This in turn could affect their golf swing.

“While yoga has a slightly different demographic to golf, it promotes both flexibility and strength. Each session was short, meaning it won’t take much time out of a golfer’s life.

“Golf has traditionally lagged behind other sports when it comes to fitness, but that is starting to change as people realise how important it is.”

Dr Sorbie added: “The difference in X-Factor stretch may seem small, but in context it’s not. The study was conducted over a six week period and it’s possible that the improvement would be even greater over a longer period of time.

“Although yoga is becoming more popular in football as a way of recovering from injury, it’s not an area which has been hugely researched.

“It’s possible that it could be applied to other sports, with similar rates of success.”

The data was collected by an undergraduate student, and it is now hoped that a larger study can be conducted in the future.

For information about Abertay University's sport courses visit: https://www.abertay.ac.uk/schools/social-and-health-sciences/division-of-sport-and-exercise-sciences/

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