Pilates and Golf Fitness

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Pilates for Golf

“It's not the big muscles that you target, it's the little core muscles that give you stability and rotational speed.”
—Greg Norman in Sports Illustrated

Golf. Even the word evokes a sense of calm and leisure. But golfers know how difficult the game is to play. Success hinges on the swing. The perfect golf swing requires a combination of balance, stability, strength, flexibility and power – all executed in a split second and consistently for 18 holes.

The repeated action of the golf swing causes some muscles to be overused and others to weaken, causing muscle imbalances. For a golfer, these muscle imbalances can occur in the legs, hips, arms, shoulders and lower back. They can affect your game. Your drives may be shorter and less accurate, your stamina may decrease and the potential for injury becomes much higher.

Many golfers – from weekend warriors to the game’s elite – include Pilates as an essential part of their conditioning program. Why do they choose Pilates?

Benefits of the Pilates Golf Fitness Program

  • Strengthens back muscles evenly for a smoother, more powerful swing.
  • Increases shoulder range of motion for an improved backswing and follow-through.
  • Increases hip and torso strength and flexibility for greater distance and power.
  • Restores natural posture and body alignment for improved swing consistency.
  • Improves overall flexibility, strength, and balance to reduce injury risk.
  • Decreases fatigue because of less strain on your body.

To improve, golfers need a conditioning program that can correct muscle imbalances, strengthen essential core and stabilizer muscles and prevent injury. With its focus on core strength, flexibility, stability and balance, Pilates is a proven, powerful tool for golf fitness. It can improve your golf game and help prevent the types of injuries that plague golfers.

Mary’s Pilates Golf Fitness Program

Mary’s program begins with an individualized session to assess your movement, including postural alignment, flexibility, coordination, strength and balance, as well as to evaluate any injuries, performance goals or other special considerations you may have. While some of the exercises and stretches may be generally familiar to you, it is the additional specific Pilates techniques that make them so effective. Fundamental Pilates principles like centering (initiating movement from your core), control, and precision will provide the tools you need to hit the ball consistently farther and straighter while helping to eliminate and avoid back pain and reduce the risk of injury.

How Quickly Will You See Improvement in Your Game?

Think back to the first time you held a club and how many times it took for you to feel in control of your stroke. Every person is different when it comes to developing certain skills; the same is true of Pilates. There is no “magic exercise” that will instantly improve your game. Pilates is taught in such a way that skills are layered on gradually so that the conscious practice eventually becomes subconscious. As new skills are mastered, more skills are introduced while others are simultaneously refined. A general rule to see results: give yourself at least ten (hour long) sessions. If you are golfing regularly adding a Pilates session even once a week will improve your game and help prevent injuries.