April 20, 2017
How Pilates Can Improve your Golf Game
Over the last several years, more professional athletes have added Pilates exercises to their cross training, both on and off season. Professional football, basketball and baseball players integrate Pilates into their training, and so have other athletes who engage in asymmetrical focused sports. Examples include Andy Murray (professional tennis player), Kerry Walsh (Olympic Volleyball Gold Medalist), Tiger Woods (professional golfer) and Annika Sorenstam (professional golfer) – who regularly use Pilates as an essential training tool to keep the body in balance and improve their performance.
A golf swing is an asymmetrical movement that requires the recruitment of many different muscle groups during the distinct phases of the swing motion. As a golfer, you must address the stabilizing muscles around the joints or the torso. The ever-important golf swing is a complex movement that works the whole body but in an asymmetrical pattern. Pilates exercises can help improve your game by creating symmetry and coordination, improving muscular endurance and increasing range of motion. Pilates focuses on mobility, flexibility, and strength through a full range of motion, which can significantly impact your golf game.
Core and pelvic stability, spinal flexibility, joint mobility, and muscle balance are all key factors that affect your swing in golf and your ability to prevent injuries. Pilates exercises are based on movement from the center of the body, as are most shots in golf. A stronger and more stable core helps golfers attain an optimal swing with increased range of motion and flexibility in your hips and shoulders. Pilates can increase hip and torso flexibility, which gives your shots more distance. Likewise, Pilates can assist your hip turn for greater power through rotation.
As a golfer, muscle imbalances can affect your legs, hips, arms, shoulders, and the lower back, which will directly impact your game. Your drives may be shorter and less accurate, your stamina may decrease, and the potential for injury becomes much higher when the muscular development is not uniform, and the core is weak. Golf requires muscular strength, joint flexibility, neuromuscular training, and balance between mobility and stability. Pilates exercises work on creating uniformity throughout the body, which can improve your stability, flexibility, and strength. Pilates exercises retrain core muscles, including deep stabilizers, hip flexors and extensors, hip abductors and adductors, spinal flexors, and rotators – and all of them play an important role in golf.
You may have addressed various aspects of your swing to improve your golf game, such as stance, grip, and hip/turn ratio. The limitations in your swing, however, will not improve until you address any restrictions in the body. The biomechanics of a swing and the effect on the ball specifically relate to physical limitations, such as lack of flexibility, stiffness in the back, lack of rotation, hip instability, core weakness, and shoulder girdle instability. You can use Pilates to retrain the body and improve your swing, prevent injury, and increase your overall performance. Try a Pilates group session or Private Pilates session to see how Pilates can impact your golf game and to see how you can play without pain!
To learn more, visit Bodhi Pilates or call 303-597-8483.