The benefits of pilates for golfers

Whether you are an experienced golfer, weekend player or new to the sport, Pilates can prove to be very beneficial for your golfing abilities.  Pilates exercises have an emphasis on rotation, spinal flexibility and trunk stability which means that both professional and recreational golf players can gain a lot from nurturing a regular Pilates practice.  In addition, Pilates can help golfers with injury prevention and injury recovery. Due to the repetitive movements of golf, players put themselves at risk of overusing particular muscles which can lead to pain/strain and possible injury.

To excel at golf requires skill, power, finesse, and body awareness.  Therefore, a lack of flexibility, poor core strength, and misalignment or restrictions in rotation will hamper your improvement and success with the game.  Pilates hones many of the skills that are essential to playing golf and players can benefit from adding Pilates to their workout routine to maintain strength and function to continue to play well. In particular, the Pilates mat repertoire addresses balance, agility, core stabilization, rotation, and spinal mobility in all planes which are all essential movement patterns required to play golf.

The benefits of Pilates for golfers

Advanced Core Strength - Having core strength in golf is just as important as any other activity. One way to improve performance, longevity and reduce the risk of injury is by training and strengthening the core muscles.  Golf is centred around rotation of the body and driving power from the ground, through your core to the club and the ball. With a stronger core comes increased power and, therefore a more powerful, controlled swing. Not only that, a strong core, impacts so many other factors like improving your posture and lessening the pressure on your back and neck which often causes acute back pain.

Enhanced Flexibility  - Flexibility is a critical factor in becoming a successful golfer. Flexibility enables golfers to reach a full range of motion which in turn allows you to reach maximum potential strength and distance.  Pilates exercises will target improving flexibility and range of movement through the hips, shoulders, pelvic-lumbar, and thoracolumbar regions which is beneficial for golfers.

Improve Body Balance and Stability - Body balance and stability creates a good foundation for golfers to execute an effective swing with power behind it. The success behind your swing lies in the control over overall range of motion and the coordinated rotation of the body, predominantly, the shoulders and the hips. This is not possible without balance and stability from the pelvis. Pilates helps with pelvic and spine alignment so that you’re able to transition through movements with ease and control. In Pilates, this is done by lengthening tight muscles, strengthening weak muscles and engaging the deep core muscles to increase pelvic and spine stability and improve muscular imbalances. Pilates standing alignment and standing spinal mobility exercises are also critical to improving golf skills.

Injury Prevention and Rehabilitation - Pilates is lesser known for its ability to effectively help individuals in their injury rehabilitation and injury prevention. This is largely down to the holistic approach of Pilates which focuses on the entire body to treat any imbalances which may be creating compensatory patterns. Using unilateral movements, Pilates aims to develop even muscles on either side of the body to reduce unnecessary pressure on overcompensating muscles. Pilates also helps to correct postural problems which can often cause injury. A poor posture leads to both shortened and weak muscles; Pilates focuses on lengthening and strengthening muscles, particularly the core, which is great for alignment.  As golf is a game of repetition and asymmetry and requires players to repeat the same essential movement, Pilates is the ideal antidote for regular golf players. Most golfers will swing only with their dominant arm and, over time, this can create imbalances in the body as some muscles become overused and others weaken.  Given the repetitive patterns and muscle endurance that golf requires, injuries are common which is why  creating a regular Pilates routine is an essential training tool that will help to keep the body in balance as well improving game performance.


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