What do Tiger Woods, Annika Sorenstam, and Rich Beam have in common?
As professional golfers, these athletes all know the same thing: that pilates is a fantastic cross training tool for any golfer looking to improve their game and prevent injuries.
So how exactly does pilates help golfers improve their game, and how can you integrate it into your exercise routine? Let’s talk about it.
“Golfers of all levels find that consistent Pilates practice improves their games and reduces pain and injuries.” – the PGA
Rotation, strength, and stability
An effective full-body workout, pilates builds strength, flexibility, and control of the body through concentration, alignment, and breath work. This is incredibly important in any sport, but especially for golf.
Your golf swing is the result of a complex system of muscles working together to produce a force. It requires a tremendous amount of self-awareness and control in order to build muscle memory and precision in your game.
While golf is a relatively low-impact sport, it also stresses the body in unique ways – due to its repetitive and asymmetric force on the body, many golfers experience increased injuries on their weaker side. Common injuries in golf include issues related to the back, shoulders, elbows, hands, and wrists. In order to prevent injuries that would keep them off the green, many golfers turn to pilates.
Pilates is a full-body conditioning exercise centered around the concept of balance and alignment. Many of the movements in our classes focus on core strength, which is a key component not only to eliminate back pain, but also to provide a crucial foundation of control that can separate the amateurs from the pros.
When your core is strong, your back doesn’t take the brunt of your movement. You have better control and a stronger center of gravity. When you move from your core, you initiate every swing from the same place, which leads to a better, more consistent game.
When you have a strong core, you can increase the force of your shots without sacrificing accuracy.
And it’s not just about the force of your swing – pilates’ focus on posture can reduce lower back strain, and improved shoulder stability can alleviate common shoulder, wrist, and elbow pains.
“Pilates lengthens and strengthens muscles while building a uniformly developed balanced body, focusing on core strength – abs, gluteals, lower back, pelvic muscles, inner thighs, and intrinsic, deep stabilizers throughout all joints of the body. Pilates is whole body exercise just as the golf swing is.” – Mike Wright and Lynda Lippin, ‘Pilates and Golf: A Perfect Match’
Exercises that work
As in golf, pilates is not about having the biggest muscles. It’s about control – control over your movement and control over your mind.
In our classes, we help clients increase self-awareness and focus on creating a stable body. A stable body consists of everything from balance and coordination to posture, endurance, and muscle tone. We work to develop both sides of the body equally, and many of the exercises in our studios seamlessly integrate into any golfer’s workout routine!
Our bridging exercises strengthen the core, while standing leg splits improve balance. Rotational exercises can help with following through on your swing, and our rotator cuff exercises build strength in the rotator cuff.
No time, no problem.
One of the best parts about pilates is its efficiency – in just one hour, you go through an effective full-body workout that targets every muscle group. So whether your schedule is crazy or you prefer to spend all your time on the green, pilates is the perfect way to cross-train without taking away from the other priorities in your life.
Here at RTR Pilates, we offer more than 300 classes/week, varying from 6:15am – 7:15pm. So no matter where you are or when you have the time, there’s a class that can work with your schedule.
Join us today and go from bogey to birdie in no time! Get your first month of unlimited classes for just $129.