Golf is a sport that demands a
delicate balance of mental and physical skill.
It is asymmetrical, meaning it is
one sided in its movements. When you are
playing 18 holes over three to four hours, you are repeatedly bending over the
ball and twisting your body in the same way each time.
The same muscles are being used
over and over, which can lead to muscle imbalances and possible over-use
injuries in the shoulders, back and hips.
If your core muscles – the muscles
of your back, abdominals and glutes – are weak, this can also contribute to
increased injuries to your back from these repetitive movements.
Your posture is also a crucial
component of the game in relation to an effective swing. Posture has a positive
influence on power production and it stands to reason that swinging a golf club
without the appropriate postural stability would affect the outcome of your
movement – and your golf score!
The golf swing itself is one of the
most unnatural, complex and explosive movements in sport and to ensure proper
sequencing of the swinging action, you must begin with a strong base of support.
Without training that addresses
this central power source, the aches and pains associated with the golf’s
inherent muscle imbalances can send even the most avid of golf enthusiasts to
the clubhouse early.
For the most part, Pilates and golf
share the same basic principles, requiring flexibility, rotation and core and
gluteal strength. For golfers looking to stay healthy on the greens, Pilates is
the ideal golfing partner.
While the golf-pro may help correct
swings and take strokes off a player’s game, the Pilates specialist can improve
a golfer’s performance, stamina and stability. The combination of the two can
really work wonders for your game.
These changes can help clients
drive the ball farther and avoid fatigue and injury.
Pilates can also help an athlete
develop core strength, increase flexibility, assist in rehabilitation after an
injury and create balance through the entire body.
As a result, athletes can withstand
rigorous training regimes and ultimately improve their golf drive, prevent or
recover from injury, and maintain an optimal weight for their activity of
There are so many benefits to
Pilates for golf and all sport in general, so what are you waiting for? Give
Pilates a try!
Deanna Smith is an exercise
physiologist and Pilate’s instructor at ENERGY. She can be contacted at
[email protected] or 946-6006.