If you’re looking to improve your golf game, pilates can help you to build core stability, develop better balance, flexibility and mental focus. Golf pros including Tiger Woods, David Duval and Annika Sörenstam all incorporate pilates into their regular training regimes.
Guest blogger, Nicole Bausch – registered physiotherapist, MCSP, certified pilates instructor and golf enthusiast – gives an insight into using pilates to improve your game.
Pilates is the ideal partner for all golfers looking to improve their performance and stay healthy on the greens.
Over the last century the golf swing has changed and a modern swing requires a wide shoulder turn while restricting turn in the hips, building torque in the muscles of the lower back and shoulders. Any physical restrictions that impact on ability to swing the club efficiently will limit your ability to improve your game.
Golf and Pilates share the same basic principles, both requiring flexibility and strength.
Pilates can help to:
- increase flexibility of the hips to allow the rotation of the trunk over the hips in the backswing and the follow-through
- increase flexibility in the upper back to allow the torso to rotate over a fixed, stable lower body
- build strength in the posterior hip muscles to provide a stable lower body for the trunk to rotate over in the backswing, and to allow a firm lead side for the golfer to hit against in the follow-through
- build strength of the deep abdominal and core stabilising muscles to stabilise the spine and dissipate the forces that are generated during the swing, as well as helping the golfer maintain the posture during the swing to help them keep the swing on the correct plane
- build strength in the muscles that stabilise the shoulder girdle, which includes the shoulder joint itself and the shoulder blades. This will allow the golfer to keep the arms connected to the trunk, which allows efficient transfer of energy from the body to the arms and ultimately to the club head.
Right to the core
Having a strong core allows a golfer to achieve better positioning over the ball, giving an improved swing. When the golfer emphasises initiating from the core through peripheral limbs, power is generated from the ground up, which leads to an increase in club head speed so the golfer will drive the ball further.
Pilates is not only beneficial for golfers who want to improve their performance, it is also effective in reducing the risk of injuries. Lower back pain is the most common complaint followed by elbow and shoulder injuries.
Lower back pain can occur as a result of the increased rotation and extension in the modern golf swing. Pilates can help increase the range of motion in the trunk and hips, to decrease the incidence of golf related low back pain. Pilates can also help to enhance core stability and strength to decrease the risk of fatigue.
Warming up before golfing has been shown to decrease the incidence of golf injuries. Pilates exercises and stretching can be integrated before hitting the green.
Golfer’s tonic at Constance Hotels
After a few rounds on the green at Constance hotels, treat yourself to a wonderful massage. Our Golfer’s Tonic is a stimulating massage which aids in relaxing and preparing muscles, preventing injuries, improving suppleness and reducing the risk of inflammation before and after golf. Find out more about the golfer’s tonic massage.