Pilates for golfers

Pilates for golfers
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Pilates for golfers

 Golf is a complex, asymmetrical full body sport. 

In order to develop a great golf swing a person needs to build a sound foundation.

•    Learn to engage the core correctly
•    Restore muscles imbalances

By learning how to engage the core muscles properly a platform for stability will be created that will protect the body from potential injury, whilst restoring muscles imbalances will resist fatigue.

Professional golfers are now using Pilates as part of their training regime Tiger Woods, Anika Sorenstam, Rich Beam, Camilo Villege

Regular practice Pilates offers the golfer: оptimum dynamic posture control & spine angle to reduce potential low back strain, improved shoulder stability will relieve shoulder, wrist and elbow pain

Good swing mechanics needs strength and flexibility and an effective set of core muscles.

When a player develops body awareness and is able to move from the core first they will initiate every shot and putt from the same place which will improve consistency with every game of golf played.

Lack of flexibility, strength, power, balance and coordination will directly effect a golfer’s game.  There are many golf fitness programmes available.  However most of them focus on the more superficial muscles.

Bench pressing 100lbs will build strength but not the type that is relevant to how hard a golf ball may be hit.  In fact short tight muscles can impede a golf swing.  If the non-specific golf gains cannot be transferred to the golf specific motor drills a golf coach is giving, then no progress will be made.

Most golfer are not capable of applying their golf coaches instructions because of physical limitations that need addressing off the golf course.  Posture is a main reason golfers experience less than their ultimate results.

Pilates programming whether purely on the mat or using the Pilates professional equipment will address all the elements needed for a great golf swing.

The golf swing starts from the ground up, through strong leg, thigh and hip muscles to generate power through the core to the chest back and shoulders.  It is clear that a strong lower body and a flexible, mobile upper body are prerequisites for a great golf swing.

Any weak link in this chain will reduce the effectiveness of the swing.  Amateur players who have weak lower bodies and core muscles will compensate with their arms which is the main cause of slicing the golf ball. 

All Pilates principles are relevant to these needs. Concentration, Centering, Precision, Flowing movement, Breath control, Routine.

In an ideal world golfers would address their physical limitations before starting their golf training.  However, as most golfers just want to get their hands on the golf club, it will definitely benefit the player who is serious about improving their skill to address any postural as well as strength, flexibility, mobility and coordination issues as well as their golf specific training.

Author: Nuala Coombs
Translation: Kateryna Smirnova

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