How Pilates Can Improve Your Golf Game
By: Leslie Hughes - Oct 13, 2020
One look at a Pilates reformer and you may run the other direction. These machines undeniably look like torture devices, but with some determination and a good instructor, you’ll find they are quite the opposite. Not only does reformer Pilates have the power to get you in great shape, it has the power to greatly improve your golf game in a safe and low-impact way.
By adding some Pilates classes to your life, you will quickly see the benefits on the course, and off.
Pilates and Golf: An Unexpected Match
Though golf is a low-impact sport, it still puts strain in our bodies. Because a game of golf is a repetition of the same move over and over again (your swing), our bodies can get quite tense in the areas of heavy use. The areas that we aren’t using in our swings become weaker and this, combined with overuse of other muscles causes an imbalance in our bodies that can lead to issues such as muscle tears.
So how do you keep injuries from happening? By finding a way to balance your body. One of the best ways to do this is by hopping on a reformer. Read on to find out how Pilates will make your life and your golf game better.
Pilates is known as one of the top ways to build a strong core because you use your core throughout the entire workout. Why is a strong core so important to golf? It helps protect your back. The more strength you have in your center, the less chance you’ll have of injuring your back or suffering from back pain.
In addition to that, a stronger core will allow you to have more powerful shots without sacrificing accuracy, which we could all use.
Much of reformer Pilates requires focusing on one leg, one arm, one part of your body at a time which requires balance. This is learned over time, so don’t expect to be able to balance perfectly your first few times.
However, after a few sessions you’ll find yourself more balanced, which will translate to a more stable and strong golf swing.
Overall Strengthening and Lengthening
Pilates is the ideal way to strengthen all your muscle groups in a low-impact way. By focusing on resistance, you are able to safely build up that muscle that will help your ball go further, and in a controlled way.
In addition to strengthening, Pilates also lengthens your muscles, which is why it’s a go-to workout for those looking to build long, lean muscles. This also helps to increase your flexibility, which can help open up your swing and keep you from getting injured.
Glute and Hamstring Strengthening
As much as your core plays a major role in your golf game, your glutes and hamstrings need to be strong in order to make your swing solid and strong. Pilates is an ideal way to strengthen your glute and hamstring muscles without risking injury. Thanks to it’s low-impact moves, Pilates will help keep your body strong, and safe.
Improve Shoulder Flexibility
It’s no secret that shoulders play a major role in your golf game. If your shoulders are tight, your swing will suffer. In order to help loosen up your shoulders, turn to Pilates. The moves in Pilates help to create stability and strength in your shoulders while also giving you a wider range of motion. This helps in making your swing more fluid, more solid, and thus, more powerful.
Improve Overall Flexibility
Because you will be stretching and twisting your body in new ways on your Pilates reformer, you will find yourself opening up to a whole new level of flexibility. This is great for not just your golf game, but for your life as a whole. For golf, greater flexibility means greater rotation which helps to improve your swing.
One of the greatest under-the-radar benefits of Pilates is that it greatly raises body awareness and your ability to engage the right muscles at the right times. This exercise forces you to focus on one muscle at a time, and pushes it to its maximum. Thus, when you’re out on the course, you should find yourself only putting to use the muscles that are meant for your swing and no additional unnecessary ones.
As you can see, there is nothing to lose from adding Pilates to your routine, except the risk of injury. With a couple sessions of Pilates a week, you will see a big difference in your golf game and the way you feel following a long round. Oh yeah, and your body will be in the best shape of your life with this workout, too. What a nice bonus.