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What are Golf Pilates?

By Vickie Christensen
Updated May 23, 2024
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Golf Pilates is a total body workout that uses a variety of exercises to condition golfers. It integrates exercise movement patterns that enhance stability, strengthen muscles, increase strength and power, improve flexibility, and lengthen tight muscles to improve balance. The goal of this type of Pilates is to help the golfer to become more fit so that he or she can hit the ball straighter and farther. Principles used in this type of performance training follow the guidelines established by Joseph Pilates, the American College of Sports Medicine, and the United States Golf and Fitness Association.

Balance is an integral part of a successful golf swing. One aspect of golf Pilates is teaching golfers to have a correctly balanced posture. In Pilates, the core of the body is considered a girdle of strength that needs to balance properly. Exercises are taught that increase stability and balance.

In order to give the golfer more power, golf Pilates focuses on strengthening weak muscles. A personal assessment by a golf Pilates trainer helps identify which muscles are weaker and need to be built up through exercise. Having more powerful muscles can improve a golfer’s swing. Also, improving muscle strength can help reduce the possibility of back pain or shoulder injury.

Many current exercise programs work on isolating specific muscles and building bulk. Golf Pilates is a total workout that tries to promote smooth and strong movement patterns instead. Just as a machine works more effectively if all its components are working well, golf Pilates aims at integrating exercises so that the golfer works efficiently with all his or her muscles working smoothly together.

Another goal of this type of Pilates is to teach specific muscle groups to work in the correct order. Usually, multiple sessions are needed so that a golfer can learn the correct pattern of exercise and practice enough to build up strength. Many different organizations offer specific training in golf Pilates.

A variety of fitness routines compose golf Pilates. Examples of exercises that golfers might perform include leg squats with an exercise ball that would build up strength and spine twists that would increase the flexibility of the shoulders and the ability of the trunk or core of the body to move. An effective program would examine the totality of muscle movements needed to play golf and work on complete body conditioning in those areas. The ultimate goal of these Pilates fitness programs is for individuals to use the techniques learned to improve their golf games.

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