The Swing of Things

A lot of summer sports involve being handy with a racquet, a bat, or a club. My father’s side of the family was a golfing family. The family cottage was full of golf themed knick knacks and punny wall hangings, trophies and mounted hole-in-one Titleist balls, and an historic postcard featuring my grandfather on the fairway at Wasagaming in Riding Mountain National Park. My dad was a Science and Phys. Ed. teacher who tried to get in nine holes several weekday mornings before class–often with some of his students–and coached a variety of sports. I never once saw the man stretch. He died when I was in my twenties, so he never knew me as a Pilates instructor, but I think now how I could have helped him in many ways with the information I’ve acquired over the years.

Why train for golf? A motion as complex as a golf swing requires: mental focus and physical precision; flexibility through the spine, hips and shoulders; core strength; balance; and power from the ground up.

How exactly can Pilates help your golf game? Developing body awareness, for example, helps a golfer attain the necessary posture, hinging at the hip and maintaining a neutral pelvis—the most shock absorbing position for the body—while keeping the deep abdominal muscles firing.

Improving core strength helps protect the low back from strain, increases power, and allows a golfer to maintain critical angles in the body during the golf swing. Pilates repertoire challenges muscles such as the obliques, back extensors, glutes, adductors and abductors, which play an essential role in an effective golf swing.

Improved core strength and increased body awareness will help you reach the ultimate goal: increasing club head speed and accuracy, allowing you to hit the ball farther and hopefully straighter!

Stretching without strengthening won’t develop power! The best golfers in the world don’t just do a few wall stretches before or after a round, but stay strong and mobile through a full spectrum of activities and training that boosts their overall physical and mental fitness.

We already know your Pilates practice can strengthen your body, as well as improve posture and mobility, so this month we’re focusing on exercises that can help improve your performance on the golf course, the tennis court, and even in your pickleball league, as we get into the swing of things.

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See you in class!

Pam Ferguson
Retrofit Master Instructor
Lead Instructor/Operations Associate

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