We’ve all heard that professional golfers (Tiger Woods, Rocco Mediate, Annika Sorenstan, Camilo Vilegas to name a few) include Pilates in their training regime. It is a marketer’s dream – do Pilates and improve your golf game. But, is it really that simple? And, what about the rest of us?
A survey of more than 1000 amateur golfers revealed some alarming results:
• 60% of amateur golfers sustain one ore more golf-related injuries over the course of their playing years
• The injury rate is higher for those above age 50
• A typical injury results in a loss of more than 5 weeks of playing time
• The most common injuries are to the lower back (35% of injuries), the elbow (33%), the wrist & hand (20%), the shoulder(12%), and the knee (9%).
Source: Dr. Divot’s Guide to Golf Injuries
Golfing seems like such a peaceful sport! What is going on? The golf swing is one-sided, it stresses one side of the body more so than the other and requires flexibility in the back and shoulders.
Where golfers (amateurs and professionals alike) run into trouble is when they use their arms instead of the center of the body (the core) for power. The result is usually injuries to the back, shoulders, elbows, and wrists.
When the strength of the core is transferred to the swing, it becomes more powerful, free, and effortless. And, there is less risk of injury.
With an emphasis on movement from the core, a tailored Pilates program will include exercises that mimic each phase of the swing. A Pilates For Golf program should include a combination of balance, rotation, and flexibility work, using resistance to improve strength. When it does this, it can put power in your swing and most definitely improve your game.