Watch Patrea demonstrate the ‘side sit up’ series on a reformer that will help you improve your golf swing.
In the golf swing, you need to be able to do a combination of side flexion (frontal plane movement or side to side motion) and rotation (transverse plane or rotational movement) in your core to wind up behind the ball and create power.
What is great about Pilates is that the exercises take your body through all planes of motion:
The sagital plane
The frontal plane
The transverse (horizontal) plane
I consulted with Pilates expert and 15 to Fit Pilates, Barre and Fitness owner in Mooresville, North Carolina, Patrea Aeschliman on what are the best Pilates exercises to work in different planes of motion just like you do in the golf swing.
Spring is still weeks away. Why not use this time, that you have to spend indoors anyway, to get into golf shape. By the time spring rolls around, you’ll be better equipped to hit the links!
Here are 11 reasons to start a golf-fitness program to motivate you to get to the gym.
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If you have always wanted to start a golf-fitness program, but don’t know how to start, try my Cardiogolf 30-Day Golf-Fitness Program. Now you can start your own golf fitness program in the comfort of your own home or office. New FX-Headphones allow you to listen to me as a I take you through my Cardiogolf 30-Day Golf Fitness Program. The headphones are also preloaded with many hours worth of psychological coaching, mental preparation, practice drills and workouts, from world class golf psychologists.
When most people think of exercise for golf, they think of doing a few stretches and maybe walking, to build endurance. Flexibility and endurance is important for golf, but these types of exercises don’t work on your core muscles; those muscles that are deep within your abdominals, back and hips. Neglecting your core muscles can increase your chances of injury if you practice or play a lot of golf. Due to the repetitive nature of the golf swing, you’ll end up over-using the wrong muscles risking injury.
The American College of Sports Medicine recommends that all adults do some sort of functional fitness training — core-strengthening exercises that mimic everyday activities, such as bending and lifting — in addition to cardio conditioning. For golfers, functional fitness should strengthen muscles used in the golf swing as well as mimic golf swing moves.
According to the ACSM ‘functional fitness training” is recommended for two or three days per week. Exercises should involve motor skills (balance, agility, coordination and gait), proprioceptive exercise training and multifaceted activities to improve physical function and prevent falls in older adults.
For golfers, functional fitness involves integrating the demands of playing golf (not only walking or carrying a bag , but bending to tee up a ball, lunging to get in and out of bunkers, and balancing on unstable surfaces such as in sand or on a sidehill lie) and the movement patterns of the golf swing (rotation, stability, speed and balance). The golfer is rotating almost every joint and muscle in the body as well as stretching through a full range of motion while maintaining balance along with speed, so you’ll want to incorporate exercises that require you to use several muscle groups in one fluid movement. This will strengthen and develop the muscles in the back, abdomen, pelvis, and hips, and promote stability and flexibility — all essential for swing the golf club more efficiently.
Golf is a one-sided sport. We set up to the ball on the same side every single time, we turn back behind the ball in the same direction every single time and then we follow-through in the same direction every single time and we do this for hundreds of repetitions, at high speeds, for hours at a time. It’s no wonder many golfers suffer injuries, aches and pains.
If you are a right-handed golfer, your dominant side (right) is stronger, more flexible and more coordinated than your non-dominant side (left). The opposite for left-handed golfer. The problem with this is that the dominant may take over in the golf swing and cause swing faults that can lead to swing compensations and injuries.
Studies show that focusing on training your non-dominant side can accelerate your improvement. The same study says that the combination of core and non-dominant arm strength exercises can provide a more effective specialized training program than core alone training for golfers to increase their drive distances.
Check out my non-dominant side exercises that I incorporate into my Cardiogolf classes to improve strength, flexibility and coordination on my weaker side.