A massive treat for you guys today! What follows is a guest post from all round Pilates genius and blogger, Amanda Tennant. Pilates is great for improving core strength, balance, co-ordination and mobility, just as required in the golf swing. So check out what Amanda has to say (thanks so much by the way!) and get to it:
Let me begin by telling you a smidge about me. I am a Missouri licensed physical therapist, a pilates studio owner, and a pilates instructor. I opened my own physical therapy-based pilates studio, Therapeutic Pilates, LLC, (linked to www.therapeuticpilates.org) about 10 years ago where I teach pilates for rehabilitation and for fitness. I am really passionate about my work and I greatly enjoy the variety of clients that come my way.
Currently, I’m also working toward my doctoral degree in the field of naturopathy (natural medicine) as I believe in a holisitic approach to healing, health, and life. My most recent project (aka my guilty pleasure) is my pilates-based blog, Amanda’s COREner. (linked to http://www.amandascorener.com) I love connecting with others regarding pilates, health, and wellness, and blogging grants me the chance to reach a much wider audience–including YOU!
I cannot claim to be an avid golfer, although I did take a college golf course which I immensely enjoyed. Right off the first swing, I learned that Pilates and Golf have something fundamental in common–when performed properly, they are both much HARDER than they initially look. 😉
What I can claim is the fact that I have taught pilates to many, many golfers over the years. Along the way, I’ve learned a thing or two about pilates for your sport and I’m here to share that knowledge with you today.
Perhaps you’ve never heard of pilates or don’t know much about it. Don’t worry. I once had someone ask if I was a bartender when I told them I taught pilates for a living because they thought it was the name of a mixed drink! Not quite…
Pilates is a low impact movement system based on flexibility and strengthening exercises to help bring the body back into balance (or to maintain balance). The exercises are core-based, which means that all of them require the active participation of your abdominal muscles (transversus abdominis, rectus abdominis, internal obliques, and external obliques), your back muscles, and often your gluteal muscles. Performing pilates exercises regularly will improve your alignment, balance, coordination, posture, postural awareness, fluidity of movement, and it will teach you to better integrate your mind, body, and breath. Can you see how some of these principles might help out your golf game?
When working with my golfers, I find that in addition to strengthening the core (which will help “power” your game), all exercises that emphasize opening the side body and increasing spinal rotation (particularly thoracic spinal rotation) are extremely beneficial. In other words, if you can commit to trying out some or all of the pilates exercises that I demonstrate in my Pilates for Golf routine, then you’ll likely get to do a bit more “showing off” on the golf course.
I firmly believe in mastering the basics of pilates in order to achieve success in any type of pilates program, whether mat or apparatus based. If you are just starting out, then please take time to read up on how to appropriately contract your transversus abdominis muscle, (linked to http://amandascorener.com/category/pilates-transverse-abdominal-muscle/) find your neutral pelvic alignment, (linked to http://amandascorener.com/category/pilates-neutral-pelvic-alignment/) and perform thoraco-diaphragmatic breathing (aka pilates breathing). (linked to http://amandascorener.com/category/pilates-breathing-2/) These foundational components alone will help improve your golf game–guaranteed. I’m also including a couple of videos demonstrating how I teach these pilates basics to my new clients.
Okay, once you know how to position your body, contract your deepest layer of belly muscles, and breathe, then you’re ready to try my Pilates For Golf routine. As I state (more than a few times) throughout this video, no pilates exercise should ever feel PAINFUL!!! If something hurts, then please modify the exercise accordingly or refrain from doing it altogether.
Thank you so much for letting me share some pilates with you today and thanks again to Nick for allowing me the space and time to do so!
If you have any questions regarding these exercises, or pilates in general, then please feel free to e-mail me at AmandasCOREner@charter.net. I look forward to hearing from you! Best of luck!!!