Pilates Improves Your Golf Game in Three Ways

Stay in the game longer – prevent overuse injury

Most golfers develop overuse injuries at some stage of the game – particularly if you play a lot. Elbow pain, low back discomfort, hip or knee irritability, shoulder pain – it comes with the territory. Most of these injuries are due to inflammation in soft tissue structures – fascia, tendon, ligaments, meniscus, labrum and intervertebral discs – and can be difficult to treat, particularly if you don’t stop playing.  Fragile soft tissue structures respond well to a regular Pilates practice keeping your body safe from overuse injury.

Damaged fascia becomes sticky limiting range of movement and resulting in pain and stiffness. Highly innervated with pain receptors, these soft tissue structures let you know when it is time to lay off whether you want to or not. Nip pain in the bud when it’s whispering to you – don’t wait for shouting.

Even one session will help hydrate fascia stressed from overuse. Drinking water doesn’t help – water in fascia is referred to as “bound” water not free to flow. To push out water containing waste materials from inflammation, the tissue has to be stretched or compressed. This in turn allows fresh fluid or plasma to flow in and help heal stressed areas.

Constantly moving in one direction will cause fascia to remodel to accommodate the unilateral movement pattern. This creates imbalances in the body and stresses the spine and joints. Restore balance and posture through a consistent Pilates practice.

 Get your body ready to swing – improve flexibility

 As we get older, bodies get stiffer. If we don’t stretch, muscles shorten and over time this moves into the “casing” of the muscle or fascia. The final repository of stiffness is the fascia and while it is slow to stiffen it’s also slow to lengthen. A regular Pilates practice will do the trick. Many individuals feel immediate relief even after a single session just from hydrating the fascia but a regular practice is needed to improve flexibility.

While fascia runs through and around all tissues of the body, the direction of force in fascia runs in bands referred to as meridians. Stretching the body along these meridians frees dense and sticky areas of inflammation restoring flexibility. The use of Pilates equipment is ideally suited to improve flexibility in the core – shoulders, spine and hips. Try it and see if your turn improves.

Tune up your athleticism – better balance, coordination and power

 Yes it’s good to stand on one leg to improve balance but we don’t hit a golf ball standing still. Because Pilates is done on a moving carriage, many exercises challenge dynamic (moving) balance. Pilates challenges balance in many planes of motion and in different postures – standing, kneeling, squatting, rotating and jumping. We don’t have you standing on your head on the moving reformer but every other position is fair game.

 Pilates is a perfect exercise to train the soft tissue structures of the body for athletic performance.

First, fascia can generate force on its’ own independent of muscular activity. It’s a player in generating stored elasticity needed for activities requiring torque. It also responds to emotional input. Stories where individuals perform heroic feats in response to fear are thought to be due to fascial force. Training your fascia may help with competition nerves or yips.

Second, fascia is rich in proprioceptive receptors. Proprioception is the ability to know where your body is in space or in lay terms, athletic coordination. Pilates “trains” fascia by improving the signal between the mind and soft tissue structures of the body.

Pilates doesn’t discriminate between genders – it works great for men and women!

 

 

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