The Pilates system of exercise was developed by Joseph Pilates, a German emigre who was born in the late 1800s and came to the US in the mid-1920s. Originally called Contrology, it emphasizes concentration and control with the integration of flexibility, strength, precision, breath, flow of movement, and awareness of the body and mind. Pilates involves specific exercises performed on their own and in conjunction with specially designed apparatus and equipment. It is one of the only exercise systems that work from the inside out, strengthening the core or powerhouse muscles in the center of the body. These include the abdominals, obliques, lats and glutes, the muscles that are responsible for generating most of the power in the golf swing.
Most of the professional golfers on the PGA tours are exercising to improve their bodies and their games, and many of them (Tiger Woods, Annika Sorenstam, Rich Beam, and Rocco Mediate) are using Pilates. Golfers of all levels find that consistent Pilates practice quickly improves their games and reduces pain and injuries.
Power Golf Pilates helps to lengthen and strengthen muscles while focusing on core strength. Pilates trains the body and mind to work for overall fitness, to build strength without bulking up, to reshape the body using correct biomechanics and alignment principles, and to employ mental focus and precise movement. Power Golf Pilates training develops the physical skills needed to help golfers hit the ball farther, straighter and more accurately.
Principles of Pilates
Mind over matter The
central aim of Pilates is to create a fusion of mind and body, so that
without thinking about it the body will move with economy, grace, and
balance. The end goal is to produce an attention-free union of mind and
body. Practitioners believe in using one's body to the greatest
advantage, making the most of its strengths, counteracting its
weaknesses, and correcting its imbalances. The method requires that one
constantly pay attention to one's body while doing the movements.
Paying attention to movement is seen as so vital that it is considered
more important than any other single aspect of the movements.
Pilates believed in circulating the blood so that it could awaken all
the cells in the body and carry away the wastes related to fatigue. For
the blood to do its work properly, he maintained, it has to be charged
with oxygen and purged of waste gases through proper breathing. By this
standard, if you stop breathing during exercise, there is an error in
your practice. Full and thorough inhalation and exhalation are a part
of every Pilates exercise. Pilates saw forced exhalation as the key to
full inhalation. Pilates breathing should be done with concentration,
control, and precision. Proper and effective breathing, not only
oxygenates the muscles, but also reduces tension in the upper neck and
shoulders. Pilates attempts to properly coordinate this breathing
practice with movement, including breathing instructions with every
called the very large group of muscles in the center of the body,
encompassing the abdomen, lower back, hips, and buttocks, the powerhouse or core.
All energy for Pilates exercises is said to begin from the powerhouse
and flow outward to the limbs. In other words, physical energy exerted
from the center should coordinate movements of the extremities.
demands intense focus. For instance, the inner thighs and pelvic floor
may be assessed when doing a standing exercise that tones the triceps.
Beginners are instructed to pay careful attention to their bodies,
building on very small, delicate fundamental movements and controlled
Control Joseph Pilates built his method on
the idea of muscle control. Practitioners are instructed to perform
every exercise with the utmost control, including all body parts, to
avoid injury and produce positive results. In Joseph Pilates' writings,
he very frequently emphasizes not intensity or multiple repetitions of
a movement, but proper form for safe, effective results.
movement in the Pilates method has a purpose. Every instruction is
considered vitally important to the success of the whole. The focus is
on doing one precise and perfect movement, rather than many halfhearted
ones. The goal is for this precision to eventually become second
nature, and carry over into everyday life as grace and economy of
Flow or efficiency of movement Movement
is expected to be kept continuous between exercises through the use of
appropriate transitions. Once precision has been achieved, the
exercises are intended to flow within and into each other in order to
build strength and stamina.