Pilates The Newest Way To Improve Your Golf Swing

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Golfers are constantly looking for ways to improve their game. They may hire instructors or pore over endless videos by golf masters. Some spend hours at the driving range, hoping practice will be what it takes. Other golfers are turning to Pilates when traditional methods don't yield the desired results.

Pilates (puh-LAH-teez) is a method of strength training that was developed in the early 20th century by Joseph Pilates. Pilates found that you could strengthen the core body muscles, the "powerhouse," encompassing the abdomen, lower back, hips, and buttocks, for overall health. His is a total body conditioning program that emphasizes proper alignment, centering, concentration, control, precision, breathing, and flowing movement.

Today, Pilates is one of the fastest-growing fitness activities in America. Since the cost of a private Pilates session with a properly licensed instructor is comparable to or only slightly more expensive than a personal training session, it is something anyone can try.

Because of these points, Pilates has grown outside the world of strictly fitness into the realm of rehabilitation, sports and improving day-to-day activities.

"Your golf instructor can tell you how to change and improve your swing, but sometimes your body just won't move that way," says Sarah Christensen, founder of Hole in One Pilates. "Pilates techniques develop a solid core of strength with flexibility, stability, balance, alignment, and posture -- all of the body requirements for the golf swing." While any Pilates routine will help general performance, Hole in One Pilates™ was designed specifically to enhance the biomechanics of the golf swing. Many of the exercises have also been adapted to men's physical requirements, and new exercises have been added for increasing rotation and flexibility in the neck, shoulders, torso, and upper back.

Golfers like Tiger Woods and Butch Harmon, "Golf Digest's" #1 golf instructor, aren't the only sports figures adding Pilates to their routines. The NBA's New Jersey Nets now have Pilates equipment in their weight room and frequently have equipment shipped to hotels when the team is on the road. Additionally, everyone from football stars to baseball pitchers are incorporating Pilates training into their workouts to improve performance or prevent injury. Some players once made fun of their wives and girlfriends for doing Pilates, but quickly have learned the benefits Pilates provides.

In Payson, Pilates classes are offered at the Payson Athletic Club and at Gila Community College.

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