So you've heard about Pilates in the media, or you may have seen posters where you exercise, you may even have passed by my studio in La Grade Freinet or other studios where you live and wondered what it's about and is the hype true.  Your wondering "what can Pilates do for me"?

I've been a student, teacher and teacher trainer of Pilates for more years than I care to admit to and I can say it's a system of exercise I've never become bored with or surprised when clients or student teachers realise how effective it is when practiced consistently.

Whether you're new to Pilates and exercise in general or are a regular exerciser the benefits of Pilates are clear for everyone whatever their needs.  It's generally accepted there are 6 Pilates Principles although some schools mention 8 or 7 - this is because Joseph Pilates the creator of the technique didn't set down these principles but teachers who continued with his system thought a set of defining formula would be helpful for people trying to understand the technique.

PILATES PRINCIPLES

Concentration:  A fundamental principle - Pilates is a mind and body programme.  When you work with concentrated effort focus and body awareness are heightened.

Centering:  Pilates is practiced from the deep abdominals - those abdominals that stabilise the body, once they're active the more superficial muscles can move the body safely under load.

Control:  When Joseph Pilates developed his technique he called it Contrology.  The aim of the technique is to work in such a way as to reduce the risk of injury from uncontrolled, sloppy movements.  This doesn't mean the exercises are performed super slow, just from the inside out with consistency and quality.

Breathing:  A full breath is recommended during all Pilates exercises not only to keep you alert but also to help with the coordination, timing and rhythm of the movement.

Flowing Movement:  The aim of a well organised Pilates class is to create a smooth, fluid transition between movements that creates a great sense of wellbeing as well as a stress free workout.

Consistency is Key

Taking into account the Principles it's easy to see how regular Pilates classes can help to ease stress, strengthen, tone, mobilise and improve flexibility.  All these qualities will improve your sports and reduce any potential for over use injuries.  Consider how many times you serve during a game of tennis or swing the golf club around 18 holes.

Benefits to You

Clients of all ages tell me how well they feel after a class using both the mat work system as well as the professional equipment, they tell me how their sleep has improved, how previously stiff joints are more mobile how their balance has improved, their game of golf no longer leaves them with low back pain and of course how their posture and body awareness has improved.

Pilates is Not The Circus!

Don't be mis-lead by those acrobatic photos you've seen in magazines or on youtube, Pilates is for everyone whatever their fitness level.  All of the repertoire can be modified to help those with particular issues or delivered in a very athletic way for those who want to improve their fitness level.

Pilates is not "a good stretch" it is a full body technique to help you achieve whatever health and fitness goal you want.

So next time you pass that Pilates studio or class pop your head in - get some more information.

As usual if you need more information or have questions contact me at Go2nuala@mac.com

In Conclusion

Golf is truly a mind & body sport.  Concentration, strength, flexibility, mobility and power are all essential components.  The workload placed on the spine and supporting structure is immense.  When the body is out of balance the risk of injury intensifies.

The Mechanics of Your Golf Swing

During your golf swing your body acts like a whip.  Power production begins at the feet, pushing against the ground, it travels up the legs to drive the hips forward.  Force is transferred through the trunk to the chest upper back and arms.  If any part of the chain is weak or stiff power is lost, the body will have to compensate somehow along the links of the chain resulting not only in loss of power but increasing the potential for injury.

Proper Sequencing - Your Golf Swing:

Your golf swing demands a strong, flexible, coordinated and balanced body.  It's a physically demanding full body sport; only with specific training will injuries be avoided and improvements made to the quality of your performance.  Even if you hire a professional golf coach to work on your technique, if your body is not capable of performing the drills because of stiffness, lack of core strength of mobility problems progress will be slow, at worse may never happen.

To obtain proper sequencing of the Swing Action you will need:

Strong leg, thigh and hip muscles to generate driving power:

These lower body forces must be transferred through a well conditioned mid-section to the upper body

Strong chest, back and shoulder muscles:

Allow for greater acceleration of the club whilst maintaining control through effective arms and forearms

You can see a perfectly executed golf swing needs overall body strength, flexibility and co-ordination - all Pilates principles are relevant.

Concentration, the ability to focus throughout the swing improves skill and power

Centering, the efficient use of the core to stabilise improves power through the hips to increase the length of Tee and Fairway shots.

Precision, the repetitive nature of golf demands consistency, working with this Pilates principle in mind will encourage exact performance every time.

Flowing Movement, will help you to "feel" the swing as opposed to just hitting the ball

Breath, in addition to keeping you fresh and alert throughout your game learning to use a full breath will increase the power and endurance of a shot.  It will also help to create a smooth swing.

Routine, if you can replicate an effective swing pattern, consistency and accuracy, key to a great game of golf will be yours.  The Pilates system of exercise is designed to help you work with focus when performing each movement every time this will eventually result in body awareness becoming automatic.

Studio Pilates La Garde Freinet

Pilates Programming:  when you decide to add Pilates to your golf practice, here at the Studio in La Garde Freinet ( just opposite Bar du Soleil) you'll work with both the professional Pilates equipment as well as floor exercises, the combination of the two systems offer a complete workout whether you're new to exercise or a regular fitness practitioner.

In Conclusion

To develop your best Golf Swing sequence you need to:

Contact me should you have questions or need an appointment I am here all year.

Tel:  06 73 99 37 85  email:  Nuala@nualacoombspilates.com

Happy Golfing.......

Nuala Coombs
Pilates For You
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