Golfers find better posture through Pilates, part 1

golf-pilates-pictures-posture-1We’re back for a week of golf-related Pilates articles with our resident golf expert, PGA member and certified Pilates teacher Rick Nielsen.

Pilates offers many benefits to the golfer looking for effective cross-training by focusing on alignment, proper biomechanics and symmetry of movement.  Good posture is key to achieving a good set-up position for the golf swing, so this week, we’ll focus on proper posture in the set-up along with some common errors.  We’ll also recommend some exercises for building body awareness and strengthening appropriate muscle groups.

First, the feet should be approximately shoulder distance apart and the weight evenly distributed between the right and left feet.  Next, the knees should be slightly bent with the body angled forward (approximately 25 degrees) from the hips to hold the club.  The shoulder of the dominant hand should be slightly lower, as it is the hand holding lower on the club.  As you can see from the side view, the shoulders, knee caps and balls of the feet should be in one line.  From the front, the joints of the body should be stacked on top of each other:  knees over ankles, hips over knees and shoulders over hips.

“Sound posture produces good balance by establishing a solid foundation,” says Rick Nielsen of Power Golf Pilates.  “Pilates facilitates good posture because it not only strengthens the deep muscles of the abdomen and spine which help maintain the body’s proper posture but also it enhances body awareness.  Most golfers aren’t aware of their own faulty posture habits, and Pilates builds the body awareness necessary to recognize one’s own posture.”

As a training tactic, Rick often has his students stand on two air pads or balance discs in their set-up stance both to challenge the musculature that supports good posture AND shine a light on some bad habits!  By doing this, you’ll see where you tend to carry your weight (because you’ll start to fall that way…) and you can correct accordingly!

Check back tomorrow for more tips!  Can’t wait to get started with exercises?  Try the Spine Twist, Spine Stretch Forward and the Saw!  If you wake up with low back tightness, try the Morning Low Back Care Workout on


April 9, 2009. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Pilates on Fifth Postings, Pilates Posts, The Pilates Center of New York Postings, Postings.

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