Life Fit Blog

Pilates for Golf

Posted 2 years ago

By Morven Murray, Chartered Physiotherapist and Pilates Instructor.

Ask some golfers what Pilates is and it may conjure up comments of – let’s face it -mainly women on mats trying to work their elusive “core”.

But ask those trained in Pilates about the benefits it can bring to sport – and in particular golf – they would say they are plentiful.

The biomechanics of the golf swing are complicated involving proper co-ordination of muscles, mobility, and force production. Almost all parts of the body are utilised in an efficient swing and having the optimal balance, strength and mobility in each area can be enhanced by Pilates practice.

So why should Golfers consider using Pilates to enhance their performance and enjoyment of the sport?


1. Spinal Mobility

Flexibility between shoulder and hip is paramount to an effective and efficient swing. The spine rotates multiple times during a round of golf. Pilates exercises can enhance spinal rotational as well as target shoulder and hip mobility deficits.

2. Core Strength

This is not just about your abs!

Your “core” is the muscles that act around your centre to stabilise your spine including your back muscles and deeper muscles of the spine. By improving the activation, strength and endurance of these muscles it can help force production from ground, to club, to ball.

Having a stronger, more resilient core may also help improve your golf posture, and reduce injuries to the spine.

3. Balance and Stability

One of the key elements of Pilates practice is correct alignment. Muscle imbalances, previous injuries and reduced general mobility can make proper alignment challenging.

We work on both stability AND flexibility within class to help ensure alignment is optimal.

At our Life Fit classes we also utilise small pieces of equipment to challenge muscles further to increase the benefit of each exercise, this also keeps things interesting from week to week! From poles to weights to magic circles we like to utilise different props to enhance both mobility and strength.

We also have the option of our Large Equipment Combo classes which add a different dynamic and challenge to the classical Pilates movements.

4. Mind/Body Connection

Both golf and Pilates require your mind to be connected to your body. The complexity of the swing means the more mindful you are with your movement the more effectively signals can be transmitted to each muscle group. In Pilates practice this is a concept we use with every exercise – strengthening the mind/body connection and thus creating good movement habits.

5. Injury Prevention

Golf is a very asymmetric sport which can lead to muscle imbalances in the lower limb and spine. These may lead to muscle tightness and potentially injury due to this. Pilates can help to address these imbalances and work your body as a whole. You may also become aware of these weaknesses when practicing which can allow you to target them more effectively before they lead to issues.

Prevention is always better than cure!

With all these benefits, there is only really one question – why wouldn’t you use Pilates to help improve your golf? Just ask Tiger Woods and Annika Sorenstam!

Classes now available Monday – Thursday at our Falkirk clinic and Tuesday and Thursday at our Kingsfield clinic.