Many pro tennis players and golfers, like Serena Williams, Morgan Pressel, and Tiger Woods, look to Pilates as an essential training tool that keeps the body in balance and improves performance. In both sports, vigorous strokes require strength, timing and balance which result from having a strong core with proper form. A strong core holds the body upright, improves balance, and allows a player to move responsively. If the core muscles are weak, the shots are weak.
Due to repetition of movements in the sports, tennis and golf players often have muscular imbalances between their dominant and non-dominant sides. Muscular imbalances affect the legs, hips, arms, shoulders, and the lower back. It affects the game, particularly for those over the age of 50. Golf shots will be less accurate. In tennis, speed and stamina will decrease. Most important, the potential for debilitating strains, pulls and tears becomes much higher.
Pilates helps develop balanced muscles for better spinal rotation and alignment. Pilates will help teach players to correctly engage the powerhouse and incorporate proper breathing techniques for a better game.
Why Pilates? Pilates is based on movement from the center of the body, as are most shots in golf and tennis. Pilates strengthens the center of the body, also known as the core (the trunk, shoulder girdles and pelvis). Core strength improves hip rotation, range of motion in the shoulders, and back stability leading to more powerful and accurate shots. Pilates is also a full body exercise that works all muscles and is easy on the joints. The end result is a flexible, symmetrically muscled body that is strengthened from the inside out.
Pilates helps Tennis Players and Golfers to:
- Build up the back muscles evenly
- Elongate and align the spine for better stability
- Strengthen the abdominals
- Increase overall flexibility, strength, and balance
- Increase range of motion in hips and shoulders
- Enhance concentration through focused breathing
A stronger and more stable core helps golfers and tennis players:
- Attain an optimal swing with increased range of motion in shoulders.
- Get more distance and power because of added hip and torso flexibility.
- Have a stronger and bigger hip and shoulder turns for greater power through rotation.
- Develop a smoother, more powerful swing due to evenly balanced back muscles.
- Maximize balance and alignment while rotating.
- Decrease fatigue and improve stamina because of less strain on the body.
- Hold a body position long enough to play through a shot.
- Play without pain!