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Play Your Best Golf Now with Golf Pilates
Six years ago, few had made the connection between Pilates and golf. But that’s precisely the idea behind The Intelligent Core, a company started by Linda Segerstam to promote a new exercise programme aimed specifically at the nation’s golfers.
Over the past six years, she has been perfecting her Pilates for golf programme, serving clients at their individual golf clubs, in their homes and via Zoom. Pilates for golfers has been endorsed by European Tour doctor Andrew Murray. It has multiple benefits for golfers, including improved posture and reduced risk of injury. The added bonus of a more flexible swing and longer drives is a welcome perk for many of Linda's clients.
Linda says: "To create a strong body for golf make sure you understand how the exercises you do relate to your golf swing. Your back and leg muscles are the primary muscles holding you in a hip hinge. At impact your core muscles transfer power to help you rotate and the forearms transfer this power into the club. Pilates is a full-body exercise routine that works all those muscles and is easy on the joints.” CORE STABILITY IN ROTATION: Hip rolls Targets Core and oblique muscles. Keep your feet down to work the upper abs and pelvic floor and feet up to add the lower abs too. Beginners should start with their head and feet down. Level 1 Lie down with your knees bent. Place your hands behind your head. Glue your feet and knees together and don’t let them slide. Breathe out to lift your head and shoulders and engage your core muscles. Keep your knees and feet connected then breathe out to rotate your legs to the left allowing the right hip to lift slightly but keeping your upper body still. The right foot will lift off the floor. Breathe out to repeat to the right. Level 2 Lift one leg up to table top, breathe out to engage your core muscles as you bring the second leg up. Make sure your back does not arch as you do this. If it does, go back to level 1. Breathe out to lift your head and shoulders keeping your back gently pressed to the floor. Rotate as in level 1 but keep your upper body still. To come out of the exercise keep the spine still and connected to your abdominals as you bring one foot down, then the second, then your head and shoulders. Do: Six reps to both sides for Level 1 moving legs from side to side. Level 2 add another six reps to both sides.
Hip rolls EXTENSION: Cobra with leg lifts Targets We spend a lot of time sitting so this exercise is great for mobilising and strengthening your back and hip joints through extension. Strong back muscles provide stability and also improve your stamina for a full round of golf! Do Start with Cobra prep or full Cobra for six reps. Add six leg lifts, one leg at a time or harder version both legs together. When you have mastered them separately combine them for six reps. Breathe in to lift the upper body and breathe out fully to lower the upper body adding the leg lift at the end, like a seesaw. Technique Lie down looking down with your legs wider than hip-width, toes pointing out. Hands above shoulders and elbows out to the side. Cobra prep: Breathe in as you lift your head, then chest, keeping your elbows down. Breathe out to go down. Cobra: Breathe in as you lift your head then chest, push gently into your hands and continue lifting your elbows. Breathe out to place yourself down. Try to create an even curve in the spine as you lift and keep your chest open. Leg lifts: Keep upper body down. Breathe out pulling your navel in toward the spine to gently engage your abs as you lift both legs. Breathe in place them down. Cobra with legalists LOWER BACK HEALTH: Hip hinge with club Targets One of the most important movements for lower back health. Hinging at the hips without rounding or flattening the lower back keeps the pressure even on the discs. Do To protect the knees press your big toes apart to gently tighten your glutes which turns your knees slightly outwards. Hold the club in front of your thighs and imagine breaking it in the middle (gently!).
Feel your shoulders move back and down slightly. Hold this muscle tone throughout the exercise. Six reps of Level 1, then Level 2 for a harder version. Place the club on your back from head to tail for a lighter version. Technique Level 1 - Start as above standing upright, breathe out to engage your abs and start hinging forward from your hip. Your legs move backwards as your torso, arms and club move towards the floor. Feel your weight shifting onto the balls of your feet with heels down. Your hamstrings will let you know when they are stretched out so stop before you start rounding the lower back. Hold still, feel length along the spine, core muscles engaged and avoid locking the knees. Reverse to return to upright posture. Level 2 - Same as above but reach the club above your head. This will increase the load of the spine so build up your strength before you try this. Hip hinge Customer Feedback ‘I'm just loving your classes as there is so much variety and I feel that I am being stretched every which way.’ 'You are amazing Linda. You demonstrate everything so well and talk it all through, thank you.’ 'Great class. My golf this morning was much better, I was hitting the ball further than I have for years! My core felt strong and I was turning better! Thanks to you and Pilates!’ 'I always enjoy the sessions. Whenever my body's feeling tight and my muscles a bit sore, 30 mins of pilates releases everything. There's definitely a place for these livestream videos in the morning even after we get back to "normal”.’ "For the last couple of years my driver distance has been 200-220 yds. This year it has been 220-250 however this weekend I got a 265 & 270 yds! There has been some swing changes partly due to improved mobility strength and flexibility. I put this down to the Pilates classes over the last 6 months”. Linda Segerstam The Intelligent Core | The Smart Way to Train | Golf Pilates Info@theintelligentcore.com www.theintelligentcore.com Twitter LindaSegerstam | Instagram Pilatesforgolf | Facebook TheIntelligentCore