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Shaping up for golf.

Golf SwingDo you want to improve your golf swing while at the same time prevent injuries, particularly to your back?

Pilates is a form of exercise that teaches breathing techniques, balance, coordination, strength and flexibility. It makes its practitioners far more aware of their bodies while also promoting strength and flexibility, three critical components of the golf game.

During a round of golf you are repeatedly bending over the ball and twisting your body in one direction. This results in the same muscles being over-used, and the delicate balance of these muscles being upset. The shoulders, neck, hips and feet are all vulnerable, but it is the lumbar spine which takes the greatest toll. Pilates works because it restores the balance, re-aligning the body and encouraging natural, normal movement patterns. By targeting the deep postural muscles, Pilates builds up strength from the inside out. The key is learning to engage your stabilizing muscles which create a strong center from which you move. These are your transversus abdominis and your pelvic floor muscles.

These deep abdominal muscles are used with every movement in Pilates. It requires considerable concentration to isolate the stabilizers. You also need to learn how to align your body correctly, to breathe efficiently and to be aware of unwanted tension creeping into your body. You have to watch out for 'cheating mechanisms' where the wrong muscles are used to achieve movements. With Pilates we aim to make the right muscles do the work. It is the quality of your movements that count, not the quantity. You need to be 'thoughtful' and focused.

The ideal golf swing requires agility, speed, strength, coordination and the ability to mentally focus. For years, the golfer has tried to break out each of these attributes of the great golfer, work on them individually and try to put them back together again. Pilates allows an individual to increase his/her agility, speed, strength, coordination and the ability to mentally focus, all into one training session. This all encompassing method maximizes one's ability to be not only effective but to soar past competitors.

Pilates uses apparatus specifically designed to increase spinal range of motion, distributing forces of rotation evenly throughout the spine. This does two important things for the golfer. One, it decreases the excessive force often centralized in the low back, often the cause of debilitating back pain. Two, it increases a golfer's ability to access movement that exists, but due to bad habits is not accessible. The new motion provides the golfer with increased range, speed, and agility, all essential for that competitive edge or just an enjoyable round of golf.

Two hours of Pilates a week will allow you to spend more time working on your putting and less time searching in the woods.

Iso Fit, a master trainer center, specializes in the Pilates and Gyrotonic® exercise methods. Clients benefit form private, semi-private and group sessions conducted by highly trained professionals. Golf  Pilates Training begins with an assessment that teaches our clients about any postural imbalances they may have, where their asymmetries are, and how they may make compensations for improper posture. From there, we design a program that addresses our clients specific needs and brings balance back to their body. The training starts at the core of one's energy source (what Joseph Pilates referred to as the "girdle of strength"), and works its way out to the end of the extremities where the potential (Kinetic) energy is released. Golf Pilates training involves exercises that sequentially recruit specific muscle groups to fire in the proper order. Integration and synchronization of the athlete's mind and body is another key component to our Golf Pilates program.

There is nothing quite like an energizing workout with a trained expert who guides you through a series of controlled movements on specifically designed equipment; that engages both your mind and body, and is related to your golf game. You will leave energized with a new understanding and awareness of your body. This will enable you to play "long and strong" for the rest of your life!!

After years of lifting heavy metal, Rocco has ditched the weights and begun doing Pilates

Rocco Mediat hurt his back at the 2001 British Open. The ensuing time off was a blessing, because it inspired Mediate to radically change his workout routine. After years of lifting heavy metal, he has ditched the weights and begun doing Pilates, a non impact strengthening workout he heard about from his wife, Linda. "It keeps me loose, keeps me fresh, keeps me strong," he says.

" Rocco is very loose. No matter whether he's shooting 80 or 60, he's still the same." -Tiger Woods