Golfers getting into swing of fitness
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By Jill Lieber, USA TODAY
Of all the professional athletes doing
Pilates, golfers have adapted to it the fastest. Pilates disciples
include David Duval, Annika Sorenstam and Kelli Kuehne. Other
devotees are Andrew McGee, Carin Koch, Grace Park and Betsy King,
who have been trained by Angela Sundberg, owner of Bodyscapes in
"Pilates is about focus, and so is golf,"
Sundberg says. "Pilates is also about movement from the center of
the body, using all of the muscles of the body, and so is golf.
Pilates allows golfers to move differently."
Sarah Christensen, owner of the Orchid Pagoda
Studio in Fairfax, Va., has seen Pilates have a profound impact on
her clients who golf. So she has created a golf-specific Pilates
exercise program for every level of golfer that's taught in resorts
and golf clubs throughout the country. She also has written a manual
with golf-specific Pilates exercises that can be done at home and on
"Your golf pro can say, 'Swing this way.' But
you won't be able to do that if your body can't do that," she says.
"By doing Pilates, you can make corrections to your body —
strengthen the core, increase flexibility, build stability in the
pelvis and shoulder girdles, balance both sides of the body, which
will allow you to hit it farther, straighter and more
She is so sold on this training method that
Christensen has filed a trademark application for the term "Pilates
for Golf" and certifies instructors in her program.
Christensen says there's another reason Pilates
for golf works so well, especially for the pros.
"I hate to say this, but a lot of pro golfers
get a lot out of Pilates because they probably aren't in as good a
shape as pro football, basketball or baseball players," Christensen
says. "Only in the last few years have pro golfers found