Posted in News by Jon Bird on 6th November 2008

Cannon Golf has a new addition to the team, Pilates instructor Lesley Wallace. Every other Sunday Lesley will be working along side Head Pro Jon Bird delivering Golf/Pilates sessions. The aim of which are to help pupils understand better the physical needs in the Golf game and to help create more strength and flexability to aid the Golf swing.

•Pilates improves concentration; it requires a great amount of focus––and so does golf.

•Pilates focuses on stability so that balance is improved. Poor balance in a golf swing results in poor performance.

• Pilates improves "muscle recruitment" – one of the most important – and most often overlooked – benefits of Pilates. Muscles work better in concert and synergy. With proper training, any motion becomes more efficient, from sitting to standing up, walking to swinging a golf club.

• Pilates exercises produce improved quality and increased efficiency in movement by teaching your body to use the right muscles to do the job, and those muscles perform in the right order. Your body will use a stronger muscle –– whatever muscle is available to help –– while swinging the club if the one it is supposed to use is too weak, fatigued, or lacks balance. Although, if your core can't support you sufficiently during the golf swing, your body will cheat by using whatever muscle is available to help – even if it’s the wrong one. That's the reason you begin to ache. Pilates exercises train the body to use the right muscles to do the job; to use no more than is needed to produce quality and efficient movement––as much as necessary, as little as possible.

• Pilates balances both sides of the body. There is nothing natural or symmetrical about the golf swing. Constantly moving in ways that unbalance the body leads to stresses, strains, and imbalances. Every sport has it’s own particular physical liabilities; Pilates counteracts those liabilities and rebalances the body.

•Pilates retrains the body to overcome its natural tendencies and compensations, which may result in lower scores, longer and more consistent drives, and reduced risk of injuries.
Pilates focuses on strengthening abdominal, trunk, and pelvic muscles so they become the control center of the body from which all movement stems. It helps build a uniformly developed body with improved alignment and stability, increased strength, and flexibility.

Using the core as the power center allows the body to move safely through flexibility, conditioning, and resistance activities. Core stability allows the golfer to move with economy, grace, and balance. Exercises related to the golf swing focus on stretching, strengthening, and proper warm-up.
As effective as Pilates is for retraining the body, no amount of Pilates or any other “workout” regimen can compensate for poor skill and technique during the golf swing. Practicing proper swing technique is essential. Augmenting the skill specific practice with Pilates will ultimately improve performance.

Lesley Wallace.

With over 10 years of Fitness Industry experience Lesley currently works as a Personal Trainer/Pilates Teacher at Saddlers Sports Centre – Barbican and Portobello Green Fitness Club. She teaches Pilates classes at Gymbox – Holborn and Cannons –Bloomsbury. She works with the Open Age Charity teaching Pilates to members in their senior years and runs private corporate classes taking Pilates into the workplace. Lesley also works alongside Premier Physiotherapists rehabilitating patients who are referred to her for modified Pilates.

“I use combinations of Pilates, core stability, cardio-vascular, resistance and flexibility training to achieve optimum health and fitness for my clients. Identifying and setting goals (both short- and long-term) is vital to the client's success so I look very closely at their lifestyle and nutrition in order to tailor the perfect programme, educating along the way so they can make better, more informed choices. I make sure the sessions are varied and enjoyable to help integrate health and fitness into their everyday lives.”

About Pilates
Pilates is a mind/body conditioning exercise programme that targets the deep postural muscles of the abdomen and spine to improve overall core stability and posture. This is achieved through following the eight principles: concentration, centering, breathing, isolation, routine, precision, control and flowing movement.

Lesley discovered Pilates after falling and injuring her shoulder. She explains: “I literally 'fell' in love with it. My body changed dramatically, my limbs became longer and more defined, my strength and flexibility increased significantly. I felt calmer inside yet energised after each class. Needless to say I went on to study and teach Pilates, integrating the system into my clients’ regimes and they have certainly experienced the benefits too.”

Pilates is ideal for anyone suffering from back pain, poor posture, sports injuries, arthritis and stress related injuries, but is available – and beneficial – to everybody.