If you're lucky enough to belong to a gym that has a pilates reformer or have always been curious about the benefits of using one, golf-and-fitness instructor Karen Palacios-Jansen has a message for you.
Try it out.
She recently has been vetting this exercise platform for its usefulness for golfers and has been impressed with what it can do. If you've never seen a pilates reformer, it kind of resembles a hospital bed or, depending on your perspective, a torture rack. The platform, called the "carriage," slides back and forth using cables and springs and the resistance can be adjusted to make moving it harder or easier. The contraption was invented by Joseph Pilates as a way to help bedridden patients rehabilitate injuries. A reformer can cost anywhere from $400 to $7,000.
"I think a pilates reformer is a more effective way of increasing flexibility, strength and stability for golf than traditional free weights, machines and static stretches," Palacios-Jansen says.
The reason you might not be familiar with a reformer is the stigma pilates endures as a women-only exercise discipline. It doesn't help that some of the exercises have names such as "mermaid" and "swan dive," Palacios-Jansen says. "But if any man is worried whether the reformer can give them a quality workout, I challenge them to go through a battery of exercises and see if they still feel that it's for dancers or women only."
To see two examples of pilates exercises that can benefit golfers, click on the video below. Palacios-Jansen will show you how to use it to improve mobility in your mid-back region, which is crucial for a functional golf swing.