South African Tandi Cuningham is offering Pilates exercise classes to her fellow golf professionals on the Ladies European Tour this season, with the aim to enhance general fitness and aid injury prevention.
The fourth year LET player, who taught Pilates for three years before becoming a professional golfer, launched the initiative at the Deutsche Bank Ladies Swiss Open and said: “I think the biggest benefit for the girls will be injury prevention. It’s going to help with their flexibility and their mobility. As you know, the golf swing is not a natural movement and it does load the spine and the body quite a lot. The Pilates I think will give them a lot more internal strength and more internal stability and that in turn will help them generally with their stamina on the course and their ability to actually beat more golf balls. If they have any existing injuries, hopefully help them with that.”
Tandi started the classes after being begged by her friends on tour. She explained: “I’ve had a lot of girls ask me because I couple of them found out that I used to teach. At first I thought, not really, because I don’t have time. Each week is different and you don’t know where you are. You tend to value your own time quite highly as a golfer with preparation and practice and getting to strategise for the course in the week.
“I’m in my fourth year on tour now and I know what I’m doing and where I’m going so I feel that I do have the time to do that and it’s great for me. I get to actively participate for an hour and I got a bit tired of the girls begging me to do it! I’m enjoying it, I really am and I think the girls will benefit from it from the short to the long term.”
Tandi is inviting all players to participate and will be running three classes during the Raiffeisenbank Prague Golf Masters next week.
According to Wikipedia, Pilates is a physical fitness system developed in the early 20th century by Joseph Pilates in Germany, the UK and USA.
Pilates is a body conditioning routine that helps build flexibility and long, lean muscles, strength and endurance in the legs, abdominals, arms, hips, and back. It puts emphasis on spinal and pelvic alignment, breathing to relieve stress and allow adequate oxygen flow to muscles, developing a strong core or center (tones abdominals while strengthening the back), and improving coordination and balance. Pilates' flexible system allows for different exercises to be modified in range of difficulty from beginning to advanced. Intensity can be increased over time as the body conditions and adapts to the exercises. It enhances core strength and brings increased reach, flexibility, sure-footedness and agility.