If you're still wondering what to do for Dad on Father's Day, show him how wonderful a father/daughter or father/son workout session can be. If he's a golfer, he may be surprised how effective Pilates can be for his performance on the course.
"Pilates is the perfect workout to do before golfing because it builds power and control in the hips where the weight transfer that moves the ball begins," says Alisa Wyatt, founder of Pilatesology, a website dedicated to preserving and sharing classical Pilates and offering streaming class videos. "When your hips are balanced, the result is a stronger, more accurate swing."
Wyatt created the following golf workout sequence dad can do before heading out for a day on the green. Whether you’re five or 45, join in on this workout with dear 'ol dad. He'll enjoy the company!
Lie on your back with knees bent to your chest, holding your ankles. Lift your head to your knees and exhale. Inhale deeply, and anchor your torso to the mat as you stretch your arms and legs up. Keep your eyes on your stomach and stretch longer as you flatten your back deeply into the floor. Exhale as you circle your arms wide to the side to hug your ankles back to the starting position. Repeat eight times.
Benefits: If you only have time for one Pilates exercise before a golf game, this is it! You'll instantly strengthen and tone your core muscles for control, stretch your spine for efficient weight transfer and flush your joints with synovial fluid — the lubricant that allows for full range of motion.
Sit up tall and spread legs about 3 feet apart, feet flexed, arms strongly outstretched to sides. Inhale slowly and twist trunk to the right as far as possible. Bend forward diagonally to reach your left hand toward outside of your right foot. Exhale slowly while stretching in three saw-like motions toward your foot. Repeat three to five sets.
Benefits: A deep twist that builds control on top of power for swings that hit the mark.
Lie on stomach, arms stretched forward, chest lifted so that you can see the horizon, legs straight, abdomen pulled in. Inhale as you stretch the right arm and left leg up off the mat, exhale and switch so that the other arm and leg are lifted. Keeping your arms and legs outstretched and as straight as possible, begin to briskly alternate in a swimming motion, breathing normally for a count of 20.
Benefits: Your swing finishes with a slightly arched back, and this move builds the muscles that get underused to keep your body balanced leading to more usable power.
Lie on floor, knees bent, right leg stretched out at a 45-degree angle with knees hugged together. Inhale and as you exhale; pull your stomach in deeply to slowly roll up, reaching toward the extended leg. Your legs should remain firmly hugged together. Inhale again and exhale to roll down with maximum control. Repeat eight times on each leg.
Benefits: Hone your abs as you stretch your back and improve balance all at the same time.
From a standing position, pull your stomach in as you bend forward to place your palms down in front of your toes. Walk your hands out in four steps to a push-up position, hands no wider than shoulders, body firm and straight. Inhale to bend the arms, keeping them hugged close to the body. Bend only as far as you can; keep your chest open, body straight, butt tight, abs in. Exhale to push up. Repeat eight times.
Benefits: A Pilates Push-up is different than a military-style push-up because it keeps the arms close to the body to engage the back and chest muscles as much as the shoulders and biceps. When you're looking to move power through your limbs, this is the type of push-up that works.
For a complete Pilates workout with your dad, try a video at Pilatesology.com. A complimentary 10-day trial is available, no credit card required.