Last updated June 2023
Let's explore some of the best golfing exercises for seniors. These can be done from home and on the golf course to help improve you golf game and general strength and fitness.
Golf is a game enjoyed by people of all ages, including senior golfers. In order to improve their golf game and maintain optimal performance on the golf course, senior golfers can benefit from incorporating specific exercises into their routine.
By focusing on golf exercises, flexibility exercises, and strength training, seniors can enhance their swing speed, golf swing, and overall fitness.
Flexibility golfing exercises for Seniors
Flexibility plays a crucial role in golf, allowing senior golfers to achieve a wider range of motion and fluidity in their swing. Some of these dynamic exercises should be done before play starts in order the warm up the muscles ready for full golf swings.
This study talks about a good warm up as one of 4 key areas for mitigating injury risk for golfing seniors.
Here are some golf-specific flexibility exercises to incorporate into your routine:
- Golf-Specific Stretching: Begin with a dynamic warm-up to prepare your muscles for activity. Perform exercises like arm circles, trunk rotations, and leg swings. Hip rotations, shoulder stretches, and torso twists are excellent choices.
- Lower Body Mobility: Maintaining mobility in the lower body is essential for generating power and maintaining stability during the golf swing. Incorporate exercises such as leg swings, lunges, and hip openers to promote flexibility and mobility in the hips, legs, and lower back. This will contribute to a more efficient and powerful swing.
- Shoulder and Upper Back Mobility: Proper shoulder and upper back mobility are key for a smooth and controlled golf swing. Perform exercises like shoulder circles, doorway stretches, and thoracic spine rotations to improve range of motion in these areas. Increased mobility will allow for a more consistent and fluid swing.
- Wrist and Forearm Stretches: The wrists and forearms play a significant role in the golf swing. Perform wrist circles, wrist flexor and extensor stretches, and forearm stretches to enhance flexibility and prevent injury in these areas.
- Hamstring and Calf Stretches: Flexibility in the hamstrings and calves contributes to a balanced and powerful golf swing. Incorporate exercises like standing hamstring stretches, calf stretches, and calf raises to improve flexibility and range of motion in these muscle groups.
The video below shows a lot of the golfing flexibility exercises suggested above. (if you cannot see the video, click here to view it in Youtube)
Hip Exercises for golf seniors
The hips are a fundamental part of the golf swing. Any golfer worth their salt knows that loading the hips is the secret to a decent golf swing and getting good distance with each golf stroke.
Loss of hip flexibility with age is not uncommon and it is also a common site for arthritis. Don't let this deter you, it is possible to exercise with arthritis and retain and train better range of motion.
Specific hip exercises for better strength and mobility is advisable.
(Click here if you can't see this video)
Strength Training for Improved Golf Performance
Strength training plays a vital role in senior golfers' overall performance and injury prevention. Focus on the following areas to enhance your golf game:
- Core Strength: A strong core provides stability and power in the golf swing. Engage in exercises like planks, Russian twists, and medicine ball rotations to strengthen the core muscles, which are essential for maintaining balance and generating power throughout the swing. A stable core also helps prevent lower back injuries.
I really like the core exercise demonstrated in the video below. However, there are loads of other core exercise options out there. The Wise Fitness Academy's Get Stronger Programme will help with a strengthening your core.
If you can't see the video you can click here to view it in Youtube
- Upper and Lower Body Strength: Incorporate strength training exercises that target the upper and lower body. Squats, lunges, bicep curls, rows, and shoulder presses can help build strength in the legs, arms, and back, contributing to a more powerful and controlled golf swing. Strengthening the lower body enhances stability, while upper body strength increases club control and swing speed. The below Wise Fitness Academy articles will teach you how improve upper and lower body strength:
- Balance and Stability: Improving balance and stability is crucial for senior golfers. Exercises like single-leg stands, heel-to-toe walks, and stability ball exercises can enhance balance and proprioception. This, in turn, allows for better weight transfer and control throughout the swing.
- Rotational Strength: The golf swing involves rotational movements. Incorporate exercises like medicine ball twists, cable rotations, and wood chops to enhance rotational strength and power in the golf swing.Resistance bands are a great option for increasing strength for a range of different golf exercises. Bands are also great as they can be changed out for ones with more or less resistance meaning you can add progressive overload over time.
Click here if you can't see this video
- Endurance Training: Golf can be physically demanding, especially when playing multiple rounds or walking the course. Incorporate cardiovascular exercises like brisk walking, cycling, or swimming to improve endurance and maintain energy levels throughout the game. This article on walking for seniors explains exactly why walking is so important and how to use it to progressively improve your endurance.
Enhancing Swing Speed and Technique
Improving swing speed and technique can lead to increased distance and accuracy. Consider the following tips:
- Proper Body Positioning: Pay attention to your body position throughout the swing. Maintain a balanced stance with a slight knee flex, relaxed shoulders, and a neutral spine. This optimal body positioning helps generate power and accuracy in the golf swing. Seek guidance from a golf professional to ensure proper setup and alignment.
- Swing Tempo and Timing: Develop a smooth and controlled swing tempo. Focus on rhythm and timing rather than forcefully trying to hit the ball. This allows for better control and accuracy, especially for senior golfers. Practicing a consistent and balanced swing tempo will lead to more reliable and predictable shots.
- Equipment Considerations: Evaluate your golf equipment to ensure it suits your swing speed and playing style. Consult with a professional club fitter to find the right shaft flex, loft, and club head design that can maximize your swing efficiency and distance.
- Video Analysis: Utilize video analysis tools or seek assistance from a golf instructor to evaluate your swing technique. This feedback can help identify areas for improvement and provide specific drills or adjustments to enhance your swing mechanics.
Making the Most of Golf Club and Course
- Club Selection: Use golf clubs that are suited to your swing speed and skill level. Consult with a professional to ensure that your clubs are properly fitted and optimized for your game. Proper club selection can help maximize distance and accuracy.
- Course Management: Strategize your approach to the golf course. Consider your strengths, limitations, and the layout of the course when planning your shots. This can help optimize your performance and make the most of your abilities. Assess hazards, select appropriate targets, and play smart to avoid unnecessary risks.
- Practice and Play Regularly: Consistency is key to improving your golf game. Make time for regular practice sessions and play as often as possible. This helps develop muscle memory, improves decision-making on the course, and builds confidence in your abilities.
Progressive resistance training
Progressive overload is absolutely crucial for any strength training programme, whether its for an improved golf game or better health in general.
It simply means the exercises need to be done consistently (2-5 sessions per week) and with increased difficultly over time.
This is where 99% of the people who try to exercise fail. They don't incorporate any structure into their training. It's the more basic programmes that work best. The simple things done on repeat over time is how you will get best fitness results.
The Get Stronger Programme provides exactly that. A simple to follow, structured and inclusive exercise programme that delivers maximum results. And it's free.
Final Thoughts on the Best Exercises for Senior Golfers
By incorporating golf exercises, flexibility exercises, and strength training into your routine, senior golfers can improve their swing speed, flexibility, and overall golf game. Remember to warm up properly before each session and listen to your body to avoid injury.
With regular practice and targeted exercises, senior golfers can continue enjoying the game while maintaining their physical fitness and performance on the golf course.
And don't forget, doing regular physical fitness will have benefits way beyond the golf course. It will also have a significant impact on your physical and mental health.