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Are you looking for helpful golf exercises for seniors? In this article, we have free routines and some simple golf warm up exercises to improve your game.
Spending two decades working in healthcare, I’ve had countless hours with seniors in retirement communities. Taking care of your body as you age is critical to maintaining independence and reducing frailty. John Hopkins University studies suggest that being active most of the week and eating well will minimize weakness.
What I love most about golf is that it transcends all age groups. For example, my toddler enjoys swinging his golf clubs just as much as his grandparents!
My dad often told me growing up, “only brush the teeth you want to keep.” It’s an old saying he must have seen posted at the dentist’s office. However, it stuck with me. Heck, I wanted all my teeth, so I made sure to brush all of them well! This same concept applies to exercise and golf.
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Golf Warm Up Exercises for Seniors
Golf is a popular sport for seniors, but it can be physically demanding truly at any age. To ensure optimal performance on the golf course and avoid injury, it’s essential to warm up properly before each round of golf.
Fortunately, several golf-specific exercises can help senior golfers prepare for their game. So, here are some of the best golf warm up exercises for senior golfers to improve your game.
Don’t Forget Your Posture
First, let’s start with your golf posture, which is the core foundation for your golf stance. Oftentimes, as we age, our posture tends to change and we become a little bit more rounded on our spine. This can affect the way we hit the ball.
From years of working hunched over a computer screen all day or related work situations, it takes a toll on our bodies. It becomes our standard posture without noticing the gradual transition.
And sometimes, our physical body weight may fluctuate also adding to the problem. You may develop symptoms of mild to moderate back pain.
Practice at least hip-width apart with flexion in your knees. Then, from the base of your spine tilt forward. This would be considered good golf posture.
To improve your golf posture, you’ll want to focus on your shoulders and upper back. Below we created this free golf exercises for seniors video so you can practice them.
Class A Golf Pro, Brett Franciso demonstrates golf warm up exercises for seniors at home:
How to Perform:
- Start with your hands and put your middle fingertips right on the temple of your head on both the right and left sides.
- Stand up nice and tall with good posture.
- Next, simply keep the tips of your middle fingers on your temples fixed and pull back, rotating your torso right and left (away from the center of your chest).
- Start slowly; you will feel a nice little pull stretch in the center of your upper back. Hold for about 3 seconds and release. Start with two sets of 10 with 3-second holds.
- Take a rest and do ten more 3-second holds that help opens up your chest.
Remember, if you have any particular health issues, always consult your doctor for advice. The best golf exercises are truly safe ones for your health status.
Use Swing Weights
Another golf warm up exercise is using swing weights. This can be done by using a golf training aid such as a weighted golf club or clip-on weight to your golf club. Swing weights are important for increasing muscle strength, as well as keeping muscles active when you’re not able to golf.
Next, position yourself in your normal stance and complete your natural full swing. Repeat several times until you feel warmed up. Once this is complete, repeat your swings with only your left arm and then your right arm. You’ll want to do approximately 20 sets each or as you can tolerate.
Watch the below video on the left arm only drill to get a better sense of the motion. By using swing weights you should start to notice a difference in your swing speed.
Back Aches? Warm Up Golf Back Exercises are a Must
Whether you are a senior golfer or not, warm up exercises are extremely helpful to avoid a golf injury.
Next, we will review the best warm up exercises for seniors with bad backs. This low-impact golf warm-up exercise is ideally done on a daily basis to really engage the core.
In the below video, golf professional, Brett Francisco demonstrates golf warm exercises for seniors to easily follow along at home.
Follow these steps:
- Take a golf club to your chest center and down to your waistline. It should be centered on your chest and pelvis. You will want to feel both points of contact so, meaning the center of your chest and then at the lower end, right at your pelvic area.
- Next, tilt as far forward to feel the weight transfer to the balls of your feet towards the tippy toes of your feet (only from your waist, only from your hips).
- Complete two sets of 10. This will should help get your hip flexors working.
Golf Stretches for Seniors
Stretching is just as crucial for improving your golf game as it is for avoiding injury or soreness after a round.
Stretching before hitting the golf course will help improve your posture and allow you to move more freely throughout your swing.
It’s also important to stretch after playing so you don’t get any lingering stiffness or soreness from being out on the golf course all day. Below are some of the best golf stretching exercises for seniors that are low-impact.
Standing Golf Stretch with Club
Basic standing golf exercises can be done to enhance your golf swing speed. One of these exercises is rotational stretches.
Non-weight bearing exercises make it possible for all golfers to practice them at home or on the golf course.
In this video, golf professional, Brett Francisco demonstrates stretching exercises for older players.
How to Perform:
- Take the heavier end (iron’s clubface) and place it in the palm of your non-dominant hand. Your dominant hand will hold the opposite end of the golf club.
- Hold the golf club shaft in front of you, rotate in a golf swing to the top of your backswing, and then follow through.
- Do this motion nice and slow, completing a full turn. This stretching will help you gain swing speed.
Side Bend Exercises
The side bend is one of the simplest golf mobility exercises you can do. It is also one of the most popular golf exercises since you can literally do it everywhere.
While waiting to tee off or taking a break between 9 holes, it’s important to stay warmed up and avoid stiffness. So here’s how you perform it.
How to Perform:
- Take a golf club, raise it horizontally over your head, and lean to the right or left, slightly curving your torso.
- You should feel a slight pull or stretch in your back.
- Repeat. This simple golf exercise frees your body from stiffness and prepares it for the next hole.
Golf Exercises for Seniors Using Resistance Bands
Resistance bands are one of the best golf exercises for seniors since they are low-impact for older players and can be done anywhere. Senior golfer, Colleen Gilbert demonstrates using the resistance bands at home.
Start by using a looped band and wrap it around your ankles. Keep your toes forward facing and bend your hips and knees.
With this practice of keeping your toes facing forward, you’ll start to feel your muscles working. Work at trying to keep your feet flat so you can work on strengthening your muscles and creating tension.
Practice by doing sidesteps with your right leg and then your left. Start by practicing in moderation and build to 10 or more on each side. As always, listen to your body, and do what works for you.
Band Rotational Pull
Rotational pull exercises with your resistance band will your golf swing, and add power. You can practice this simply by standing straight with your knees slightly bent.
Next, grab onto the resistance band and hold it out in front of you with your two hands.
Lastly, rotate as far as you can away from your anchor point. Repeat in opposite directions. Practice this as you can tolerate to help with your flexibility.
Bear Sit Hinge Stretch
The bear rotation helps strengthen your hips reminiscent of the rotated nature of golf swings. The bear sit stretch will help you improve your hip’s internal and external rotation. This exercise helps with your backswing mobility.
Bear Sit Hinge is one of the best golf flexibility exercises for seniors. As you watch in the video, with more practice, you’re flexibility will increase.
Professional Golfer Tips on Golf Exercises for Seniors
To stay golf fit, PGA Champions Tour professionals work diligently to maintain their muscle mass, swing speed, and to stay sharp on the course.
PGA Professional golfer, Padraig Harrington shares his favorite training workout routine. As he states, “Training to me is anti-aging.”
For specific golf exercises, Harrington does bent over row with weights. While he admits to not loving cardio workouts, it still is necessary to maintain his stamina on the golf course.
Watch the video below for a deeper dive into Padraig Harrington’s workout routine.
One of the most well-known advocates for golf exercises for seniors is professional golfer, Gary Player. He has been known for pushing 350 pounds with his legs and doing hundreds of sit-ups!
Additionally, Mr. Player even runs on a treadmill and swims regularly, which he attributes to his longevity.
Strength Training & Cardio for Golfers
Functional strength training helps build muscle tone throughout your body. Stretching increases flexibility and cardiovascular workouts strengthen endurance so you don’t tire out easily during a round of golf.
Since golf is a full-body sport, functional strength training can help increase overall coordination and balance as well as flexibility in specific muscles used during the golf swing.
Although physical limitations can lead to a slower swing speed, incorporating regular exercise into your routine can improve your ball flight and golf ball speed.
Final Thoughts on the Best Exercises for Senior Golfers
Well, there you have it – our best golf workouts routines and helpful tips to improve your golf game.
Exercising regularly doesn’t just benefit your physical health – it can also positively impact the mental game.
Over the years, I’ve seen seniors dramatically improve their physical limitations by introducing some of the above exercises. Whether you’re a golfer or not, Mr. Harrington is correct: exercise is vital as we age.
Please feel free to comment below if you have something to add to benefit other golfers.