It makes sense why golf pros are increasingly being asked to provide golf exercise tips for seniors. Of the more than 24 million Americans who play golf, 20% of them are age 60 or over, according to a study conducted by the National Golf Foundation.
That might be because, unlike sports that aren’t very forgiving to our bodies as we age – football and basketball come to mind – golf provides exercise for seniors without the risk of contact injuries.
But even seasoned golfers may experience pain, which could be the result of weakness and inflexibility. The detailed golf exercises for seniors we’re providing you here can do more than improve your physical fitness and prevent injury. These golf exercises for seniors like you may also improve your golf game!
Golf is good for you at any age
You may think you have to engage in high-energy sports to get a good workout. But golfers who walk an 18-hole course clock about five miles (walking is great cardiovascular exercise) and burn up to 2,000 calories.
Golfing demands the use of many different muscle groups – and if you consider the balancing and twisting and turning of the torso, there’s even a little yoga involved, too. And being outside on the course, enjoying fresh air and absorbing vitamin D, can relieve stress and provide a positive mental boost.
If you live in or around Juno Beach, Florida, you may already know this region is a hotbed for golfers of all ages. The Palm Beach County area alone has 160 public and private golf courses, the most in the entire state. That includes several championship golf courses, including PGA National Resort and Spa.
And if you’re an older adult, you may be familiar with The Waterford. Our retirement community is practically a golf ball’s drive away from no fewer than 10 golf courses – including PGA National Resort. Arguably one of the finest perks for golf enthusiasts who live at The Waterford is our partnership with PGA National Resort, which allows residents to enjoy access to the links, the spa services and a discount on hotel prices.
But here’s something you may not have heard before: Regularly golfing – at least once per month – was found to lower the risk of death among older adults, according to preliminary research presented at the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference in February 2020.
So now that you know golf is good for you, here are four golf exercises for seniors to help get you in better shape to hit the links.
Four great golf exercises
Before you hit the links again, try these four training exercises designed to enhance your overall golf fitness and help prevent injury.
- Hip stretch. Lie down on your back with your arms stretched out away from your sides and your knees bent, with your feet flat on the ground. Now twist your bent legs to the left until your left knee touches the ground, then twist to the right until your right knee touches the ground. Continue alternating sides while keeping your shoulders on the ground and your stomach muscles tight. How many: Do two sets of five times on each side. Why this works: Twisting your lower body helps stretch the muscles and tendons in your lower back, and simulates the torque in your hips at the top of your backswing and when you follow through.
- Bridges. Lie flat on the ground on your back with your arms to your sides, palms down. Your knees should be bent and your feet should be flat on the ground; turn in your toes to get a rotational hip stretch at the top of the motion. Now push through your feet to raise your pelvis off the ground, creating a “bridge” out of your body. Your shoulders should remain flat on the ground the entire time. How many: Do three sets, 10 times each set. Why this works: This exercise is ideal because it strengthens the low back and gluteal muscles. (If you’re over 75, you should be doing this exercise regularly whether or not you play golf.)
- Knee hugs. Stand with your back straight and your arms at your sides. Lift your left foot off the ground, then grab your left knee and pull it as close to your chest as you can; count to 5. Then switch leg positions. Be sure to keep your back as straight as you can as you’re doing this exercise. How many: Two sets, five times for each knee in each set. Why this works: You’re stretching your glutes, hamstrings and hip flexors, which helps you maintain your posture throughout your golf swing.
- The pendulum golf swing. Lightly swing your golf club before you even start playing your round. Don’t even worry about your form; just swing your golf club back and forth as if you’re a giant clock pendulum until your arms, back and neck feel warmed up and loose. How many: 25-30 repetitions back and forth, gently, increasing your distance back and forth a little each time. Why this works: It’s an effective way to loosen the major muscle groups throughout your body, but especially those in your arms, neck, shoulders and back.
A remarkable community that goes beyond golf
The Waterford offers older adults so much more than easy access to several world-class golf courses. Our senior living community is a haven for active adults – golfers and non-golfers alike – who want to continue to thrive at every age, through an array of wellness opportunities, purposeful programming and an emphasis on overall health.
It’s easy to learn more about us. Simply fill out the form at the bottom of this page, or give us a call any time at 1.888.672.7494.