Golf is a beautiful sport for a number of reasons, one of which is that players around the world can play the game well into their later years.
This is a significant positive for people that have crossed the 50 milestone because it offers them a low-impact opportunity for physical fun and competition.
While golf is less detrimental to our anatomy than many other sports, it still poses injury risk, particularly for those playing at the senior level. For those that love hitting the links, it’s critical for players in their later years to be proactive when it comes to taking care of their body off the course and in the offseason.
There are certain exercises that will not only benefit them, but also their game as they continue a long and fruitful career. If you are someone trying to play golf off into the horizon, some ideas for you to consider are listed below.
Swimming and treading water
Whether you have access to a YMCA or another recreation facility, water is a senior golfer’s best friend. Swimming laps or simply treading water in the deep end can not only directly benefit your golf game, but also your cardiovascular fitness and flexibility.
Additionally, using your body in this type of repetitive motion whilst in water can fine tune the muscles around the major joints used in golf (ankles, wrists, shoulders and knees) and mitigate the effects of arthritis.
Keeping these areas of your body strong is critical to extending your golf career. Some specific ideas if you head to the pool:
- Swim 2 laps at a time while treading water for 30 seconds after each set. The number of repetitions should be determined by your desire that day and current level of physical fitness.
- Try a water aerobics class at your local recreation center.
- If your arms are sore, use a kickboard and focus on your lower extremities. The use of a kickboard also increases core strength, particularly when fins are used.
What it can do:
Flexibility is underrated as a tool to increase longevity in any activity. Cardiovascular fitness and muscle strength aren’t underrated, but they’re crucial. Swimming, even when done on a semi-regular basis, can help you improve in these areas. From there, you should experience more success on the golf course.
Utilizing an inclined treadmill
An under-recognized challenge within the sport of golf is the alternating and random topography found on most courses. Especially for older golfers that walk and leave the cart keys in the clubhouse, courses that feature even minor elevation change can cause uneven weight distribution.
The next step to this scenario is injury, and it’s important for you as a senior golfer to be proactive off the course.
Modifying the Treadmill
The treadmill, if you can handle working-out indoors, is a perfect way to prepare for the changing landscape of the modern golf course. One option that works for people is to take advantage of the incline function on your local treadmill. This can simulate hills and slopes that you experience each time you play.
Many San Diego golf courses have reached a level of creativity that increases physical demands on the golfer. A local Boise, Idaho example is Shadow Valley golf course! That place has some serious terrain.
Even if you do drive a cart, there are times when you’ll have to walk uphill to reach your next shot. Training your lower body and core for this type of walking can be done in many ways, and this is one of them.
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What it can do:
Whether the focus is hamstrings, Achilles tendons, quadriceps muscles or even lower back strength, a treadmill is a realistic way to simulate the walking aspect of golf.
A lot of golf training focus is put on the swing and even putting stance, but the reality is that walking is a major part of the sport. To extend your career even further than you already have, you need to make sure and stay injury-free within this dimension of the sport.
From there, anything can happen.
Scott McCormick writes for Golf Now about San Diego golf.