5 Golf Exercises For Seniors (golfers over 50)

In this short article, we are going to cover the best golf exercises for senior golfers to improve golf flexibility, golf fitness, and play pain free golf.Screen Shot 2013-08-08 at 3.31.09 PM

We are narrowing it down to 5 exercises because most golfers do not have the time to work on their fitness like they would like to during golf season, or any season, due to the time needed to be consistent. So we narrowed down the top 5 to get the most bang for you buck in the least amount of time.

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These exercises were selected because each exercise addresses flexibility, strength and spinal stability. They are compounded exercises so you can address all or your needs quickly and simply.

For golfers over 50, golf flexibility is the #1 cause of poor consistency and loss of power. But we do not include any exercises that ONLY address flexibility because golfers in this age group are more susceptible to back, hip, and shoulder injuries.

Plus, golfers lose about 10 lbs of muscle per decade so if you want power from your golf specific muscles, you need to train them.

These exercises are ordered by importance. So if you don’t have time for them all, do the first ones first.

The Top 5 Exercises…

1. The Hip Loader

This is not only the best golf exercises for golfers over 50, but it is also one of the most difficult. So start slow and take it easy…and be mindful of your balance.  The credit for this exercise goes to Gary Gray, PT and the founder of the Nike NG360 performance program and the Gray Institute.

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2. Resisted Rotations In Chair

You will be happy to know that this exercise is a lot easier. Resisted rotations in a chair has several advantages: first, sitting in a chair fixes the hips so that all of the motion comes from the spine. Golfers over 50 usually have poor and declining spinal motion which can cause golfers to “come over the top” of the ball and it also drastically reduces power.

Second, you will be addressing both golf flexibility and golf strength in the same exercise…pretty efficient.
Golf flexibility exercises

Golf Setup: You will need a chair for this exercise, preferably without arm rests. The exercise band should be anchored in a door jam at chest height. Sit on the chair with your right side facing the door. Sit far enough away from the door that your arms are straight at rest as shown in the first picture.

Golf Action: Keeping your arms relatively straight, rotate your arms and torso away from the door in a wide arch.

Exercise Parameters: Perform 1-3 sets of 12-15 repetitions.

Keys to Success: Focus on torso rotation instead of using your arms.

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3. Hip Releasing Rotations

Hip stiffness can occur in many planes of motion: forward, to the side, and rotationally. This exercise addresses them all. Another benefit of this exercise is that it is easy on the knees. So if you have a lot of knee arthritis and had pain with the #1 exercise, this is a good alternative.  The credit for this exercise goes again to Gary Gray, PT.

(You might want to turn the sound down, the audio is pretty poor. This is one of my first ever video’s)

4. Golf Stretch One

The last two exercises also address core stability to reduce back pain and keep you happy and feeling good on the golf course. Besides causing misery, back pain will ruin a fluid golf swing and cause all sorts of swing faults. The body is not very good at controlling motion if pain is involved because your body reflexively moves to protect you from pain.

Golf stretch one addresses spinal, hip, shoulder flexibility but also works your core. Try it out, you will feel it.

5. Bridges with Toes Turned In

Arguably one of the best spinal stabilization and posture training exercises, the bridge strengthens the low back and gluteal muscles. We have you turn the toes in to get a nice rotational hip stretch at the top of the motion. Anyone over 75 should be doing bridges regularly, regardless if they play golf.
pain free golf exercise

Setup: Begin by lying on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground. Next, turn your toes in (pigeon toed).

Golf Action: From this position, push through your feet to raise your pelvis off of the ground as shown. Hold for a moment and return to starting position.

Exercise Parameters: Perform 15-20 repetitions…you can do it!

Give those exercises a shot! I would love to hear your feedback.

Thanks for reading!

Dr. Ryan York, DPT CGS
Doctor of Physical Therapy
Certified Golf Performance Specialist
Age Defying Golf

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