A Strength Training Exercise Routine for Senior Golfers
Many golfers overlook the importance of maintaining strength, flexibility and power. Unfortunately, these physical attributes often begin to decline naturally with age and older golfers experience losses in distance and accuracy. Continue to focus on staying in shape to experience the same level of playing ability you enjoyed in your younger years -- and perhaps even improve. Perform this routine two to three times each week to stay in peak shape for golf.
The first component of any strength training routine is to perform a general warm-up. This step serves to lubricate stiff joints and tendons, raises body temperature and increases blood flow to the muscles you'll be using. Jog or walk briskly on the treadmill for 10 to 12 minutes before beginning the next step. Adjust the treadmill so that it slightly inclines to take pressure off the knees. You know you have executed this step properly if you are lightly perspiring.
This step further increases blood flow to the muscles you'll be using and helps prevent injury because of tight tendons and ligaments surrounding the joints. Perform 12 repetitions of each of following dynamic, or moving, stretches that target all the major muscle groups: arm swings, arm circles, torso rotations, leg swings, toe touches and side bends.
General Resistance Training
Build general strength through resistance training. Use light weight and perform each exercise for three sets of 12 to 15 repetitions. Perform all exercises in a smooth and controlled fashion, and rest one to two minutes between sets. Choose free weights over machine exercises to improve the demand placed on your bones, tendons and ligaments -- all of which tend to decline with age. Optimal exercises for golf include: squats (or half squats), dumbbell rows, walking lunges with dumbbells, dumbbell decline press, biceps curls and overhead triceps extension.
The hips and core play an essential role in delivering power needed to achieve optimal distance in golf. The hips can become stiff and immobile with age. Perform 10 minutes of core exercises that focus on the powerful rotation needed to hit the ball with maximum force. Perform each exercise for 30 seconds, then rest 30 seconds. Optimal rotational exercises for golf include: partner or wall medicine ball throws, Russian twists, bicycle crunches, side crunches on a stability ball and lunges with a twist.
Following your workout, perform 10 minutes of static stretching, holding each position for 10 to 30 seconds. The best stretches for golf are those that mimic positions you need to maintain during the golf swing. Optimal golf stretches include the shoulder stretch, hurdler's stretch, triceps stretch, chest stretch, low back stretch, hamstring stretch, quad stretch and forearm/wrist stretch.
- Sports Fitness Advisor: Golf Fitness Training & Conditioning
- Sports Fitness Advisor: Golf Stretching Program
- Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning (3rd Ed.); Thomas R. Baechle and Roger W. Earle
Graham Ulmer began writing professionally in 2006 and has been published in the "Military Medicine" journal. He is a certified strength-and-conditioning specialist with the National Strength and Conditioning Association. Ulmer holds a Master of Science in exercise science from the University of Idaho and a Bachelor of Science in psychology from Washington State University.