When you're building a strength training and stretching routine to improve your golf game, it's important to hit the most common trouble spots for seniors. You'll want to focus on the ankles, hips and shoulders, as well as the legs and back. Here are some great exercises:
- Strengthen your shoulders by training on the rowing machine at the gym or doing dumbbell rows. If dumbbells are too intense, start out with a very low weight or with no weight, and increase the amount that you're lifting as you build up your strength.
- Improve shoulder flexibility with the "golf twist." This move mimics the golf swing and helps improve your range of motion. If the medicine ball is too heavy, try holding something lighter, like a small bottle of water -- or even nothing -- until you get stronger.
- Shoulder stretches improve range of motion. Try doing simple shoulder rotations forward and backward or a rotated shoulder stretch.
- Strengthen and stretch your ankles with seated ankle rotations (clockwise and counterclockwise) or with seated and standing calf raises.
- Stretch your ankles with calf stretches. While it might not feel like these stretches benefit the ankles, stretching the surrounding muscles will help with ankle flexibility.
- Strengthen your hips with squats and lunges. Georgia State University has an excellent page on lower-body exercises, including instructions on how to do squats and lunges properly.
- Stretch your hips for better range of motion. Hip drops and this seated hip stretch from the Mayo Clinic are excellent for improving flexibility in the hips.
- Stretch your quadriceps with a simple quad stretch with torso rotation. This stretch will also improve balance, and the rotation mimics the golf swing for an added benefit. If you need to, do this stretch close to a wall, so you can steady yourself until your balance improves.
Next up, let's see if a little yoga can help improve your game.