Why Senior Golfers Should Strength Train

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Golf is a marriage of precision, accuracy, and power. And so, a senior golfer needs to wield a dumbbell in addition to clubs.

RELATED: Weight Training For Men Over 50 | What You Need To Know

Why the Senior Golfer Need to Spend Time in the Gym

What Is Strength Training?

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Strength training is also called resistance or weight training. It involves exercises that your body resists against, like your body weight, a cable machine, or resistance bands.  Strength training builds muscle endurance and strength.

But why is it important for older adults to do strength training?

As we age, we may lose strength, energy, and vigor. Muscle loss in older adults may be because of inactivity. Aerobic exercise paired with strength exercises could:

  • build strength
  • maintain bone density
  • improve balance, coordination, stability
  • reduce risk of falling

The basic principle of muscles is simple—use it or lose it. Older adults are at more risk of muscle loss because they tend to have sedentary lifestyles. But strength training can help beat this.

How Can Strength Training Prevent Sarcopenia for the Senior Golfer?

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Sarcopenia is an age-related condition that involves the loss of muscle mass and function. It could increase your risk of falls and could make daily tasks more difficult.

If you find climbing stairs or walking distances difficult, it could be because of muscle loss.

It is a natural part of aging but also avoidable with proper exercise and diet.

Sports like golf may help older adults stay active and keep sarcopenia at bay. A combination of aerobic exercise and strengthening exercises may keep muscles strong and prevent age-related health conditions.


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend this amount of weekly exercise:

  • 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity and two days of strengthening workouts; or
  • 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity and two days of strengthening exercises; or
  • a combination of moderate and vigorous aerobic activity for two days and two days of strengthening workouts

Try to hit all muscle groups on your workout days. You may also break up the amount of activity each week. For example, you can break down 150 minutes of exercise into two 75-minute sessions.

The goal is to get up and get moving as much as possible. Exercise can build strong muscles and endurance, keeping you safe from injuries.

Can Strength Training Reduce the Risk of Injuries for the Senior Golfer?
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Stronger muscles can help protect you from injuries. They may help you keep your balance and joints in good shape.

Skeletal muscles wrap around our bones. These muscles help us move and do things we enjoy, like playing golf and strolling around the course. If the muscles around your shoulders are weak, you are more likely to injure your shoulder.

This is problematic for the senior golfer.

Golf uses many muscle groups in the upper body. Building muscle strength will not only improve your clubhead speed but keep you from getting injured.

One study found that a fitness program including strength exercises could prevent injuries for old golfers. Moreover, this could improve their performance on the course.

You don't need bulging shoulders and arms to have healthy muscles. Try to get as much physical as you can and eat a proper diet. And a warm-up exercise is one of the best things you can do for your muscles before a game.

RELATED: 10 Sports to Take Up After Age 50

Can Strength Training Improve My Golf Game?
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Yes. Research shows that strength training can do wonders for your distance, swing speed, and ball speed.

One study found that a combination of weight training and plyometrics could improve clubhead speed and driving distance.

Another study found that an 18-week strengthening program could improve driving performance.

A study showed that there could be a connection between core strength and stability and putting distance, driver, and 5-iron distance.

More than putting power into each swing, strengthening exercises could also help improve a golfer's putting distance control.

More and more studies show that physical fitness and strength could improve your performance. To prepare for a competition, consider spending time in the gym in addition to the golf course.

Is Flexibility Training Important For Senior Golfers?

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Flexibility is critical for the serious senior golfer. Without flexibility, you may not be able to put enough power and control into your swings.

A flexible body can perform the correct forms with ease and without injury. It can also help you achieve consistent and fluid movements throughout your game.

Research shows that flexibility has a positive effect on clubhead speed and driving distance.

Good balance can also help you maintain a proper stance. Without balance and flexibility, you may not be able to give 100% into your swing power. It could ruin your speed and accuracy.

How Do I Train for Strength and Flexibility?

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There are many exercises you can do from the comfort of your own home.

Yoga may help make you stronger and more flexible. All you need is a yoga mat and a quiet corner in your home. Even doing house chores like gardening and carrying the groceries could build muscle strength.

Walking on the golf course may also count as a golf-strengthening exercise. And if you can carry your golf bag yourself, even better.

But if you don't have much experience working out on your own, you may enlist the help of a trainer. A trainer could help you target the muscle groups that you engage during a golf game. You may find that your trainer can be just as helpful as your golf coach in improving your game.

Check out this video on stretches to improve your golf performance:

Golf is arguably one of the few sports that don't feel like exercise.

It's a relaxed, slow-paced competitive sport, but requires more power than you think. A senior golfer needs body power to create fluid and consistent swings 100% of the time.

Age may not determine how well you play, but it seems physical fitness does.

Do you play golf? Why do you think strength training is important for golfers?

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