Today, I’m going to show you the 10 best golf exercises for seniors (over 55s).

These are the exact same exercises I use with my senior golfers to get results like this:

I’ve been golfing for nearly 50 years and Jon has given me a new lease of life in the game. Aches & pains are much reduced, I’ve regained distance off the tee, and I’m also able to play 36 holes per day when required. This was unthinkable a couple of years ago. – Tim Pickford, 59, 8hcp

So if you’re a senior golfer who wants more distance, better consistency, and to keep playing pain-free, this article is for you.

But, before we get to the exercises, let’s quickly talk about what NOT to do…

Why Senior Golfers Should (Probably) Avoid Overspeed Training

Overspeed training (i.e. using weighted clubs) is commonly recommended as a way for senior golfers to maintain or improve swing speed.

There’s no question that overspeed training can help improve your swing speed. But there’s a catch…

Swinging a weighted club as hard as you can puts the body under a huge amount of physical stress.

If your body isn’t prepared to handle that stress, then your risk of sustaining a serious injury skyrockets.

Unfortunately, most seniors fall into this category. Years spent hunched over a desk, and a general lack of activity, mean that seniors often have poor mobility, flexibility, posture, and strength levels.

Before any overspeed training can take place, we have to address these issues. That’s the ‘bad’ news.

The good news, though, is that doing so will greatly improve every aspect of your golf game. We then use overspeed training as the ‘icing on the cake’.

So, with that out of the way, let’s look at the best exercises for senior golfers to improve strength and flexibility.

The 10 Best Golf Exercises For Seniors

Prefer watching to reading? Watch the video version of this article here:

1. Thoracic Rotation with Breathing Drill

This is an exercise that immediately improves rotation through the upper back (the thoracic spine).

The thoracic spine is one of the key areas that delivers rotation in the golf swing. If rotation in this area is limited, then you can expect:

  • A shorter backswing
  • Reduced power at impact
  • More back pain

Amongst senior golfers, this is the most common restriction I see in my assessments.

My favourite drill to improve thoracic rotation is shown in the video above. The great thing about this exercise is that you will experience an immediate and significant improvement in rotation, making it a great option to include in a warm-up before you play or practice.

Other variations to try: Narrow Stance Thoracic Rotations, Side-Lying Chest Opener

GET THE FREE WORKOUT

If you’re a senior wanting to play your best golf for years to come, you’ll want to use these exercises often. Download the free workout to keep on your device and refer back to later.

2. Lower Quarter Rotation

Hip internal rotation is the twisting movement of your thigh inward from your hip joint.

For a right-handed golfer, the right hip travels into internal rotation on the backswing, and then the left hip travels into internal rotation on the follow-through.

If you lack internal rotation in either hip, then you may compensate by finding that missing rotation through the lower back, which increases your risk of pain and injury.

You may also compensate with a Sway, Slide or both.

sway slide golg
A Sway is any excessive lower body lateral movement away from the target during the backswing and a Slide is any excessive lower body lateral movement toward the target during the downswing.

Not only do these swing characteristics rob you of distance and accuracy, but the lateral forces they produce put the lower back at greater risk of pain and injury.

The Lower Quarter Rotation is a simple way to test and improve your hip internal rotation.

Other variations to try: Supine Knee Drops, 90/90s

3. Dumbbell Scapular Retractions

Many senior golfers have rounded, hunched shoulders.

We call this as ‘C-Posture’, which can be seen in the image below.

S-Sosture and C-PostureC-Posture is a problem because it limits thoracic rotation (discussed in point #1) and often results in the golfer losing posture during the swing. For more information on C-Posture, check out the TPI article.

Dumbbell scapular retractions are a great exercise to help bring your upper back into a more neutral alignment.

Other variations to try: Prone Scapular Retractions, Seated Dumbbell Scapular Retractions,

4. Single-Leg Balance and Reach

Balance is easily one of the most underrated aspects of golf fitness.

Most people assume that, unless they’re falling over, their balance is fine.

But the reality is that most golfers lack the necessary balance to sufficiently control the momentum shifts into the backswing and then from the backswing through impact and into the follow-through.

The result is a lack of consistency, accuracy, and power.

Fortunately, balance is one of the most easily and quickly improved aspects of fitness. Regularly working on an exercise like the Single-Leg Balance and Reach can do wonders for your game.

As if that wasn’t enough of an incentive, we also know that balance training improves joint stability so much so that it lowers the risk of injury by 45%.

Other variations to try: Lateral Step to Balance, RFE Airplane Balance

5. Pulley Woodchop

There’s a saying in fitness:

You’re only as strong as your weakest link.

Most of the power in the golf swing is produced by the lower body, but a strong core is required to transfer that power into the upper body and ultimately into the golf ball.

As Jon Rahm’s coach Dave Phillips puts it:

The core, which I consider the glue that holds the swing together, transmits force from the lower body into the upper body and helps you rotate your torso

My favourite core strengthening exercise for all golfers, not just seniors, is the Pulley Woodchop. It specifically targets rotational strength, which is key in the golf swing.

Other variations to try: Pallof Rotation, Rotational Pulley Woodchop

CHEATSHEET DOWNLOAD

If you’re a senior wanting to play your best golf for years to come, you’ll want to use these exercises often. Download the free workout to keep on your device and refer back to later.

6. Pallof Press

Data from Trackman shows that the club speed of the average male amateur golfer is 93.4mph. This translates to compressive forces on the lower back of up to 8x body weight.

To protect the lower back from pain and injury, sufficient core stability is therefore essential.

In case you were wondering:

Core stability is different to core strength. Whereas core strength refers to the ability of the core to produce force, core stability refers to the ability of the core to resist force.

Lack of core stability, specifically, is linked to lower back pain in golfers.

The Pallof Press is one of the best golf exercises for seniors to develop core stability and protect the lower back.

Other exercises to try: Offset Kettlebell Carry, Side Plank

7. Goblet Squat to Box

If you’re a serious golfer, you’ve almost certainly heard of ground reaction forces (GRFs).

There are 3 types of GRFs, but the ones we need to pay the most attention to are vertical GRFs. Research has found that vertical GRFs are key to maximising clubhead speed and therefore distance.

To increase vertical GRFs, we need to build strength in the lower body.

My favourite exercise for this is the goblet squat to a box.

Squats are generally a great exercise for developing the musculature of the lower body. What’s great about the goblet squat, in particular, is that it forces you to learn the correct technique.

I like to have my senior golfers squat to a box so that they’re squatting to the same depth with every rep.

Other variations to try: Eccentric Split Squat, Side to Side Squat

8. Incline Push-Up

It’s true that most of the power in the golf swing comes from the lower body, but this doesn’t mean we can neglect the upper body.

There is a strong correlation between upper body power, clubhead velocity and ball velocity.

My favourite upper body exercise for senior golfers is the incline push-up for a number of reasons:

  • It doesn’t involve going overhead. There’s no question that overhead work is important, but many seniors lack mobility in this area. Attempting to build strength and power overhead without sufficient mobility is a recipe for disaster.
  • The incline push-up is easy to learn and perform safely.
  • You can do it anywhere.
  • It’s easy to adjust the difficulty by lowering the height of the surface you are performing the exercise against.

If you are performing full push-ups, with good form, on the floor you can then further increase the difficulty with a number of variations or by elevating your feet (at which point it becomes a decline push-up).

Other variations to try: Low-Incline Eccentric Push-Up, Incline Power Push Up

9. Pelvic Tilts

You’d be forgiven for wondering what this movement has to do with your golf swing.

It’s difficult to see at full speed, but top players posteriorly tuck their pelvis at impact.

Best Golf Exercises for Seniors to Improve Strength and FlexibilityIt’s a subtle, yet key movement, that helps them transfer the maximum amount of power from the lower body to the upper body and into the ball.

The inability to tuck the pelvis not only robs the player of power but can also lead to a swing characteristic that is notorious for producing inconsistent ball striking: early extension (straightening up too early on the downswing).

For some people, this movement will feel incredibly easy. But for others, particularly seniors, it can be challenging.

If you struggle with this movement, practising it against a wall or the floor is a great place to start. Focusing on flattening your lower back against the wall or a floor is a helpful feedback mechanism.

Other variations to try: Address Position Pelvic Tilt, Wall-Assisted Pelvic Tilt

10. Loaded Follow-Through

A proper weight shift is key to maximising your power in the golf swing.

It allows you to explode through the ball, turn better, and create length in your swing.

Unfortunately, this is one of the most common things I see senior golfers struggling with. They get stuck and don’t get through to their lead side, which results in a huge loss of power and distance.

One of my favourite golf exercises for seniors to work on the weight shift is the Loaded Follow-Through. The key to this drill is releasing the trail foot so that the sole of the shoe faces away from the target, allowing the trail hip to fully rotate.

Other exercises to try: Sidestep to Balance, Kickstance Pendulum

GET THE FREE WORKOUT

If you’re a senior wanting to play your best golf for years to come, you’ll want to use these exercises often. Download the free workout to keep on your device and refer back to later.

What are the best exercises for YOU?

In this article, I’ve shared the 10 best golf exercises for seniors.

However, the best exercises for you depend on your individual movement mechanics and strengths/weaknesses.

We can only identify those by taking you through a Golf Fitness Evaluation.

Armed with that information, I can then provide you with a fully personalised golf fitness programme to help you gain distance, improve consistency and prevent injuries… Allowing you to play your best golf for years to come.

To check my availability and find out whether you might be a good fit to go through my Golf Fitness Evaluation, click on the link below:

Click here to enquire now.