Stretches, strengthening, and core stabilization are important for a healthy golf season!
Over the years I have had many home health patients who have wanted to get back on the golf course. It is increasingly important to protect and prepare our bodies for changing activities as we age. Golfing is considered a mild sport, but repetitive swinging on an unprepared body can torque a well used knee, back or shoulder, and lead to significant pain! Research has found it is helpful to prepare prior to the season (Vandervoort, 2009). Posted below are a few ideas for season preparation, warm ups, and precautions. Download and use this handout for your patients (or like me, for your spouse and all his friends!!!).
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One idea for our ‘retired’ golfers: bring the golfing game indoors, and use an inexpensive small home putter for standing balance, trunk strengthening, and shoulder exercises! (affiliate link)
Golf season preparation and warm ups:
Perform regular general cardio activity (walking is great).
Perform stretches for flexibility (tight muscles lead to injuries).
Strengthen the muscles that will be challenged: core, knee and shoulder.
Sharpen your balance for safety, and to prevent straining muscles with awkward saves.
Do some light putting and easy hitting a few times before you return to the game.
Avoid using some of the heavier or longer clubs in the beginning of the season.
Take it easy for a few rounds, and slowly increase the competitive play!
This is a typical handout/ routine (freebie printable!) I would use to educate on pre- season preparation.
Along with exercising prior to the season, and getting our body ready for the game, we need to establish good habits during the season.
Golfing precautions and injury prevention:
Take the time to warm up every time you play: cardio, stretches, a few core exercises.
Spend more time warming up putting and practicing your swing as you age.
Monitor the competitive play: know your limits.
Monitor your use of heavier or longer clubs. See a golf professional if you need advice for the right club.
Stay hydrated. As we age (and certain medications can contribute) we are more susceptible to over heating.
Use the golfer’s reach for picking up balls, and invest in a golf ball retriever! (affiliate link)
If you experience pain that doesn’t go away within a few days, it is best to see a health care professional sooner, rather than later. More Ideas for golfing safety and preparation(Golf Portal).
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What other tips do you have, or exercises do you do to prepare for golfing? Subscribe to my blog for a few health printable FREEBIES, and senior health care information and tips!