"The grip is the most important single consideration in learning to play
winning golf." Byron Nelson
"Unless a player gets his or her grip correct, trouble begins immediately."
Do not be fooled by the term ‘strength’ either. It takes as much strength to control a club with a loose grip as it does with a tight grip. I am also not going to demonstrate different types of golf grips, rather helping you make the grip you are best suited to more efficient. Therefore, here are several simple exercises and stretches a golfer can do in order to grab an edge on the competition.
"A correct grip is a fundamental necessity in the golf swing." Bobby Jones
"It is impossible to play good golf without a proper grip." Sam Snead
These exercises can be performed in a variety of ways with a variety of resistance. The beauty of forearm training is that you do not require heavy weights to fatigue them, so packing up and heading to the gym is not essential. If you have a pair of old dumbbells or a barbell lying around perfect, if not you can still create resistance with any number of household items. Another way around this is to pick up some inexpensive ‘exercise elastics’. I will be putting together an entire golf workout program for the whole body over the next few weeks that can be done at home using minimum equipment.
Warming up the forearms is as simple as shaking them out at the wrist. Firstly, ball your hands into fists and slowly rotate at the wrist clockwise for several turns and then anti-clockwise for several turns. Secondly, with your elbows at 90 degrees and palms facing each other like a hammer grip, slowly move your hands up and down again at the wrist.
Next, a light stretch is in order. With open hands and palms pressed against each other as if you are praying (see image). Gently lower your hands keeping your elbows at the same height until you just feel a stretch at the wrist. Do not go past this point and hold for a good 10 seconds. I would then suggest repeating the entire sequence before beginning the resistance exercises.
If you are training at home and do not have access to a proper weight bench or exercise ball, I suggest being seated on a firm chair for the following exercises, like a dining chair rather than a couch. (Click on images for larger picture)
If you have a barbell or a dumbbell, with palms facing the ceiling rest your forearms on your thighs. If you have an elastic, lay it flat on the floor in front of you then place your feet about a foot apart in the middle of the elastic. Grabbing the ends, bring your hands onto your thighs as suggested previously (See image). Slowly lift the bar using only your wrists. Your forearms should not leave your thighs. The weight should allow you to comfortably achieve 20 repetitions, which you will repeat for four sets, performing gentle stretches between each set.
The second exercise is very similar to the first however, this time palms are facing the ground. Repeat the same numbers as above.
The final exercise is quite novel using a piece of equipment you can easily put together yourself (see image). Using a smooth, rounded stick, a third length of a broomstick is perfect and about 4-5 feet of rope, looped or tied to some kind of resistance. The theory is simple, using both hands, wind the rope up the sick. Obviously, the shorter the rope becomes the more resistance is placed on the forearms. Going back down has the opposite effect.
Performing the resistance exercises at least twice a week will have a tremendous affect on grip strength confidence. The stretches however, I would suggest performing daily especially before beginning play. You can also modify the stretches to be performed during the tournament to refocus and connect better with your clubs.
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