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Why Forearms Matter for Golfers and Pain Free Golf

It is likely that many of you have felt hand, wrist, forearm, or elbow pain in your golf journey. Along with the lower back, it seems that every golfer, at some point, deals with this. (I’m lumping everything from the elbow down together for the purposes of this article, likely to the annoyance of Physical Therapists everywhere).

There is ample reason why this injury is common. Not only are you swinging a stick as fast as you possibly can, creating torque and hinges and rotations etc, but you also make divots (a fancier word for “craters”) as frequently as possible by tearing through the turf with force. And unless you live in Seattle, it is likely that the ground is quite firm, thereby creating even more shock to the system.

After the 4,627th golfer I know complained of golfer’s or tennis elbow, I had a revolutionary thought, “maybe we should train those muscles with more frequency and intensity”. Clever, I know.

So we at WHD Fit started adding in more volume and speed and challenge for our wrists, forearms, elbows, and shoulders, to prevent injury and maintain our ability to play for as much, and as long, as possible.

Here are some of the winners.

Forearm Roller

Known as “everyone’s least favorite exercise” I happen to think this is the most effective one we have. I remember some baseball coach making me do this when I was ten. That guy deserves a raise.

Spinning Contraption

This one wins weirdest one we have, but is highly effective. Keeping the hands high, and rib cage stacked (no arching of the back please), forces your shoulders and biceps and elbows to simultaneously push and pull, similar to a speed bag for boxing. Great choice here. Link to the tool is below as well.

Upside down KB holds/presses/carries

This is wonderful for the hands and wrists. By flipping the weight upside down, you make gravity your enemy and then force your hands to do extra work. You can do almost any press this way to work your entire arm.

Speed chains

We have really liked these for more of a speed training type of arm workout. Ultimately, having super fast hand speed is very important for hitting the ball far, but also working to build speed forces us to create stability in the joints as well. Think of trying to jump high off a cushion versus jumping off concrete. The firmer a base, the easier it is to push fast.

Even though you might not have seen a few of these, in reality, simply holding heavier and heavier things will help build the strength of your grip, and prepare those muscles and tendons for more and more strenuous forces. While we like these a lot and do these with frequency, just holding weights also works pretty well. Let’s never forget to keep it simple.


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