Fitness Friday: Smash the ball with stronger forearms
Power generation in a good golf swing comes from a number of muscle groups: the legs, core, back muscles, etc. But unless you have adequate forearm strength, you won't be able to transmit the force created by those muscles into the club and ball, says Golf Digest fitness advisor Randy Myers (@randymyers_).
One warning sign that you lack sufficient forearm strength is how tightly you grip the club. Eighteen of the 35 muscles that control hand movements originate in the forearms. In many instances, a tight grip means those muscles are overmatched.
You should also be able to pronate and supinate your forearms, Myers says. Try this test: Extend your forearms while keeping the upper arms and elbows resting against the sides of your torso. With your hands clenched and thumbs up, try to rotate your forearms so the palm of each hand is facing straight up. Then rotate them until the palms are facing down. If you struggle accomplishing either or feel like you often hold the club too tightly, these exercises below can help you improve your forearms strength and mobility.
1. EXTENSION/FLEXION STRETCH
Pull the fingers of a hand toward you (fingers up, palm facing away). Then turn the fingers down, palm facing you, and pull inward. Hold each stretch for several seconds, then repeat with the opposite hand.
Sit on an incline bench and hold two dumbbells at your sides. Lift the weights to your chest with your palms facing inward. Rotate the palms away from you, and return to the start (two sets, eight to 12 reps).
Holding dumbbells upright, rotate them to the left 90 degrees, then back to upright. (Two sets, eight to 12 reps, then repeat the exercise in the opposite direction.)
Ron Kaspriske is the fitness editor of Golf Digest.
(Illustrations by Bryan Christie (top); exercises, Brown Bird Design)