Golf Fitness with Dr. Steve -- Golf and your Wrists

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Click here to access Dr. Horwitz's website, with a complete listing of classes and products.

By Dr. Steven M. Horwitz, Maryland Director, National Strength and Conditioning Association

 

Because the grip is the body's sole connection to a golf club, wrist action is a critical part of the game. The wrists play two critical roles during the golf swing. First, they help control the club throughout the swing by keeping the club on a proper plane and keeping the clubface in proper alignment.  Second, the unlocking of the wrists through the zone of impact is the final power producer of the swing. 

 

If your wrists are weak or inflexible you will be susceptible to several swing flaws and injuries.

 

1.     Players with weak wrists improperly bow the left wrist (in a right handed golfer) outward on the backswing, which shuts the clubface and immobilizes the hands on the downswing. This results in a major loss of power and accuracy.

 

2.     Another flaw caused by weakness is the left wrist breaking down through impact, being dominated by the right arm. This causes many problems including topping, loss of distance, and pulling shots to the left.

 

 

3.     A typical way people try to hit a ball harder is to snap their wrists at the bottom of their swing. Although this may feel like you are getting more power out of your swing, this action actually slows the club head down.  Repetition of this swing flaw can cause tendonitis at the wrist.

 

4.     Decreased flexibility of the wrists will prevent proper positioning of the club throughout the swing and increase the susceptibility to tendonitis of the wrists.

 

Here are some exercises to strengthen your wrists:




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Wrist Extension -- Grasp a dumbbell with the palm down and the forearm supported by a bench. Extend the wrist up and down.



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Wrist Curl -- Grasp a dumbbell with the palm up and forearm supported by a bench. Curl the wrist up and down.



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Wrist Rotation -- Grasp a dumbbell at the weighted end or a small sledgehammer on the handle and support the forearm on a bench. Turn from palm up to palm down.



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Wrist Rotation, Figure 2.



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Wrist Hinge -- Stand with your arm hanging at your side. Grip a dumbbell or a golf club in one hand towards the end of grip. Raise the dumbbell/club by hinging your wrist in an up-and-down motion, the same motion your head would move if you were nodding "yes" to a question. Keep your arm at your side. Raise the dumbbell/club as high as you can. Lower and repeat.



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Wrist Extensor Stretch -- Start with your elbow at your side and bent at 90º. Your palm faces toward you. Grasp your hand just above the knuckles and pull your hand back toward you as you extend your arm forward.



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Wrist Extensor Stretch, Figure 2.



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Wrist Flexor Stretch -- Start with your elbow at your side and bent at 90º. Your palm faces away from you. Grasp your fingers just below the knuckles and pull your fingers back toward you as you extend your arm forward.



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Wrist Flexor Stretch, Figure 2.


Details:

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Dr. Steven Horwitz is certified as a Chiropractic Sports Physician, Strength and Conditioning Specialist, and a USA Weightlifting Club Coach. Dr. Horwitz was selected by the United States Olympic Committee as the sole chiropractor for the 1996 United States Olympic Team and has traveled internationally with U.S.A. Track and Field.  In 1996, the Governor appointed Dr. Horwitz to the Maryland Council on Physical Fitness and served as Chairman of the council from 2002 to 2004. In 2004, Dr. Horwitz was selected as the Maryland State Director for the National Strength and Conditioning Association. He is a recipient of the Maryland Chiropractic Association's Outstanding Achievement Award and Washingtonian magazine has chosen him as one of the Washington, D.C. area's top sports medicine doctors.  Dr. Horwitz is the author of the book YOU CAN BE FIT! and he competes in powerlifting and bodybuilding.  He is a certified ART® and Graston Technique practitioner and practices in Silver Spring, Maryland.

Steven M. Horwitz, DC, CCSP, CSCS, USAW
Maryland Director, National Strength and Conditioning Association
Chairman, Maryland Council on Physical Fitness 2002-2004
12200 Tech Road, Suite 104
Silver Spring, MD 20904
301-622-9000

www.youcanbefit.com/golffitness.html

Note:  Click on the link above to learn about Dr. Horwitz's full line of fitness classes and products.


Related Links   Comments on this article?
Maryland National Golf Club
Hollow Creek Golf Club
Rocky Gap Resort
PB Dye Golf Club in Ijamsville
Whiskey Creek Golf Club
E-mail Jeff Rendall, Editor:
jrendall@golftheunitedstates.com