Every April since 1934 some of the world’s most elite golfers gather at the pristinely manicured and outstandingly gorgeous Augusta National Golf Club for a chance to go down in history as one of the world’s best golfers and take home a classy green blazer. If you’re like us, then just thinking about this renowned tradition makes you want to put on your best pair of brightly colored plaid pants and hit the links. Before you begin swinging the irons, however, make sure your hands and wrists are strengthened and prepared for 18 holes after a winter of indoor relaxation. We’re providing hand and wrist strengthening techniques to help keep you out of our hand therapy offices this season.
Wrist Strengthening Iron Lifts
Stand straight and tall with your arm hanging by your side. Hold a short iron in your hand, placing the head of the club on the ground. Keeping your arm stationery, raise the club head upward as high as you comfortably can using only your forearm and wrist strength. Slowly lower the club back down to the group. Repeat 12 times. Switch sides and complete the motion 12 more times. Practice this wrist strengthening routine three times per week.
This movement can help strengthen your grip and does not require significant weight to be effective. Sit on a bench or a stable chair, a dumbbell in each hand, with your forearms resting on your thighs, palms up. Extend your hands over your knees and then lower the weight as far as you comfortably can, then curl your wrist up toward your body. Complete ten repetitions. Then repeat the movement but switch your grip so that your palms are facing away from you. Reversing the action helps to strengthen all the muscles in your hands. Complete 12 repetitions.
Towel Pull Ups
You’ll need access to a pull-up bar for this advanced routine. Drape two hand towels over the pull-up bar with the ends hanging down toward you. Grip the towels with your thumbs facing you and the backs of your hands facing outward and pull yourself up using your arms and shoulder muscles. The need to squeeze the towels tightly in your hands while you pull yourself up will strengthen your grip, which is critical for hand strength.
Stretching helps build flexibility and can mitigate your risk of injury. After every upper body workout, including a day at the links, stretch your wrists. Hold your arm straight out in front with your palm facing outward. With your opposite hand pull your fingers back toward your body. You should feel a stretch in your wrist and forearm. Hold for a few seconds, switch sides, and repeat three times.
By regularly strengthening your hands and wrists you can benefit from straighter and longer drives, more accurate putting, and long term comfort and enjoyment of a pastime. That sounds to us like a hole in one.
To learn more about hand exercises or if you are experiencing pain make an appointment with one of our therapists.