Golf Fitness: Strong Wrists Are Key to Solid Iron Shots

Your irons are the heaviest clubs in your bag, and therefore require more strength to swing. Weak forearms and wrists mean you’ll have a harder time supporting these clubs at the top of your swing and maintaining your wrist angles on the downswing. This leads to an early release of the club prior to impact, which not only robs your swing of much-needed speed and power but also puts your elbows and wrists at greater risk for injury. Here are several exercises that will improve both your strength and your range of motion.

By Randy Myers for Golf Digest Woman

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1. FIRST, TAKE THIS TEST

Hold a club straight out in front of you so that your right arm and the club’s shaft form a straight line. Hinge the club up toward your forearm without bending your elbow (above) and hold for two breaths; your thumb should reach at least 90 degrees. If you can’t do this, perform this exercise regularly (five reps on each arm) in addition to the others.

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2. THE WINDSHIELD WIPER

GOLF BENEFIT: Isolates and strengthens muscles in forearms and wrists.

HOW TO DO IT: From a seated position, rest your right forearm and elbow on your leg so your wrist is hanging free. Holding a 5-pound dumbbell, rotate your wrist from side to
side, keeping your elbow pressed into your leg (above). Perform two sets of 10
reps with each arm.

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3. THE HAMMER CURL

GOLF BENEFIT: Strengthens forearms and mid-bicep area, allowing you to hold wrist angles longer; prevents golfer’s elbow.

HOW TO DO IT: From a seated position, hold a 10-pound dumbbell in your left hand, palm facing inward (above). Curl the weight up toward your left shoulder (top of page) and return to the starting position, as if you were hammering a nail. Perform two sets of 10 reps with each arm.

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4. WRIST & FOREARM STRETCH

GOLF BENEFIT: Stretches wrist extensors and flexors for a stronger release and more clubhead speed.

HOW TO DO It: Hold your right arm out in front of you, fingers pointed toward the sky. Gently pull the fingers of your right hand back toward you until you feel a good stretch on the underside of your forearm. Hold for two full breaths, then repeat with fingers pointing down to stretch the top of your forearm. Perform five reps with each arm.

Click here for more fitness tips at GolfDigest.com.

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