Poor grip training and hand, wrist & elbow training on the PGA Tour will continue to produce hand, wrist & elbow injuries. The people in the know that report on the PGA Tour have to be made aware of this hole in the boat. Fundamental hand and grip strength exercise concepts are overlooked because traditional ‘grip-only’ hand training has become so organically accepted over the years.
When I was a junior golfer, I was also told to grip a tennis ball to strengthen my hands… bad advice!
The back of our hand, wrist & elbow house our ‘grip-stabilizing’ band of muscles. Each time we grip anything (think gym, practise & play), these muscles contract in support of the grip. Otherwise the hand and fingers would collapse. It is a co-contraction, meaning the ‘hand-opening’ muscles contract to support the action of the ‘hand-closing’ muscles. We call this co-contraction GRIP! But we either don’t understand it… or we don’t train our golfers like we understand it.
The problem is that the hand-opening muscles (the grip-stabilizers) are contracting in one static position over and over, thus building a static extensor band that is SO easy to injure, especially under the stress of a golf strike… multiplied innumerably by high rough, more by wet rough and more by rocks & tree roots…
Thus, hand, wrist & elbow imbalance is universal in golf and injury after injury after injury will occur at an unnecessarily high rate… hand, wrist, elbow especially. It is the same ‘route’ cause – hand muscle imbalance – not tree roots alone!
Yes, golf is a contact sport for these areas, but if when key structures are statically trained, producing inflexible muscle chains and poor blood flow, they have VERY LITTLE chance of escaping injury, especially as the golfer ages..
We have developed an easy complete exercise that will solve this training and golf-inherent imbalance in EVERY SINGLE GOLFER. I am a former professional golfer. I have seen the poor training first hand. I’ve worked with 1000’s of athletes and musicians. ALL (every one!) are strong in flexion, weak in extension. Same thing over and over until we work with them. Should this not be a very obvious hint? We have many professional golfers using our product and they do very well.
But this imbalance is not just an injury issue for the older golfer. It is also a performance issue for all golfers. The stronger the grip stabilizer muscles are, the stronger the hand strength, the greater the player can relax and still have control of the club, the better the player can negotiate rough with lower risk of injury when required.
I am hopeful that we can raise awareness with golfers and prominent fitness and training professionals in the golf industry, especially former players. Now that Tiger Woods and John Daly are both out with elbow injuries, the spotlight is on this issue as much as ever. Mike Weir is another very notable golfer, Aaron Olberholser, Nice Price, Julie Inkster, Lanny Wadkins, Doug Tewell, etc. etc. etc… and the full list including hand and wrist injuries is exhausting…
If you are a golfer, a therapist, a trainer or participate in any grip activity, understand that the hand-opening muscles are just as important as the hand-closing muscles in grip performance, speed, strength, flexibility, stamina and to injury reduction at the hand, wrist, carpal tunnel & elbow.