Poor grip training and hand, wrist and elbow training on the PGA Tour will continue to lead to hand, wrist and elbow injuries. People who know of that report on the PGA Tour should be aware of this hole in the ship. The fundamental concepts of grip and hand strength exercises 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 grab a tennis ball to strengthen my hands … Bad advice!
The back of the hand, wrist, and elbow house our grip-stabilizing muscle band. Every time we grab something (think gym, practice, and play), these muscles contract in support of the grip. Otherwise, the hand and fingers would collapse. It is a co-contraction, which means that the muscles that ‘open the hand’ contract to support the action of the muscles that ‘close the hand’. We call this GRIP co-contraction! But either we don’t understand it … or we don’t train our golfers the way we understand it.
The problem is that the muscles that open the hands (the grip stabilizers) contract in a static position over and over again, thus building a static spreader band that’s SO easy to injure, especially under the stress of a golf shot … multiplied countless by high rough, more by wet rough, and more by rocks and tree roots …
Therefore, hand, wrist and elbow imbalance is universal in golf and injury after injury will occur at an unnecessarily high rate … especially to the hand, wrist, and elbow. It’s the same ‘route’ because – hand muscle imbalance – not just tree roots!
Yes, golf is a contact sport for these areas, but when key structures are statically trained, producing inflexible muscle chains and poor blood flow, they have a VERY LOW chance of escaping injury, especially as the golfer ages.
We have developed an easy and comprehensive exercise that will resolve this imbalance inherent in training and golf for ALL GOLFERS. I am a former professional golfer. I’ve seen bad training firsthand. I have worked with thousands of athletes and musicians. ALL (all!) Are strong in flexion, weak in extension. The same over and over again until we work with them. Shouldn’t this be a very obvious clue? We have many professional golfers who use our product and do it very well.
But this imbalance is not just an injury problem for the older golfer. It is also a performance issue for all golfers. The stronger the stabilizing grip muscles, the stronger the hand force, the more the player can relax and still have control of the club, the better they can negotiate rough with less risk of injury when needed.
It is my hope that we can raise awareness among golfers and prominent fitness and training professionals in the golf industry, especially former players. Now that Tiger Woods and John Daly are 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, therapist, coach, or participate in any grip activity, please understand that the muscles that open the hands are as important as the muscles that close the hands in the performance of grip, speed, strength, flexibility, endurance and injury reduction. in the hand, wrist, carpal tunnel and elbow.