You don’t need bulky, Popeyelike forearms to play golf. However, strong forearms can help you control the club and increase swing speed. They can also help prevent hand, wrist and forearm injuries. One of the most common problems female golfers face is a tendency for the wrists to collapse at the top of the backswing, leading to a flippy, "wristy" downswing that looks more like an attempt to swat at a mosquito than hit a golf ball. Strong forearms can also help prevent this common swing flaw.
At Home or on the Course
Hold a golf club in your right hand and lift your arm straight until it is parallel to the ground and your thumb and club point to the sky. Rotate your forearm counterclockwise until the club is parallel to the ground, palm facing down. Pause for a beat. Rotate the club clockwise until your palm faces up. Pause again, and repeat in the other direction. Continue for 10 repetitions.
Repeat with your left hand. When this becomes easy, try the exercise holding two clubs in one hand.
Make practice swings in tall grass. This is one of the oldest tricks for strengthening wrists and forearms. Accelerate the club through the grass. After only a few swings, your hands, wrists and forearms will start to feel the burn. The extra benefit to this exercise is that it will improve your ability to hit a golf ball out of deep grass.
Swing a weighted club. This will improve forearm and overall strength and flexibility for golf. The forearms will perform just as they do in the swing, but the heavy club will build strength. When you pick up a regular club, you'll notice how light and easy to control it feels. You should be able to swing the club and make a powerful "swooshing" noise.
At the Gym
Hold an unweighted curl bar with both hands or a dumbbell in each hand. Sit on a bench and rest your forearms on the tops of your thighs with your palms facing up. Raise and lower the bar or weight with your wrists only.
Repeat the exercise with your palms facing down.
Hold a dumbbell in each hand like a hammer and make tapping motions up and down. Complete two sets of 10 repetitions of each exercise.
- On Golf; Jim Flick
- Golf Digest: Strengthen Your Forearms
- You can substitute resistance tubing for weights in the gym exercises.
- See a doctor before beginning any fitness program. Consult a personal trainer for help with these exercises and a golf professional for additional swing advice.
David Raudenbush has more than 20 years of experience as a literacy teacher, staff developer and literacy coach. He has written for newspapers, magazines and online publications, and served as the editor of "Golfstyles New Jersey Magazine." Raudenbush holds a bachelor's degree in journalism and a master's degree in education.