Sorry, golfers, but tennis elbow isn’t just for tennis players. A variety of repetitive motions, including swinging a golf club, can strain the muscles or tear the tendons near your elbow, causing pain throughout your arm. If you’re suffering from arm pain, put down your clubs and go see your doctor for a cure. If you feel fine, but you’re looking for an ounce of prevention, perform some elbow exercises to keep your golf swing in good shape.
Wrist Pronation and Supination Exercises
Grasp a small hand weight of approximately 1 pound.
Place your forearm on a table in front of you with your hand lying pinky-side down on the surface.
Rotate your forearm and pronate your wrist. If you’re right-handed, you’ll roll your wrist to the left approximately 90 degrees. Hold the position for two seconds, then repeat the movement. Perform three sets of 10 repetitions with each hand and try to work up to five sets. If you can, work up to a 5-pound weight.
Return to the starting position after you’ve completed the pronation exercises, then begin again, but this time supinate your wrist by moving it in the opposite direction.
Take some old clubs you’re not using anymore to a pro shop to be re-gripped. If you don’t have any old clubs, purchase some used clubs for practice, or find some at garage sales. Have the pro shop install form-fitting molded grips on your practice clubs.
Take the re-gripped clubs to the driving range and use them for all your practice sessions. The molded grips help remove any tension from your hands that may help cause tennis elbow. Remember, however, that molded grips aren’t permitted for actual play under the Rules of Golf.
Try to replicate the more relaxed grip that you're employing at the range when you tee up for real with your standard clubs.
- Tennis elbow may be caused by consistently poor swing mechanics that, over time, place excessive stress on your elbow. Common mistakes include gripping the club too firmly; assuming an awkward address position; improper body movements that cause you to rely too much on your hands and arms; and over-cocking your wrists on the backswing. If you’re not injured, but you’re concerned about the effects of poor swing mechanics on your health, a session with a golf pro today may be less costly than a trip to the doctor’s office tomorrow.
- Other tennis elbow preventive exercises include wrist flexor and extensor stretches, plus weighted wrist extensions and flexions.
- Don't perform any elbow exercises if you're already in pain. See a doctor first.
M.L. Rose has worked as a print and online journalist for more than 20 years. He has contributed to a variety of national and local publications, specializing in sports writing. Rose holds a B.A. in communications.