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My teaching pro wants me to increase the strength and flexibility in my hands and forearms. Can you help me with what to do? Katherine - Colorado Springs, CO
Katherine these simple exercises will improve the strength and flexibility in your hands, forearms and wrists and will help you with better club control!
Stretching a rubber band for strength
The extender exercise is equally simple, but almost never practiced. All you need is a sturdy rubber band and ten minutes. Here's how it works.
1. Wrap a short, strong rubber band around your thumb and a finger so that the band is relaxed when the hand is closed.
2. Open the hand slowly, stretching the rubber band between the thumb and finger, then close the hand just as slowly so that you feel resistance in both directions.
Repeat the exercises 10 times with each finger of each hand until all fingers have worked through the same number of repetitions. Extend and release slowly to make the exercises more effective.
Repeat this exercise doing 20 repetitions for 3 sets with a rest of 30 seconds between each set. During the rest period, extend and spread your fingers to stretch your hand. Just because you can squeeze the ball 100 times without stopping doesn't mean that you should. Your hands bet a better workout if you take a break between sets.
Working both hands equally. Don't fall into the old golf trap of thinking the left hand should be considerably stronger than the right. In strength training (as in life), both sides deserve equal time.
Standing with your feet shoulder-width apart and your hips rotated forward, place your right hand into the loop of the Stretch Trainer. Holding your arm straight out in front of you, slowly pull downward on the Stretch Trainer until you feel the stretch in your biceps and your forearms. Hold this stretch for 30 seconds and repeat to the opposite side.
I need help with endurance for my golf game. I have a bike and treadmill at home. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Chuck ' Boston, MA
Golf is a sport of tempo, timing, mechanics and power. However, endurance is also important to your golf game. If you are not in shape aerobically, losing steam when playing 18 holes will take mental and physical energy away from your game.
Increase your cardiovascular capacity (the ability to use oxygen and fuel efficiently during longer periods of exercise) to play optimal golf. Aerobic capacity is developed through sustained exercise at 60-85% of your maximum heart rate. Choose an activity that you will continue 20-30 minutes; for example, biking, swimming, brisk walking or stair climbing. Also choose a program that offers interval options. This gives you the same scenario as if you had to tackle an incline on the course getting to your next shot!
To determine your target heart range, use this formula: Subtract your age from 220. Multiply the difference by .6 and again by .85.
(For example, a 40 year old calculates 220-40 X .6 = 108, and then 220-40 X .85 = 153, so target range is 108-153 beats per minute).
Now you have your training range to increase your aerobic capacity. Monitor your heart rate every five minutes to insure you are training efficiently.
Click here for training aids from the Golf Fitness Pro Shop!
Editor's Note: Kelly Blackburn has traveled the PGA Tour and Champions Tour circuits as a fitness consultant and trainer for 12 years. Kelly welcomes your email questions and comments, contact her at BlackburnOnTour@aol.com. Visit KellyBlackburn.com to learn more about health and fitness for golf.