Wrist Mobility Stretches And Strengthening Exercises
Jennifer kind of... (maybe mostly)... regretted it.
The pain was constant and it was bad enough to make her think...
"Why did I get this surgery? This is NOT better."
I won't forget this becuase Jennifer's hands were wrapped up like mittens. But she still came to our studio to get some exercise it.
You got to give her credit for that.
This was over two years ago.
Today, she still says her wrists hurt. Not nearly as bad... the pain never goes away.
She had gotten carpal tunnel sergury because over the years... her wrists and forearms have gotten in pretty bad shape.
This is more common than I thought. I know two other people considering or about to get the surgery.
It does not have to be this way.
There are simple:
- Wrist stretches
- Wrist mobility exercises
- Forearm trigger spots
- Strength exercises to bullet proof your wrists
All of these stretches and strength exercises will help your wrists stay in great shape.
Are You A Computer User Or Detailed Hand User?
Detail hand user?
I didn't know what to call this. Jennifer was a pharmacist. All day long in her old job... she was picking up (pinching) small bottles and using a computer.
If you just a computer a lot like me... it's the arm that clicks the mouse.
There are many extensor muscles that move your finger.
All day long you're doing the same extension movement... probably close to one thousand times.
Every... single... day.
This causes inflamation and inflamation causes:
- Wrist pain
- Elbow pain
- Even muscle issues into your biceps and triceps to get tight.
My Top 3 Wrist Stretches
I keep wrist streching simple... there are only 3 that I do regularly.
Before I show them to you...
It's easy to push too hard when stretching your wrists and you can end up...
- Tweaking them out...
- Over extending...
- Or just hurting them slightly.
So don't push hard... feel it out and be gentle.
Get on your hands and knees.
Place your hands on the ground so your fingers are pointing forward in front of you.
Variation 1: Stay On Knees
Stay on your knees because it's easier to stay in control and be gentle.
Keep your arms straight and slowly rock forward brining your shoulders over your hands as far as you can... but be gentle and don't force it.
Hold for a second or two... rock back to neutral and repeat.
Whatever you do, don't use momentum when rocking forward. Again you don't want to push it too hard by accident and hurt your writsts.
Variation 2: In A Plank
This is much harder and requires stronger wrists.
Get in a plank and do the same slow forward motion and back to nuetral.
It's a similar stretch... but now you're building a little strength in your wrist becuase you have to support more of your bodyweight.
If you have never done this before... don't do this version yet.
Use the exercises I have below to strengthen your wrists first... then you can slowly try this.
Finger Back Towards Knees
Get your hands and knees.
Place your hands on the ground so your fingers are pointing back towards your knees.
Make sure your knees are bent with your butt closer to your heels in this case.
There's only one way to do this stretch. No "harder" variations.
Keep your arms straight and rock your butt closer to your heels.
You'll feel the stretch go straight up the inside or your forearms. I love this one... it feels great.
The same idea though...
- Don't push it too hard
- Don't use momentum
And just go back... hold for a second or two... then return to neutral.
A Big Idea
I like to pulse more during these wrist stretches to "respect" my wrists.
Holding the streches is hard and something you can work towards. I probably should work towards this myself more.
Things get pretty rough when you hold these stretches for a long period of time.
And remember... these are more a mobility exercise and not really a stretch.
I know I keep saying stretch... remember... we are mobilizing the wrists range of motion.
On Top Of Hands
This is the hard version. Like really hard.
Out of all my members and clients... I've only seen a few able to do this.
Don't give up... keep working on this a little every day and you will be able to fully straighten your arms.
Get your hands and knees.
Place your hands with your fingers back towards your knees... but this time... the top of your hands are on the ground.
This is hard.
Straighten your arms and rotate your "elbow pits" forward.
Just doing this is incredibly tough for most people to do.
Once you can straighten your arms, sit your butt back to your heels.
You will feel a stretch go straight up the top of your forearms.
It feels incredible and it's realy good if you have the beginning of carpel tunnel pain at the top of your wrist.
Trigger Ball Your Forearms
Most wrist pain is due to overuse from being at a computer. Clicking the mouse is culprit number one.
But if you do any type of movement with your hands in a repetivie fashion...
- Small movementing using your fingers... pinching
You'ill get inflammation in your forearms.
Roll Under Your Forearm
Take a trigger ball about the size of a tennis ball and roll under your forearm.
Go with big rolling motions and feel if there are any spots that are really sensitive.
You might not feel a particular spot. Rather just an overall tightness.
Roll On Top Of Your Forearm
I have a spot in particular I want you to hit.
Flex your forearm like this...
You'll see a line between two muscles... your Extensor Carpi Radialis Longus muscle and Extensor Digitorum muscle.
Take your trigger ball and roll right on this line.
If you're like most people you will feel a great deal of pain or discomfort. This is a spot you need to roll and smash on a regular basis.
A lot of your wrist pain and discomfort can be attributed to this spot.
The more your work this spot... the less wrist and forearm pain you'll have. It's pretty incredible.
Bonus... Right Behind Your Elbow
This is more for elbow pain but I feel these spots are connected.
Go to a box and place the trigger ball directly behind your elbow. Press in pretty hard and then make a chop motion (flextion and extension) with your forearm.
If you have tight triceps... wich you probably do... you will feel this spot.
Keep working it. I hit this spot on my body a lot.
Wrist Mobility Exercises
This is going to be short.
The stretches and mobilizations we talked about at the top of this article will help the most.
But I wanted to add in just regular movement and stretching your wrists during the day.
- Make wrist circles many times during the day.
- Stretch your wrists as you stand waiting or while your sitting in traffic.
- Extend your fingers fulling and manipulate your wrists manually.
These small movements will do a lot to help your wrists from getting though repetive overuse injuries.
Exercises To Bullet Proof Your Wrists
The goal is to build wrist and forearm strength. The stronger your grip the better.
Grab two heavy kettlebells or dumbbells.
Hold that at your side while you squeeze the handles hard.
This needs to be hard for your grip so the weight has to be heavy.
The other key is to stand in your power pose... perfect posture with your shoulders pulled back.
Farmers carry work a lot more than just your grip. Your entire body will get worked.
Hang From a Bar
Hanging from a bar is one of the best exercises for your grip and your shoulders.
What I love about it... it pulls your shoulders the opposite direction compared to farmers carry. Both of these exercises are great to pair together.
Notice the grip...
Wrap your thumbs around the handle of the kettlebell or dumbbell... and wrap your thumb around the bar.
When you're doing a farmers carry or hanging... don't use hook grip. This is when only your fingers are wrapped around the bar.
Make sure your thumb is wrapped around the handle and bar too... you need to make sure you are actively squeezing the handle. Again you don't just want to hold on... you want to squeeze.
You will get a lot stronger a lot faster doing it this way.
Almost Any Exercise Kettlebell Related
One of the huge benefits of kettlebell training is how important your grip is.
Doing exercises like:
- Rack squats
- Step ups
Kettlebell exercises require your grip to be STRONG.
If you want to get into kettlebell training , I have a huge library of posts to help you get going.
Finger Band Extensions
You may never have seen before but it's important if you have wrist and forearm pain.
Get a hair tie or you can purchase a finger extension band.
You are going to extend your fingers out straight. This will strengthen your finger extensors which don't get enough attention.
The great thing about doing these is you can do them anywhere.
It's almost like having a fidget spinner but with some great benefits.
Insane Pushups (Gymnast Style)
When you get your wrists to a certain level of strength (you'll have to experiment to know when this is for you)...
You can start doing tougher exercises to make your wrists even stronger.
A plank with the top of your hands on the ground is intense. But think about how it will help compared to having your wrists constantly bent the other direction.
Doing pushups with the top of your hands on the ground is similar.
Your loading your wrists in a completely different way and this will increase strength and robustness.
Dan had to demonstrate this one!
Use These Wrist Mobility Exercises For More Strength And Less Pain
If you do these regularly... you will feel a huge difference.
It you suffer with forearm pain and wrist pain right now... realize it could take your 4 to 6... even 8 weeks of being consistent before you really start to feel relief.
But if you keep going you most likely will find that relief.
Let me know how it goes on my social accounts. I would like to hear some success stories about how these exercises helped.
Also make sure you follow my podcast.
I'm really working on growing it to the next level of guests and audience size.
It is also listed on any of the platforms you may use as well. Including this blog!
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