The poor wrist. An often ignored part of the body until something goes wrong. This means that few people take the time to develop strong wrists to accommodate all the daily tasks and rigors of sport. Let’s think about it. The muscles that make the wrist move, come from the forearm, and extend through to the hand and fingers. The lower part of your arm does so much work! Typing, scrolling through social media, opening doors, picking up objects. In sport, anything that uses the upper body will use the wrist and forearm. Think about how long a hockey player has to carry a stick or how much force is exerted through the arm of a tennis player.
As technology advances, we are only going to use our hands, wrists, and forearms more often! So how do we strengthen them and avoid injury and weakness? How do we treat already sore and tired wrists? Great questions.
In my articles and videos, I like to keep things completely simple. The stretches and exercises today can be used for most wrist issues and definitely great for prevention.
Wrist curls and extensions are very basic. They simply work the forearm muscles in isolation, which can be exhausting! You might be surprised how fast these muscles get tired. You know you are making progress when you start to fatigue less and less. Anytime you are working muscles it’s ok to have fatigue. But if there is so too much and you cannot perform the exercise properly, stop and take a break. Proper technique will always be the most important.
You’ll see that I added finger exercises into the mix. The muscles from the forearm turn into tendons that attach in the fingers. Exercising the fingers, will exercise the muscles in the arm. You’ll be surprised how much your fingers need to strengthen. I find the best elastic bands come from broccoli! Then you can eat the broccoli as well!
In the video, I show a brief example of some traction. This technique separates the bones in the joint from each other ever so slightly. With more space, more fluid can move which provides nutrition, and helps the muscles move better. Imagine you are only picking up the slack, don’t pull too hard and create stress. Just a gentle pull. You can either hold the traction for a few minutes, which is what most people love, or gently do a give and take. Don’t release all the way, just about half way then pull again. You’ll feel when you have reached the joint’s limit.
At the end of the video, I added a few modifications for when you are doing mat work. I find some clients are uncomfortable with having their hands on the floor and putting weight on them. Often it’s the angle that can cause the pain. Try elevating your palm to take the weight off the wrist and more on to the fingers. Spread your fingers wide to evenly distribute the pressure.
There are many positions that allow a modification. Try going on your elbows instead of on your wrists so much. Easing your way into floor exercises like yoga help to build strength without over doing it.
If you want to learn more about reprogramming your body or need guidance putting a routine together, let me know! I would love to help.