We use our wrists in numerous exercises. But we usually seem to forget about the wrists themselves when it comes to strengthening. That’s why we often experience discomfort, soreness, or even pain in the wrist area when exercising, especially at the beginning of our fitness route. How to take a proper care of the wrists to avoid pain an injuries? What exercises will strengthen the muscles around the wrists?
Think of how often we use the wrists working out: push-ups, burpees, mountain climbers, bench dips, chin-ups, plus practically all the exercises with barbells and dumbbells. The pressure on the wrists is enormous. That’s why we should not underestimate the role of the wrists, which sometimes have to bear the weight of the whole body, or even more when we work out with additional weights.
To make sure our wrists are safe and more immune to injuries, we should always follow the three rules:
RULE #1: Warm-up properly.
Do you always remember to warm-up the wrists at the beginning of your session? Well, you should. How to warm up the wrists?
1. Do lots and lots of circular movements. Alternate the directions and the pace.
2. Jump rope at the beginning of each session. To warm-up the wrists, make sure your elbows are close to your waist, and that the wrists are circling.
RULE #2: Remember about strengthening.
3. Dumbbell wrist curls
Grab a pair of dumbbells, not too heavy for starters. Sit on a bench or a chair. Lay your forearms on your thighs, the inner side of the forearms directed up. Using your wrists only, pull the dumbbells as high as you can. Don’t rush it – the movement should be slow and controlled. Next, turn the forearms the other side up on the thighs, and again, drag the dumbbells up, and slowly drop it back down. Start with 3 series of 10 reps at least.
4. Rolling the rope on a stick
That’s one gymnastic trick for strengthening the wrists you can do at home. You’ll need a stick, a rope and something to hang on the rope for some more resistance. Bind the two ends of the rope over the stick and over the load. Hold the stick, and try to roll the rope on the stick by moving one wrist at a time. Unroll it back. Then change the direction of rolling. Keep going for 30 seconds three times. If it’s too hard, decrease the load.
5. Knuckle push-ups
Usually doing the push-ups you put the palms of your hands on the ground. This way, the angle between the hand and the forearm is 90 degrees. To strengthen the wrists, clench your hands into fists, and put the knuckles on the ground, so that the wrists are not bent, but are in straight line with the forearms. You can do part of your regular push-ups this way, as the muscles of the chest, arms and core will work as well as they do in regular push-ups.
Another way is to grab two dumbbels or kettlebels, put them on the ground, hold and do push-ups this way. Basically, the positioning of the wrist will be the same, but your knuckles won’t touch the ground.
RULE #3: Stretch after workout.
6. Wrist stretches
And the final step to the healthy and strong wrists is proper stretching after workout. This way the mobility of the wrist joint will not decrease as its strength increases. The tendons and muscles around it will be flexible and more immune to injuries. But first, and foremost, the proper process of recovery starts from stretching, which stimulates the blood flow in the tissue and relaxes the muscles.
Why is it important to take proper care of the wrists?
The wrists take part in many exercises we do, whatever type of training we engage in. A possible injury would stop us from following our workout plan the way we planned to, and negatively affect our results. Not to mention the pain and discomfort on the way. So make sure you never forget about the wrists in your workout.