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More Training Info > Wrist Pain

Wrist Pain

Q: I have difficulties with my wrists doing certain strength exercises (pushups, dips, and other pressing movements). Do you have any suggestions on what I can do to eliminate the discomfort?

A: This could be a matter of simply increasing the flexibility in your wrists: try one of the following pictured stretches: 1) place palms flat on a bench or the floor, fingers toward you, and gently ease your hips backward until you feel a good stretch in the forearms; 2) place palms together in front of the chest, fingers up to the ceiling, and heels of the hands pressing down to the floor (these are also great stretches for climbers).

In the meantime, any exercise that requires you to bend your wrists backward can be adjusted to be more comfortable. For example, when doing a pushup, you can use pushup handles, hex dumbbells (both allow you to keep your wrists in a neutral, more comfortable position) or try doing them on your knuckles. If you happen to be double jointed in the thumbs like I am, you may find my technique works for you: I position both hands as tripods, with weight on my knuckles and thumbs. For dips, instead of having your palms flat on and in the middle of the bench, slide forward so the heels of the hands are directly on the edge, fingers down, which allows you to keep your wrists in a more neutral position. When doing a bench press, be sure the weight is not back in the fingers or palm part of the hand, but more on the heels of the hands, and imagine a ruler taped along your elbow to fingers – try to keep this neutral wrist position throughout the exercise. If you need to lighten the weight in order to find a more comfortable position for the time being, by all means do so. Finally, if your wrists hurt at all when pulling, check your form and be sure you aren’t cocking the wrists at the end position (pulled in toward your body.)



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