Much fitness training is revolved around gaining muscle, losing weight, and getting the perfect abs. But what is often ignored in this process are the muscles, joints, and tendons that allow us to perform the exercises in the first place.
The wrist, which connect the carpal bones of the hand to the ulna and radius bones of the forearms should never be forgotten. Wrists play a very special role in support, we rely heavily on the use of our hands for daily activities as well as exercise. Properly exercising wrist components promotes long term use and reduce the chances of conditions like tendinitis and carpal tunnel.
Here are three wrist exercises that will strengthen the wrists:
This exercise is quite simple and easy to perform. To do so find a table with a flat surface in which you can comfortably place your forearm on (from wrist to fingertips). Make sure that the hand is place on the flat surface such that the palm is facing upwards (as you would in a blood draw). Keeping the fingers straight, relaxed, and together, raise only the palm up bringing the fingers in towards your body. Continue doing this motion slowly as long as it remains comfortable, you will start to feel the exercise soon enough.
Remember that this should never be painful, if it does start to become painful stop, relax and let those muscles, contact your doctor. Wrist flexion involves the use of the flexor carpi ulnaris and the flexor carpi radialis, two muscles that connect the forearm to the wrist and to the rest of the hand. Repeat for the other hand. (One has the option of adding extra resistance to this exercise by placing two fingers in the middle of the palm of hand being exercised and applying very mild pressure on it).
This exercise like is similar to wrist flexion as far as movement, and muscles being exercised. To perform this exercise start by finding a table on which you can support your forearm and from which the hand can hang from. Place the forearm on the table with only the hand hanging of on one of the sides.
Be sure to place a form of soft support between the edge of the table and the wrist, a folded hand towel works. Slowly bring the hand up from the hanging position until you feel the stretch. Do so for both hands. Repeat this exercise slowly and carefully and remember that it should never be painful, if this does happen you must contact your doctor before attempting this type of exercise again.
Wrists play a very special role in support, we rely heavily on the use of our hands for daily activities as well as exercise.
Wrist rotation (elbow at a 90 degree angle):
To perform this exercise start by forming a 90 degree angle at the elbow with the arm and forearm perpendicular to each other. Close the hand into a fist but do not flex the muscles at this point, the muscles will do so naturally as your perform the exercise. While maintaining this arm-forearm position do a full circular motion in the right direction with your wrist and then to the left. Repeat this a total of five times and more on to the other hand. Remember to perform this exercise slowly and carefully as to avoid injury. If the is pain present, stop and contact your doctor, this cannot be stressed enough.
All of these are good examples of range-of-motion exercises that help regain proper functions of hands in the case of stiffness or swelling. If there is severe pain present please contact a functional movement professional.
Santa Cruz CORE offers Sports ChiroTherapy, a very effective program that helps with these type of pain and with regaining functional movement. Chiropractors at CORE are trained in the Hanson Muscle Therapy, a form of manual therapy which helps with pain relief and optimal movement.
- Publications, Harvard Health. “5 Exercises to Improve Hand Mobility.” Harvard Health. Healthbeat, n.d. Web. 04 Apr. 2017. <http://www.health.harvard.edu/pain/5-exercises-to-improve-hand-mobility-and-reduce-pain>.