Sure, we see a lot of articles about love-handles, thighs, and abs, but what about wrists? If you’ve ever had to stop in the middle of your downward dog because your wrists needed a break, you will benefit from wrist and forearm strengthening exercises.
Your wrists are a complex structure responsible for movements from forearms to up past your elbow. It’s not unusual for physical therapists to prescribe wrist strengthening exercises for arm injuries. The wrists are often overlooked while often bearing the body’s weight in activities.
When wrists are weak, doing medium impact exercises and playing sports that require ball throwing can cause injury. One of the most common injuries that require wrist strengthening? Carpal tunnel syndrome. Yup, something as mundane as typing on your computer requires stronger wrists.
Below are some exercises you can do weekly to build up your wrist and forearm strength. For activities with weights, use the lowest weights possible, whether it’s 2.5 or 5lb.
1. Wrist circles
1. Sit or stand in a neutral spine position with feet hip-width apart.
2. Bring your arms in front of you, at shoulder level, and ball up your fists.
3. Keep your arms stationary, only moving the wrist. Turn your wrist clockwise and then counterclockwise ten times.
4. Do two sets.
2. Wrist grips
1. You need a hand grip tool for this. You can do this sitting or standing.
2. Squeeze, release, and squeeze again.
3. Repeat ten times on each side.
3. Dumbbell wrist curls
1. Sit with your legs hip-width apart and your arms resting on each leg. Your hands and wrists should be a little past your knees with your palms holding light dumbbells and facing up.
2. Slowly curl your wrists up to your forearms while keeping the rest of your body stationary.
3. Hold the position for 2 seconds and then extend your wrists back down. Repeat 10 times for one set.
4. Resistance Band Wrist Extensions
1. While sitting, grab one end of the resistance band into your right fist and hold the other end under your right foot. Your arm should be resting on your right thigh with the wrist hanging off.
2. Lift your fist toward your body, hold for a second, and then release back down. Repeat 10 times for a set.
3. Repeat on the left side.
5. Dumbbell Supination and Pronation
1. You can sit or stand for this. Bend your elbows, keeping them by your body. Your hands should have light weights in each hand with palms facing down.
2. Slowly rotate your palms with the weights to face the ceiling, hold for a second, and rotate back down.
3. Repeat 10 times for a set.