My wrists have always been my weakest link when it comes to any exercises or activities using my upper body. I have never had muscular forearms or great grip strength, and worsening arthritis in both of my wrists makes it even more challenging to maintain forearm strength.
However, I choose wrist-friendly exercises, and I am conscious of maintaining a healthy and neutral wrist position when active.
We use our hands all day, every day, so keeping our wrists healthy is absolutely critical. I want to be as independent as possible throughout my life, which means being able to complete all activities of daily living such as dressing, bathing, cleaning my house, and participating in the sports and activities I love. Here are five great tips to maintaining your wrist strength!
1) Range of Motion
Be mindful of your wrist’s movement and how easily you can move your hands from the wrist through its complete range of motion. Take the time to stretch and move your hands from the wrist joint; this is especially important if your day involves repetitive movements at the wrist. Take the time to do this throughout your day.
- To stretch and relax your wrists: place your forearm on a table, make a gentle fist, then pull your fist up toward you (as far as you can comfortably) with a smooth, controlled movement.
- Then move your fist from right to left, and try to keep the movement fluid and smooth.
- Don’t move any other part of your arm.
- Try to complete five to ten movements, then do this again with your other hand.
2) Strengthen your Grip
There is a wide variety of grip strengtheners available, so choose yours wisely. It should fit comfortably in your hand and offer enough resistance so that you can feel the work, but not so much resistance that you cannot squeeze the strengthener.
3) Wrist curls
- Start this exercise without any weight; simply place your forearm on your upper legs, place your hands with your palms down and your wrists draping down over your knees.
- Then curl your hand upwards as far you can; move your hand back to the starting position slowly.
- Repeat this exercise, but with your palms up.
- Once you can complete ten to fifteen repetitions comfortably, try adding some resistance.
- A one to two-pound hand weight may work well for you, or a water bottle, can of soup, or any other lightly weighted object that fits in your hands efficiently will work.
4) Stretch Away Tension
As mentioned, we use our hands all day, every day. It should not be a surprise to learn then that a great deal of tension can and will build up in our forearms and wrists. This chronic tension can cause pain, discomfort, and a limited range of motion.
One of my favorite wrist stretches is simple to do and effective.
- Simply stretch your arm out in front of you, and point your fingers downward until you feel the stretch through your wrist and up into your forearm.
- Use your other hand to intensify this stretch by gently and slowly pulling your fingers in toward your body.
- Hold this position for a few seconds until you feel a release.
- Repeat on the other hand.
- Then, repeat the sequence with your fingers pointing up toward the ceiling on both hands.
5) Massage Away Tension
- By using a quality massage ball, you can provide your forearms, wrist, and hands effective relief from the stress, tension, and work of your long day.
- By using a smooth or spiky massage ball, you can achieve the level of comfort that your hard-working forearms, hands, and wrists deserve.
In just a small, affordable ball, such as the quality balls available from Physix Gear Sport, you can realize myofascial release, focus on trigger points, increase blood flow, reduce joint stiffness, improve flexibility, release tension, and more, all from the comfort of your home.
Using these massage balls is quite straightforward, takes little time to learn, and will provide you with the recovery and relief your wrists have been needing!