Do your wrists hurt after exercise? When you lift anything heavy, do you feel pain in your wrists? Or when you play a few rounds of table tennis, do you find your wrists to be sore? Since we use our wrists for most of our day-to-day tasks, it is common to experience wrist pain.
It is natural to start losing strength and flexibility in your hands and fingers as you age. An article published in Harvard Health Publishing indicates that the grip strength for most men starts to decline around the age of 55. The reason is due to a natural age-related decline in muscle mass.
According to Maria Cole, a physical therapist with Harvard-affiliated Spauld ing Outpatient Center, the ability to stay active and independent often begins with our hands.
Our wrists can only handle a certain amount of force, depending on how strong they are. We experience pain in our forearms because of a lack of inflexibility within the wrists. If the load is heavier than the forearms, the muscles start to get sore.
“When you lose strength in your upper and lower body, odds are your grip strength will suffer too,” says Cole.
Are you among those who suffer from such pain? Don’t worry! The following guidelines will unfold on how you can preserve and maintain the strength in your wrists.
There are various ways to strengthen your wrists, but how would you identify the correct and beneficial method for you? It is recommended that you visit your doctor first to diagnose the issue and its possible solutions accurately.
Some common exercises can help improve your wrists’ strength. Let’s get into why it’s important to take care of your hands and wrists and discuss some of the ways you can improve your overall hand health.
Improving wrists and hands is extremely beneficial as it:
- Strengthens your muscles joints for better support
- Increases circulation of synovial fluid that helps cushion the joints
- Improves blood flow, warms muscles and ligaments
- Improves range of motion
- Relieves pain
- Improves Flexibility
- Reduces the risk of injury
- Improves overall strength of your hands
Wrist exercises help to improve flexibility and reduce the risk of injury. Stretching is advised as a preventative measure or to relieve minor discomfort. However, people with inflammation or severe joint injury can only use them if a healthcare professional recommends them. This is because exercise could then further damage your wrists or hands in such situations.
Strong wrists can help you in numerous ways while you are exercising. It is beneficial in every aspect of weight lifting. Wrist exercises allow you to strengthen your wrists’ and forearms’ muscles and enhance flexibility, reducing pain and risk of injury. This allows you to add more frequency and weight to exercises such as bench presses and deadlifts.
Types of wrist injuries
Wrists play an important role in taking your training to the next level. The term “wrist pain” refers to any discomfort in the wrist. Weak wrists or wrist pain normally holds you back from increasing the weight of your exercises. Carpal tunnel syndrome is mainly a problem to blame, however, wrist injuries, arthritis, and gout are all other common causes.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
When the median nerve in the forearm is squeezed or pinched, carpal tunnel syndrome develops. It’s located on the palm of your hand, and it gives you sensation in the following areas of the hand:
- index finger
- middle finger
- part of the ring finger
it gives out an electric impulse to the muscle that leads to the thumb. In addition to wrist pain, carpal tunnel syndrome may cause numbness, weakness, and tingling on the side of your hand near the thumb, and can occur in both of your hands.
A wrist injury may also lead to discomfort. Sprains, fractured bones, and tendonitis are all common wrist injuries. A wrist injury can cause swelling, bleeding, or disfigured joints near the wrist. Due to the shock of an impact, some wrist injuries may occur right away, while others can take longer to detect.
An excess of uric acid causes Gout. Uric acid is a chemical formed when your body breaks down foods containing purines and organic compounds.
The blood dissolved the majority of the uric acid and was excreted by urination. However, the body may produce too much uric acid in some cases.
Excessive uric acid can start building up in the joints, causing inflammation and pain. Knees, ankles, wrists, and feet are common sites for this pain.
Arthritis is joint inflammation. The affected body part could swell and stiffen as a result of this condition. Arthritis may be caused by various factors, such as natural wear and tear, aging, and overworking the hands.
There are different types of arthritis, but the following are the most common:
- Swollen fingers make it impossible to make a fist or hold items.
- A tingling or numb feeling in the hands.
- Pain, numbness, or tingling in the hands gets worse at night.
- Sudden and sharp pain in hand.
- Swelling or redness around the wrist.
- Warmth in a joint near the wrist.
Range of motion
If you’re doing repetitive movements with your hands, this is a warm-up for stretching
- Bend your elbow while sitting in a comfortable position, place your upper arm on a table or your arm, or hold it with your other hand.
- Make a fist, then flex your hand at the wrist as far as you can comfortably go up and down.
- Maintain a smooth and steady motion by rotating your wrist back and forth ten times. Just move your wrist, not your arm.
- Shift your wrist to the left as far as you can comfortably, then to the right as you can comfortably while keeping your hand in the same place. Again, move your wrist rather than your arm.
- Repeat the motion 10 times in a smooth and continuous motion.
- Repeat the same with your other hand.
Before you begin exercising, do this easy stretch to loosen up your fingers and hands. If you’re doing repetitive hand movements, it’s good to relax your wrists and hands.
- Sit in a comfortable position and bend your elbow at a right angle.
- Make a fist, then open it slowly, spreading and stretching the fingers apart.
- Repeat a few times more.
- Rep with the other hand.
- With your elbows bent and palms together, point your fingertips up to a position just below your chin.
- Keep your hands squeezed together and close to your stomach as you lower your hands toward your waist.
- Keep the pose for 30 seconds until you notice a moderate stretch in the underside of your forearms.
- Rep 2–4 times more.
Prayer stretches with a steeple
- Stand in the same hands-together pose same as in prayer stretches with your elbows bent and palms together.
- Extend your fingers and thumbs as far as possible. Then, while holding your fingers and thumbs touching, shift your palms apart and back together. Rep a few times during the day.
Ball squeeze strengthener
This exercise can be done with any ball that is around the size of a tennis ball. You may also use exercise putty, which comes in three different strengths: soft, medium, and hard.
- Sit comfortably and curl your fingers and thumb around the ball or putty in your hand.
- Squeeze as firmly as possible.
- Squeeze for 3 to 5 seconds before releasing.
- Slowly loosen your hold.
- Rep 5–10 times more.
1. Wrist curls
This strengthening exercise can be performed with a clenched fist or with 1-to-5-pound weights. You can either do both arms at once or one arm at a time. It depends on your physical capabilities. A small food can or a water bottle can also be used as a weight.
- Place your arm over your knees and sit comfortably. With your palms facing down and your wrist dangling over the knee, hold a weight.
- In a slow and controlled motion, raise your hand as high as possible and lower it as low as possible.
- Repeat the exercise after the set of 10.
- Repeat the exercise, except this time, turn your palms up.
- When you can easily complete two or three sets, you can raise the weight you’re using.
2. Resistance band exercise 1
Resistance bands are easy to use and can be helpful in a variety of exercises. They are available in a variety of strengths. Start with a light resistance band if you’re healing from an injury. If you’re training for a sport,a heavier band is recommended.
- Place your arm on a table with your palm facing down and your hand hanging over the table edge.
- To keep the resistance band in place, place one end under your foot and the other end in your hand. To build tension, you may need to wrap it around your wrist.
- Pull up against the resistance with your wrist extended as far as possible. Maintain a smooth and controlled motion.
- Slowly return to your starting spot.
- Repeat 10 times.
- Repeat with your other hand.
- Start with your palms facing up and repeat the exercise.
3. Resistance band exercise 2
- Sit comfortably with your arms bent at right angles and close to your body.
- In both hands, palms down, hold a band taut.
- Stretch the band by slowly rotating your wrists so that your palms are facing up.
- Keep your arms and elbows in place.
- Repeat a few times.
4. Grip strengthening
Grippers are available in a variety of tensions. Begin with one that is just slightly difficult to close. Increase the gripper stress as this becomes easier. Grippers vary in strength from light to those that need 365 pounds of force to close.
- Sit comfortably with one hand on the gripper and the other on your arm bent at a right angle, palm facing in.
- Slowly squeeze and let go.
- Repeat 8–10 times more if necessary.
- Only move your hand, not your arm.
- Repeat with the other hand.
- Try a gripper with more tension when you can do 2 to 4 sets comfortably.
Wrists that are strong and flexible are important for daily activities. Your wrists are involved in anything you do with your hands, like driving a car, swinging a golf club or racquet, lifting weights, typing, cooking, and everything else.
Warm up before you start, as you would for any exercise routine. If you are just getting started with an exercise routine, then try light stretches, exercises without weights, and exercises with light resistance bands. If you’re training for weightlifting or any other sport, use weights and bands appropriate for your strength.