3 Wrist Prep Drills that will Make Injuries a Thing of the Past
The human body contains approximately 206 bones spanning from head to toe. What’s even more impressive is that over 50 of those bones are found in your hands and wrists.
This bone-dense region allows you to move your hands through a myriad of different positions. Sadly, most adults forget that their hands possess this extraordinary ability, and as a result, wrist tension becomes a common reality.
But there’s hope still. With the right wrist prep, your hands can regain the ability to open, close, flex, extend, and rotate without restriction or discomfort. Here are some things to keep in mind when it comes to wrist health and long-term maintenance.
Forearms Like A Puppeteer
Did you know that the muscles in your forearms are responsible for controlling the movement in your wrists and fingers? Just as a puppeteer manipulates a puppet, your forearms dictate the small movements in your hands.
So, if you want to solve the mystery that is wrist discomfort, then we suggest you take care of the wrist flexors and extensors in your forearm. This is actually quite simple, and it takes no more than just a few minutes to do.
Your wrists take a real beating throughout the day. Whether it’s from typing, texting or strength training, your hands always find new ways to stay involved. That’s why it’s important to stretch them daily. Try this wrist stretch variation from the GB Online Courses throughout your day or on your coffee break for some mid-day relief.
How To: From a kneeling position, simply place your palms facing forward on the floor near your knees. Straighten your elbows, and lean forward until you feel a mild stretch in your wrist and forearms. Hold for a few seconds and then turn your hands around so that the back of your hands are on the floor with your fingers pointed toward your knees. Hold for a few more seconds.
Do you feel the relief? You’re now ready to finish your day strong.
Try this wrist stretching variation, inspired by the GB Handstand Courses, to relieve tight, achy wrists.
Pressure Pains: The First Line Of Defense
If the act of putting pressure on your wrist is enough to cause you discomfort, don’t be alarmed. In many cases, this is a false alarm signaled from your brain.
Experiencing mild to moderate discomfort in your wrists when you place them on the floor to stretch is completely normal at first and is likely due to oversensitivity in the nerves in your hands. Since the wrists are typically not accustomed to pressure, your brain often confuses the unusual pressure for pain.
Strengthening your wrists takes time and patience. And with wrist push-ups, you can gradually strengthen your wrist joints over time
How To: Start in a kneeling position on your knuckles as if you were about to perform a push-up from your knees. Slowly open your hand as you bend your arms into the bottom of a push-up so that the pressure is placed on the backside of your hand. Straighten your arms as you close your hands and repeat for 10 repetitions. If the pressure is too great, move your knees in further and the movement becomes easier. If you work up to taking a little more, extend your knees away from your body, eventually with your knees off the ground in a pushup position.
The Missing Link: Shoulder Mobility
An often overlooked cause of wrist tension and discomfort is having insufficient shoulder mobility. Generally speaking, most adults do not use their shoulders enough. As a result, their forearms and wrists must pick up the slack.
Many GB students find that mobilizing their shoulders can have a profound effect on improving the health of their wrists. This is mostly due to the rotator cuff muscles which help support the arms as they type on a keyboard, swing a golf club, or to perform a push-up.
If your wrists begin to act up on you during any type of physical activity, then a great place to look is your scapular muscles. Get them moving and watch as your wrists open up.
The scapula should never be ignored when it comes to loosening up your wrists, and a great go-to shoulder strengthener will help you get those scaps moving. The Scap Shrug exercise is perfect for just this.
How To: Start in a kneeling position with your shoulders and hips directly over your hands and knees respectively. Keep your arms straight as you slowly squeeze your shoulder blades towards the center of your spine. This is retraction. From here, spread your shoulder blades as far as possible so that your upper back widens: this is protraction. Do this ten to fifteen times and feel those shoulders loosen up nicely while strengthening at the same time.
Be sure to check out more highly potent wrist strengthening exercises from the GymnasticBodies Online Courses — your hands will be sure to thank you.