Wrist Strengthening Exercises: PDF Download
5 Exercises to Better Wrist Health – PDF Download
1) Kneeling Dumbbell Rows
2) Standing Cable Crunches (Cable Crunch)
3) Handstand Push Ups (Handstand Push Up)
4) Seated Calf Raises with Weight Plates or Barbells
5) Hand Stand Pushups (Handstand Push Up)
The first exercise is the most basic one. You will need a dumbbell to perform it properly. The second exercise is very similar to the last one but you are going to use a barbell instead of plates. The third exercise is another variation of the previous two exercises where you are using only your hands and feet. The fourth exercise uses both hands and feet simultaneously while performing handstand push ups.
EXERCISE 1: Kneeling Dumbbell Rows
This exercise also works on your lats, traps, and rhomboids but is much more effective at targeting the muscles of the middle back.
To perform this exercise you are going to need a bench and a set of dumbbells. Place the bench close to a wall and position yourself kneeling on the ground with your back facing the bench. Hold the dumbbells with your palms facing backwards and let your arms relax on the floor.
Pull the dumbbells to your sides by bending your arms and pulling them towards your hips. Try to squeeze your shoulder blades together at the top of the movement. Inhale as you perform this movement and exhale as you return back to the starting position.
EXERCISE 2: Seated Dumbbell Rows
This exercise is performed in the same manner as the kneeling dumbbell row but instead you are going to be seated on the bench with your back straight.
EXERCISE 3: Standing Cable Crunches
The next exercise is another great one for working the muscles of your middle back. You will need a cable column for this exercise. Attach a cable to the high pulley and then step towards the column until there’s enough tension on the cable to pull it towards your body.
Crouch down while holding the ends of the cable with your arms extended towards the column. Let your upper arms relax against your sides. From this position, contract your abdominals while lifting your arms parallel to the floor. Exhale as you perform this movement. Hold the contraction at the top of the movement for a second and then relax and allow your arms to return back to your sides while inhaling.
EXERCISE 4: Seated Calf Raises with Weight Plates or Barbells
The next exercise is going to work on your lower legs, specifically your calves. You are going to need some sort of weight to be placed on your shoulders in order to perform this exercise properly. You can use either a barbell or some weight plates. If you choose to use a barbell, make sure to hold it across the center.
Stand with your legs shoulder width apart and your knees slightly bent. Let your arms relax against your sides for support. While keeping your heels elevated lift your heels off the floor by bending your knees until your legs are completely straight. Then return back to the starting position by extending your knees and flexing your calves. Inhale as you perform this movement and exhale as you return to the starting position.
Make sure that you do not bounce at the bottom of the movement or you will sacrifice the effectiveness of this exercise. If you are sore from yesterday’s workout, I would suggest using only bodyweight on your legs in this exercise until your legs have adapted to this routine.
EXERCISE 5: Seated Calf Raises with Step
This exercise is very similar to the seated calf raises except that it has an added benefit of also working on your ankle flexibility.
Facing a step, straddle it with your feet positioned on each side and place your toes on the edge of the step. Lean forward and place your palms on your thighs just above your knees. Your lower legs should be fully extended behind you.
Now bend your knees and bring your heels up as high as you can. Hold this position for a second and then extend your legs.
Do not bounce at the bottom of the movement or else you will sacrifice the effectiveness of this exercise. Always exhale when you are performing this movement.
Fitness professionals sometimes refer to this movement as a “faux jump”. I know that it is very difficult to perform this movement without lifting your heels up just an inch or two off the step. This is fine and actually it will help to strengthen your ankles because you are training them to become more flexible. However, if you do not currently have flexible ankles you will want to place a blanket underneath the step so that you don’t hurt yourself by landing on a hard surface.
EXERCISE 6: Dumbbell Step-Ups
This exercise is going to work on your quads, your glutes and your hamstrings. You will need a box or a bench that is around knee height in order to perform this exercise properly. If you don’t have anything that height, then find something else that you can stand on, like a chair.
Stand with your feet together on top of the box. Keeping your back straight, flex your knees and lift your right foot off the box. Bend your left knee and bring it toward your chest. Extend your left leg back out behind you so that it is in line with your hip and grab your left toes. Hold this position for a second.
Then bring your left leg back down to the box and place your foot back down on the floor. Next bring your right foot up onto the box. Do all the repetitions with your right leg and then switch to your left leg to do the same number of repetitions.
This exercise primarily works on your quadriceps, but it will also stretch the muscles around your hip and lower back.
There are a couple of ways that you can perform this movement. You can either step straight forward from the box so that your foot lands beyond the edge of the box or you can place your foot down next to the box before you lift your back leg up. The first method is going to primarily stretch and work your quads. The second method is going to primarily stretch and work your hip flexors. Try both methods and use whichever one feels better for you.
Always exhale when you lift your leg and inhale when you place it back down. Don’t rock back and forth; keep all movement vertical.
Fitness professionals sometimes refer to this movement as a “step-up”.
EXERCISE 7: Barbell Glute Bridge
This exercise is going to primarily work your glutes and your hamstrings. You are also going to get a bit of work for your abdominals and your quads from this position.
You’re going to need a barbell for this movement. Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Hold the barbell so that it rests comfortably on your thighs just above your knees.
Straighten your legs and raise your hips until your body forms a straight line from your knees to your shoulders. Keep the barbell locked in place on your thighs by keeping your knees bent.
Slowly lower your hips until they are just above the floor. Exhale as you perform this portion of the movement.
Inhale as you raise your hips. Keep breathing in and out as you repeat the exercise.
Don’t rock back and forth; move in a straight line with your body, going up and down.
Your knees should point in the same direction that your feet are pointing. For instance, if your toes are pointed to your left, then your knees should also point to your left. This helps keep the emphasis of the exercise on your glutes instead of your hip flexors. You can also place a rolled up towel or a pillow under your right knee while you perform this movement to take some of the stress off of that hip flexor.
After you’ve finished one set, switch legs and do one set with your right leg forward and the left leg back.
This exercise primarily works your glutes and your hamstrings, but it will also stretch the muscles around your hips and your lower back.
If you want to include some additional abdominal work, you can place your hands behind your head and curl your upper body up off of the floor as you lift your hips. This is known as a “Superman” as it mimics the movement that Superman makes when he flies. Keep your neck and upper back relaxed as you do this. Don’t push up with your arms or you’ll end up focusing all of the work on your arm muscles instead of your abdominals.
You can also put your arms out to your sides and just lift your upper body up, or you can hold a medicine ball or a dumbbell between your feet to make the movement more challenging.
You can also raise one leg and bend the other in a semi-squatting position to make the movement harder still.
This is a great way to stretch your hip flexors and your abdominals at the same time.
The fact that you are putting so much weight on your neck can be a cause for concern, however. If you begin to feel pain in your neck you should decrease the weight that you are using or increase the arch in your lower back.
Stretching your hip flexors and lower back are two important things to do if you are going to be doing a lot of running. The majority of novice runners have tight hip flexors (even though they don’t realize it) because most people nowadays spend a lot of their time in a semi-squatting position whether that be sitting on the couch or at their desk at work or maybe even in their car. This causes the hip flexors to shorten and therefore tighten up.
The other muscle that gets tight are your lower back muscles. This is because if you have tight hip flexors, then this causes your lower back to over-compensate for all of the bending and straightening that your hip flexors should be doing. Stretching these two muscle groups out is very important if you want to become a better runner, because it will allow you to run longer and faster without developing hip and lower back pain.
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