The Forgotten Joint: Wrist Mobility and Strength
Wrist Flexibility and Strength are two key aspects of your physical fitness. You need both if you want to perform complex movements with ease. If one aspect is lacking, it will affect the other. For example, if you have poor flexibility, then your ability to do complicated movements such as handstand push ups or even pull ups will be limited.
On the other hand, if you lack strength, then your grip strength will not be strong enough to hold onto objects during these same activities.
There are many different types of wrist mobility exercises. Some of them involve using a foam roller while others require only a simple stretching method. All of them work on improving the range of motion in your hands and fingers.
Foam Roller Exercises
These are the most common type of wrist mobility exercises. They use a foam roller to stretch out your forearms. These exercises can be done anywhere because they don’t require any equipment at all. Foam rolling is best used when you’re just starting out and need some extra assistance in strengthening your wrists.
If you use the roller for weeks on end, you’ll notice that your wrists become stronger and more flexible over time.
Tension Spring Method
This is one of the best ways to improve your wrist’s range of motion. It involves using a tension spring with a door attachment to help you stretch your wrists out. Obviously, this requires some equipment so you won’t be able to do these exercises at any given time. They’re best used when you have the time to focus on proper wrist stretching.
These are the most basic type of wrist mobility exercises. They only require a little bit of your time and can be done at any time. This is my personal favorite because you can do these in between your workouts or even while watching t.v.
All that’s required is a little bit of your attention span and you’ll quickly see improvements in your wrist flexibility.
These are the most basic wrist strengthening exercises. They can be done at any time and don’t require any equipment at all. These are a great starting point for anyone who wants to start wrist curling. They’re simple and easy to do, but you’ll quickly outgrow them.
For some people, this may be all the wrist training they need, but most will quickly advance in their training program.
Reverse Wrist Curls
These can be done with a barbell, EZ curl bar or even a soup can if you’re just starting out. These are the exact opposite of wrist curls in that you’re bending your wrists back as far as you can rather than curling them forward. This puts a lot more stress on the tendons and ligaments in your wrists so go easy on these when you first start out.
These are the best type of wrist exercise you can do if you want to improve your grip strength. They involve hanging a weight plate from a rope that you wrap around your wrists. From there, all you need to do is roll your wrists out and then in as far as you can. These are best done with a partner.
In fact, it’s best to have someone there to spot you in case you slip or lose control of the weight.
These are the most common type of wrist stretching equipment. They’re similar to regular barbells except the diameter of the bar is much smaller. This makes it easier to grip and more comfortable on the hands. EZ curl bars are perfect for anyone just starting out with wrist curls because they make it easy on the hands while still giving you a great workout.
These are the most common wrist strengthening equipment. They come in many different varieties but all of them involve curling a barbell of some sort. They can be used for both reverse wrist curls and normal wrist curls. These come in handy if you don’t have any extra bars lying around your house.
All you need is a regular barbell and you’re good to go.
This isn’t really equipment, per se, but it plays such a vital role in wrist training that I thought I should mention it. Without a good base of knowledge on the muscles in your arms and wrists, you’ll be left in the dark as to why your wrists are so tight. You should know the differences between the muscles that flex the wrist (pronators) and extend the wrist (supinators). This will help you identify which muscles are tighter than others and where you should focus your training.
Sources & references used in this article:
Functional and outcome evaluation of the hand and wrist by FA Schuind, D Mouraux, C Robert, E Brassinne… – Hand …, 2003 – hand.theclinics.com
The diabetic hand: a forgotten complication? by N Papanas, E Maltezos – Journal of Diabetes and its Complications, 2010 – Elsevier
Results of scaphocapitate arthrodesis with lunate excision in advanced Kienböck disease at 10.7-year mean follow-up by A Charre, S Delclaux, C Apredoai… – Journal of Hand …, 2018 – journals.sagepub.com
Chiropractic treatment of upper extremity conditions: a systematic review by A McHardy, W Hoskins, H Pollard, R Onley… – Journal of manipulative …, 2008 – Elsevier
Long-term functional results of a wrist exercise program for patients with palmar midcarpal instability by MAM Mulders, GSI Sulkers, AJ Videler… – Journal of wrist …, 2018 – ncbi.nlm.nih.gov