5 exercises for wrist health
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The hands and the wrists are just one of a few which still need tending to and can really benefit from a little attention through mobilising, stretching and strengthening. Two particularly important elements of wrist health are weight-bearing and gripping to keep our hands and wrists in as well-functioning condition as possible. The following are five exercises to support your wrists.
1. Multi-directional Mobility
Good for building wrist mobility and control. Supporting your forearm on a supportive surface with your hand and wrist drawing over the edge, use the second hand to hold the forearm steady. Make your hand into a fist. Move your hand up and down (through flexion and extension) and make circles (without the whole of the arm moving too much). Repeat with the forearm the opposite way round.
2. Hand Bursts (with or without elastic bands)
Good for strengthening and building greater control in the wrists. Reach your hand or hands out in front of you and press your palms away. Spread your fingers as wide as possible. Scrunch into a fist and burst open and repeat this action as many times as you can. Notice sensations in the hands, wrists and forearms. To add in some resistance, weave an elastic band around your fingers and try the same hand burst action again.
3. Wrist/Hand Pulses
Good for building wrist and forearm strength and stability. Set up in a Table Top / Quadruped stance (shoulders over wrists and hips over knees) or in standing with hands on a stable surface (e.g. chair or low table). Draw your weight away from your hands and begin lifting and lowering the base of your palms. Gradually increase weight-bearing by shifting the shoulders a little further forward and repeat the pulses. If it feels okay for your wrist, draw the shoulders to stack over the wrists and pulse. A final option is to shift ever further towards the fingertips and repeat again.
4. Wrist Smushing
Good for increasing wrist mobility. Begin in a kneeling stance or in standing near a stable surface. Place your hand on the ground or surface. Keeping the hand in contact with the surface, begin moving the wrist in different directions gently ‘smushing’ the hand and wrist against the surface. To build up, set both hands down and the shoulders over the wrists, make the same action with one hand and wrist.
5. Towel Gripping
Good for increasing grip strength and control. Use a towel or scarf or piece of clothing. Grip the prop with both hands. Relax the tension so the prop slackens and then pull it apart really gripping with the hands. Then begin a wringing action with the hands and wrists. Experiment with other movements as much as you like.
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