By Annette Cashell
Are your WRISTS your Achilles’ HEEL? You know, you avoid doing certain exercises even though you know you could do them IF your wrists weren’t the weakest link?
😟The Bad News… Wrist pain doesn’t tend to improve by itself and ignoring the issue, could contribute to neck issues down the line. (yes, they’re inter-connected – I found out the hard way when I had chronic neck pain!).
🙂The Good News… There are LOTS of simple ways to work WITH your wrists, regardless of age, so real progress is achievable.
5 x QUICK FIXES:
🚀When on all fours, spread your fingers to literally spread the load away from your wrists and onto the entire surface area of your hands.
🚀When on all fours, lean your body slightly back so that your arms are no longer vertical to lessen the load on your wrists.
🚀Alternate between leaning on your hands and leaning on your fists, if that feels ok.
🚀Roll up your yoga mat slightly to bolster the heels of your hands.
🚀Invest in padded yoga gloves, like WAGs, (not an affiliate) to be used as a temporary band aid with a view to weaning off them over time.
5 x GAME-CHANGERS:
🏆Always warm up the muscles in your hands and wrists before using them. Even doing small wrist rotations or finger stretches can help prepare this part of the body for loading.
🏆Modify the exercise, as needed. Can’t do an exercise on all fours, try doing it with hands against the wall instead. Can’t do a plank on your hands, try it on your forearms instead. 🏆Mobilise your hands and wrists, not just as a warm-up but as an exercise itself e.g. roll the palms of your hands with a squash ball, massage your hands whenever you use hand lotion, stretch the muscles in your hands (finger stretches) and around your hands (wrists and forearms). 🏆Use the REST of your body to support your wrists! e.g. when on all fours, make sure you are not sinking into your low back, thrusting your ribs to the floor and allowing the shoulder blades to pinch together (like standing to attention). This puts WAY MORE load on the wrists! Instead, engage your tummy muscles slightly so that you are no longer sinking into your lower back, your ribs move away from the floor and your shoulder blades are no longer pinching together, creating a “valley” between them (left photo below). Instead, it looks more like a smooth plateau between your shoulder blades (right photo below).
THIS IS A REAL GAME-CHANGER – TRY IT AND SEE!
🏆Stop doing the stuff that’s causing the problem in the first place! I know this might sound obvious but this is an aspect that is SO often overlooked. All repetitive work takes its toll on the hands and wrists e.g. knitting, gardening, texting, typing, writing, using a mouse, holding a steering wheel, playing an instrument, pushing a pram. If you can’t avoid it all together (and who can?), then take frequent breaks and maybe add in a stretch or massage while you’re at it. Now you know how to do that!
Now, which one of these tips could you implement right now to start building strength in our wrists? Let me know!
If you have pain, my Holistic Movement Method can help. Click here to book a free Clarity Call.