So you finally got yourself doing those crazy planks. You think everything is great, but your wrists are feeling the pain and burn instead of your muscles. Your wrists do so much and get tight in your daily activity that we need to not only take the time to stretch them, but be extra diligent in this position to keep the pressure spread more evenly throughout your hand. You should aim to distribute the weight more evenly; be sure to press the web space between your thumb and pointer down on the ground. No curved slightly lifted area this puts extra stress on your wrists, the more surface contact of your hand on the ground the better.
The hand position on the left can increase wrist pain since most of your body weight is going to one little spot. The goal is to get to the hand position on the right, have nice big hands with the web space flat on the ground. The position on the right distributes the weight evenly and should not cause pain, although it is harder to achieve because it requires more effort and more flexibility.
Now that you understand the appropriate hand position to help with some wrist discomfort let’s talk about a little simple stretch that may help your wrists, and allow you to achieve a proper hand position while working out.
Please note always consult a doctor when doing any exercise program. If you are experiencing intense pain or pain flare ups, it is best to skip planks and pushups and rest your wrists, and see your doctor. Always note how you feel while doing stretches it should never be sharp stabbing type pain or anything too intense please stop immediately. It should be an overall pleasant experience.
How to Stretch your Wrists
Position: Kneel down on all fours start with your fingers pointing back towards your knees with your palms down. Then slowly shift your weight back on your heels keeping your arms straight. Hold for 30 seconds. Slowly kneel back up and flip your hands over so your palms are up with your fingers still pointing at your knees. Again slowly lean your weight back on your heels for 30 seconds. One way will most likely feel better and I suggest a bonus round with your palms in that direction.
Frequency: 3 times a day. Honestly, if you are hard on your wrists not taking little breaks while at the office you will not see the full benefit. You can find little standing variations to do quickly in the office, while still getting in one good stretch a day with an additional stretch before you do planks or push-ups.
If this is too much you can modify by turning your hands to the side. Stay in the all fours position and have your fingers point outward palms down and shift from right to left to feel a stretch. Then, flip your hands so palms are up and fingers are pointing in and again shift side to side to feel a stretch. Finally , try changing to any hand variation one pointing inward, one pointing outwards, palms could be up or down, try anything that feels good and is giving a good stretch.
Extend your arm straight out flex your wrist and apply pressure with the opposite arm to bring the hand closer to your body, hold to get a stretch. Flip your hand up, apply pressure and hold. Switch arms to complete your quick wrist release at work.
These stretches can be great to get you ready to do planks a push-ups without wrist pain. I have had clients see a lot of success with this simple stretch to help with their wrist discomfort. Let me know if they help you!