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Wrist Exercises

Updated on January 7, 2018
Bob Schroeder profile image

I have been doing these exercises for about 6 months and have seen a great difference in the way my wrists and hands feel. No more pain.

Do Wrist Strengthening Exercises Work?

Yes, I can definitley say that they do.

I realized that I had a problem when I was trying to do a Down Dog position during Yoga class. After about 5 seconds my wrists were so sore that I couldn't continue the position. After thinking a little more I realized that I hardly ever moved my them up and down or to the sides.

When on a long driving trip, my right wrist started to hurt every time I put it on the steering wheel. At that point I knew I had to do something to fix my problem.

I did a lot of research and tried different things and finally settled on a daily routine. After a couple of months of doing exercises, I was able to perform many of the positions in Yoga that caused me great pain before. I now have no problem driving for long periods of time.

What follows are the warm ups and exercises that I have learned to use for my pain. I am not a doctor so these are just the ones I found that suited me.

Your Wrists Are An Important Part Of Your Body

If you can't move your wrists and hands, many of your daily tasks can't be performed. Exercises will help.

Warm Up Those Wrists

Warming up is as important in these exercises as it is for any other form of training. I have discovered that a few simple movements can make a huge difference, not just in my wrists but also in my hands and forearms.

I have a few pieces of equipment that I use for the actual exercises, but for warm ups, I only use my wrists.

Here are the exercises I do most everyday as part of my warm up routine.

  • Bend the elbow at a 45 degree angle and place the forearm on a table or on your knee. Make certain that the wrist is extended beyond the table or knee so that it can be freely moved.
  • In a flat neutral position, raise the hand up as far as you can comfortably go, then lower the hand down as far as is comfortable. Don't strain the wrist, this is just warm up. Do 3 sets of 10 movements.
  • Again in a flat neutral position, move the hand sideways to the right as far as you comfortably can then move it far to the left. Do 3 sets of 10 movements.
  • With the wrist in a flat far to the right position began a circle up to the left and then continue down to the right to the original position. Do 2 sets of 10.
  • Do the same exercise as above, except start far left and circle to the right. Do 2 sets of 10.

These exercises will warm up the wrist so that you will be able perform strengthening exercises without pain.

Keep in mind that warming up is critical for your exercises

What to do after warming up

The easy part is over, now let's build strength

After Warming-Up Come The Real Exercises

You can never underestimate the value of having strong hands and wrists. If you have tried to open a jar or tried to wring out a wash cloth and you just couldn't do it, then you can see the value.

Once my hands and wrists are good and warmed up I go to my first piece of equipment, the hand grips.

1. I hold them in an upright position with my arms out in front of my body and I squeeze 15 times.

2. Then I turn my hands palms down so the grips are flat with the floor and do 15 more squeezes

3. I now turn my hands so the palms are facing up and do 15 more squeezes.

After a short rest I repeat the entire sequence.

If your wrists get too tired or begin to hurt, cut down on the number of squeezes until you can get more strength.

You can also go back to the warm-up exercises to warm them up better.

I start my exercises with hand grips

Hand grips build strength in hand and forearms
Hand grips build strength in hand and forearms | Source

Who Does Wrist Exercises

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Here's How Other People Use Hand Grips

Good quality grips can really make a difference

JFIT Starter Hand Grips, Pair
JFIT Starter Hand Grips, Pair
Once I started using these hand grips, I noticed a significant improvement in the strength of both my hands and wrists. I can now drive for hours with no pain and I can open any bottle or jar that my wife gives me.

Strength Building With Weights

To build muscle and really strenghten the wrists, use weights for great progress

Making Good Use Of Hand Weights Can Build Strength

As in any other strength building program, you should use weights to help build up your muscles.

I have discovered that in working on my wrists, the small hand held dumbells work very well. I like the fact that there are different weights that I can use depending on how well my wrists are feeling that day.

As I progress in my strength building I can move up to the next weight for an even better workout. Most weight sets come with weights that range from 2 lbs. to 10 lbs. You will know when it is time to move to the next level.

This is the routine that I have developed for myself.

I am now using a 5 lb. weight.

  • While resting your forearm on your leg or table or just out in front of you, hold the weight with your palms down facing the floor. Raise the weight up as high as you can by bending at the wrist and then down as far as you can. Don't strain. Do this movement 15 times.
  • Now turn your hands over and have the palms facing upward. Curl the hand up as high as you can and then lower it as far as you can.. Don't strain. Do this 15 times.
  • Turn the hands so that the palms are facing each other. Pull the thumbs back toward you as far as they will go, then push the little finger down toward the floor as far as it will go. Don't strain, if there is pain, either lower the weight or do less reps. Do this movement 15 times.
  • With the palms facing down, bend at the wrist and pull the thumbs toward you and then have the little finger pull in the opposite direction. Do this 15 times.

Perform this entire sequence 2 times, unless your wrists are sore or hurting. If this happens, lower the weight or do less reps.

My Strength Building Is Done With Hand Weights

Various weights give you flexibility
Various weights give you flexibility | Source

Many Different Weight Levels Allows Flexibility

Amazon Basics 20-Pound Dumbbell Set with Stand, Silver Lettering
Amazon Basics 20-Pound Dumbbell Set with Stand, Silver Lettering
Once I started using these weights, my strength and flexibility took a major leap forward. I like the fact that they are contained in their own stand and the difference in colors makes it easy to tell the different weight levels apart.

There Are Many Variations Of Wrist Exercises

Wrist Exercises In A Car?

Did you ever consider doing wrist exercises while you were driving?

After a long day on the road I would often find that my wrists would be very sore and hurt when I moved them. I finally got smart and began to do my warm-up exercises as I was driving. I just rested my forearm on my leg and started to do the movements.

What a difference it made. In about 2 minutes my wrists felt 100% better and I could continue on my drive pain free.

Doing these movements does not distract from your driving and you still have one hand on the wheel and the other available at a moments notice.

Give it a try, I think you will be surprised.


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