One part of the body that gets overlooked for exercising is the wrist. When it comes to strengthening the arm, people are more focused on the biceps, triceps and forearms.
Exercising your wrist has lots of benefits, including strengthening your grip and forearms, as well as helping to prevent injuries, and these exercises listed below can be done in the convenience of the home or office.
Let’s take a look at five wrist strengthening exercises. The only equipment you’ll need is free weights, curl bar, and a small exercise ball or gel ‘eggerciser’.
1. Wrist Curls: Think about doing a regular biceps curl to strengthens your arms. Well instead of flexing your elbow to lift the weight up to your chest, you’ll flex or curl your wrists to lift the weight while your elbow remains stable. You’ll need hand held weight or a bar with free weights. It’s preferred to place your elbows on a table with your palms facing upward, and then just curl your wrists up. Three sets of 10 or 12 should do the trick.
2. Wrist Extensions: This exercise moves the wrist in the opposite direction. Rotate the forearm so the palms are faced downward and your knuckles up. Grasp the hand weight or bar and extend your wrist upward with your knuckles on the back of the hand coming toward you. It might require more weight than what you’ve needed for wrist curls. Like wrist curls, this will help strengthen your forearms too. Repeat three sets of 10 -12 reps.
3. Up-Down Plank: This is kind of like a half push up. Start in a full plank like you’re ready to do a set of push-ups, but, with your right arm first, lower your elbow to the floor, then do the same thing with your left elbow. Now, you should be in an elbow plank, with your elbows and forearms parallel on the ground, holding your body up. Now, simply put yourself back into full plank position starting with the right arm first, then the left. That completes one rep. Alternate which arm you lower and press up with each time. One to three sets of 5-10 reps will work your arms, shoulders and core along with strengthening wrists. If this exercise is too stressful on the wrists give our Wrist Assured Gloves a try. Check out these workout gloves with wrist support. The standard push-up is another alternative.
4. Squeezing a stress ball or Gel ‘Eggerciser’: For a simple exercise to increase grasp and work the forearm muscles take a rubber stress ball or gel ‘eggerciser and squeeze it for three seconds, then release it. Squeeze for 3-seconds, then release. Do three sets of 20. It’s easy and you’ll notice results after a few weeks too. To expand for a greater variety of hand exercises you’ll find the egg shaped gel eggerciser and a variety of illustrated exercises for the hand, wrist and forearm in The Hand Fitness Kit.
5. Curling up a weight on a string: For alternating flexion and extension of the wrists get a small, but thick stick — something where both hands can easily grab and twist it. A thick dowel rod or broom handle works well. Tie a string to the middle of your dowel, acting as the middle point between your two hands. On the end of the string, tie a free weight to it –start with a vary light weight at first. Grasp the dowel with your hands beside the string and your arms straight out in front of you, letting the free weight dangle from the string. Alternately move the hands back and forth, flexing and extending the wrists to twist up the string around the dowel until the weight reaches the top. Slowly and with controled motions unravel it. Don’t drop it on your toe! Repeat this several times.
The exercises are meant for pain free wrists. If any of the wrist strengthening exercises cause pain and discomfort, decrease the weight or the number of repetitions or discontinue all together. If you have wrist pain associated with an injury, tendonitis, arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome or any other conditions do not perform these exercises.
The muscles associated with the wrist and forearm aren’t very big, so you may not see visible results, but you’ll notice a difference in your strength fairly quickly. Your grip strength as well as wrist stability will be improved, which is beneficial for a variety of different sports, including golf, tennis, baseball or softball, as well as paddling around in your canoe or kayak.
Try these wrist strength exercises out and see how your strength improves after a few weeks.