My wrist doesn’t stand leaning on it -what should I do?

Have you noticed that your wrists begin to hurt if you lean on them? Or do you feel that they just can’t bear your bodyweight? Many of my clients have the same problem and luckily it won’t last forever!


Why don’t wrists stand leaning on them?


Typically the wrists get stressed from being on a four-point-kneeling or on a push up positions, sometimes even from leaning on a wall or a table. Usually it happens because the wrist is too weak – you haven’t strengthen the wrist enough. The same thing would happen, if you didn’t stand for years and then suddenly started: your ankles would start to hurt for sure. Our ankles strengthen up while we walk, run and jump, so pretty much always, when we’re doing something on our feet. The same thing applies to the wrists, we should strengthen them with different kinds of exercises on different positions, so that they would also be able to handle a long lasting pressure and stress. So when did you strengthen your wrists for the last time?

The other reason for wrist pain and weakness is the inadequate range of motion of the wrist joint. The active flexion of the wrist joint (left picture) should be 90 degrees and the extension (right picture) should be 80 degrees. Try it, can you do a full flexion and extension actively, without the help of other hand? Were you able to do it? Or wasn’t the range of motion full?

On the four-point-kneeling-position the wrist joint is on full extension and it bears your weight. If you didn’t manage to actively extend you wrist close to 80 degrees, you cannot assume that your wrist would work perfectly at the end point of the range of motion while it has stress on it!


What can I do about it?


Even if your wrists are too weak or they don’t have range of motion enough, you should strengthen them. The strengthening should be done on different positions, with variations of the wrist joint angle and the load of stress. You can strengthen them by using your bodyweight or maybe an elastic band.

A good grip strengthens the wrists as well, since the flexors of the fingers begin from the fingertips and end close to the elbow. Those muscles go over the wrist joint and therefore protect the joint as well. You can try to fist your fingers and at the same time, feel your wrist with your other hand, what happens? When flexing your fingers the muscles that lay on the inner-side of your wrist contract, which feels like the muscles pop. You can train the flexors of the fingers by training your grip: one way to do it is to leave your gym-gloves home and train at the gym even though the fingers feel slippy. Another way to train the grip is to hang always when possible, you may hang on a pull up bar, on a play rack or on a branch of a tree! If you just use your imagination, you are going to find so many places to hang on!


I’m going to give you a few simple exercises to strengthen your wrists, here they are:



Do this: Place yourself on a four-point-kneeling position on the floor, keep the weight on your knees in the beginning. Lean forward so that you transfer your weight from your knees to your wrists and then come back to the starting position. Repeat dynamically for 10 times.



Do this: Place yourself on a four-point-kneeling position on the floor and keep as much weight on your wrists as you can. Try to lift your palms off the floor while your fingers stay on the floor. Slowly lower the palm back down. The exercise is the harder the more you have weight on your wrists, you can ease the exercise by moving your knees closer to your hands.


How often should I strengthen my wrists?


You should strengthen your wrists many times in a week with different kinds of exercises, for example as a part of your warm up in a gym or as its own “training” at home. I warm up my wrists in the beginning of every single workout I do by doing some leaning and stressing exercises. So my “wrist-workout” is basically a part of my warm up for any workout. My own favorites for strengthening the wrists are for example crab-walking and wheelbarrow walking. Remember that you can train your wrists strength and endurance so many different ways, the most important thing is that you lean on them and use also your fingers!