10 Best Stretches and Exercises for your Wrists!

Saravanan "Sharu" Hariram

May 20, 2021

Summary: With the increasing practice of more at-desk jobs than jobs requiring physical labor, we spend more time sitting and working, which does not involve many muscles and joints. Using all our joints and muscles and exercising keeps them flexible and prevents injuries from sudden usage. This article discusses the 10 best stretches and exercises for your wrists. And the most commonly asked questions to clarify your doubts regarding wrist exercises. 

The wrist bones are important, like any other bone of your body. They help connect the hand to your arm, and the forearm muscles control the movement around the wrist. There are approximately eighteen muscles associated with the forearm that assist in movement.

Benefits of Wrist exercises 

The wrist can be one of the most ignored parts in a fitness program as we fail to realise it’s the first joint of contact. This could be when you are playing, lifting, swinging, dancing, or moving something. It is, therefore, important to strengthen the wrists. There are many benefits to wrist exercises. Some of these benefits are:

  1. Wrist exercises can help prevent medical conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome and tendonitis. Since most of us have desk jobs, wrist exercises can protect our wrists from developing such complications. 
  2. Wrist exercises help in performing strength training exercises or bodyweight exercises without feeling strain or having any injury.
  3. Wrist training exercises increase and improve blood circulation to the wrists 
  4. Stronger wrists will help you perform daily activities without the worry of injury. This especially holds when you are advancing in age.

10 wrist stretches and exercises

The following are the ten simple and effective wrist exercises that you can easily perform anywhere.

#1 Range of motion exercise

Range of motion Exercise - Wrist exercise

This exercise is considered a warm-up exercise for the wrist that can be practised either at the start or in between other exercises during a break. In this exercise, you must bend your arms at the elbow and hold. Then make a fist and move it up and down as far as you can for ten times. After completing the number of reps, move your wrist to the left and right as far as you can for another ten times. It is necessary that you keep the motion smooth and continuous.

#2 Loosen-up stretch

Loosen-up stretch - wrist exercise

In this exercise, you loosen and stretch your hands and fingers before you begin any heavy exercising. You can also employ this as a break in between exercises. This is very simple as you should make a fist first, and then open and extend the fingers as far away as possible. You can repeat this movement for 8-10 times. 

#3 Prayer stretches 

Prayer stretches

In this exercise, you must stand with your palms together and elbows bent. Your fingertips must be just below your chin. Lower the hands towards the waist and hold for 15-20 seconds. You can repeat this stretch 2-3  times.

#4 Steeple and prayer stretch

In continuation with the previous exercise, you can spread your fingers and thumbs wide. Then proceed to distance your palms, keeping the fingertips still in contact. You can repeat this stretch 2-3 times  

#5 Ball squeezer

Ball squeezer - wrist exercise

You can either use a tennis ball or an exercise putty with soft, medium or hard strengths for this exercise. If you do not find either of these, you can roll up a towel or use a pool noodle for squeezing. You can hold the ball in your hand and wrap your fingers firmly around it. Squeeze the ball and hold for 3-5 seconds before releasing it. Repeat this exercise for 4-5 times.

#6 Rubber band strengthener

This is an exercise that you can perform while sitting at your desk. This trains and flexes the small muscles of your hand. You can use an ordinary rubber band for this exercise. 

Wrap the rubber band around your fingers. Now extend the fingers wide as far as possible and hold the position for  3-5  seconds. Release and repeat for 4-5 times.  

#7 Wrist curls

This exercise can be performed with a clenched fist, or by holding a dumbbell or a water bottle. Sit comfortably with your arms placed on your knees and palms facing up. Curl the wrists up, hold for a second and slowly return to starting position. Do 12-15 Reps in a controlled manner. 

You can increase the weights as you improve your wrist strength.

#8 Wrist walking

Stand in front of the wall and place your palms against it with fingers pointed up. Now walk your wrists up and down the wall as far as you can for a couple of times. Repeat this exercise with fingers pointing down for the next couple of times. 

#9 Grip strengthening

There are many grip strengtheners available. You must select a strengthener of suitable resistance, squeeze it, hold the squeeze, and then release the squeeze. You can repeat this 10-12 times.

#10 Desk press

In this exercise, which can be performed while seated, you must place your palms face up under the desk and press upwards against the bottom of the desk. Hold the press for five to ten seconds and then release it.

The wrist is an important part of daily lives involving all the daily activities that we perform. It is, therefore, necessary to build its strength and prevent it from weakening to avoid any injury or discomfort. You can perform all the aforementioned exercises easily while sitting at your work desk or home, any time of the day.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q. How often should you perform wrist exercises?

A. You can perform and practise wrist exercises 2 times a day.

Q. How can I prevent injury to my wrists while exercising?

A. You can prevent injury to the wrists while exercising by keeping the wrists steady during the exercise and keeping them aligned straight. In addition to this, you can use light resistance bands or small weights that can challenge your wrists.

Q. Does wearing a wrist brace help?

A. Of course, even if you are not an athlete wearing a wrist brace can help. It is protective gear that can make a workout good without being painful.

Q. Can I still do wrist exercises if my wrist is broken?

A. It is not advisable to perform wrist exercises if your wrist has an injury or is broken. Consult an orthopedic for treatment and a physiotherapist for rehab. Post rehab when you have gained the complete function of your wrists, you can start with the given wrist exercises. 

About the Author

Saravanan “Sharu” Hariram is an ACE Certified Personal Trainer with a passion for bodybuilding. Combining his love for fitness with his career, Sharu did his certification in Sports Nutrition, and Rehabilitation and Healing Nutrition. Currently a Master Trainer with HealthifyMe, he specializes in Weight Management, Marathon Training, and Physical Rehabilitation. In his 20+ years of experience, Sharu has always maintained that one’s mind must have control over their body in order to lead a healthy life. At HealthifyMe, he continues to follow his passion while helping those around him realise their fitness goals.

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