How to Strengthen your Wrists

Your wrists are made up of the carpus or carpal bones, the wrist joint or radoiocarpal joint, and the region surrounding the carpus which is made up of the bones of your forearm, the metacarpus and the series of joints between these bones.

If you are engaging in regular upper-body strengthening exercises, then that should be enough to keep your wrists healthy. However, if you lift extremely heavy weights, play racquet sports, play baseball or softball, of fish for a living, you might want to participate in more wrist-strengthening exercises. If you train in mixed martial arts or boxing, or play football, strong wrists will help with power and to prevent injuries. Strengthening your wrists is easy and can take mere minutes out of your day.

Wrist Strengthening Exercises

If you are dominant in one hand, that wrist is most likely also stronger than your other wrist. Make an effort to strengthen your non-dominant wrist by using it in your daily tasks such as: brushing your teeth, writing, using a computer mouse or touchpad, eating and stirring.

Wrist Circles

  • Stand or sit with your hands out in front of you, palms down.
  • Gently move your wrists in circular motion to the left, then back to the right.
  • Clenching and unclenching your fists will work your wrists in different ways. This exercise can also be down starting with your palms facing up.

Tennis Ball Squeeze

  • Hold a tennis ball in your hand and squeeze it as hard as you can, holding that contraction for five seconds.
  • If you are a beginner, start with one set of 10 repetitions, three times a day.
  • Increase the force of your squeeze and repetitions as your regular set becomes too easy, but avoid feeling any strain in your wrists.

Golf Club Exercise

  • Stand with your arm at your side and holding a golf club by the end of the handle.
  • Using only your wrist, gently point the club to the sky, then back down again.
  • Repeat until your forearm is tired.

Resistance Band Exercises

  • Stand on one end of a resistance band and loop the other end around your fingers, with your palm facing up.
  • Lock your elbow to your side and brace your forearm with the hand not attached to the band.
  • Bend your wrist to draw your fingers up and in towards your forearm.
  • Gently release to starting position.
  • For another version of this exercise, start in the same position, but face your palm down toward the floor. This time, bring the back of your palm up and back toward your forearm before gently releasing to starting position.
  • A third version of this exercise begins in the same position, but with the band held in your hand so your thumb faces up. Bend your wrist so your thumb moves toward your forearm before gently returning to start.

Wrist Curls

  • Place one of your forearms on a bench with your wrist at the edge and your hand hanging off the bench.
  • Hold a dumbbell in your hand and, with your hand facing the floor, bend your wrist upwards and in so that the dumbbell lifts toward your forearm.
  • Another version of this exercise starts in the same position, but with your hand facing up, then pulling the dumbbell toward your forearm.
  • You can also do this exercise with your pinky facing the sky, and your thumb facing the sky.

Check out this video for a better idea:

Finger Curls

  • Stand with your arms hanging down.
  • Hold a dumbbell and let it hang in front of your waist.
  • Relax your grip so that the dumbbell rolls down to the ends of your fingers.
  • Curl your fingers up to grip the weight and raise the dumbbell as far as you can with your forearm muscles.
  • Gently lower it back down to your fingertips and repeat.
  • You can also reverse this motion by turning your wrist around.

Grip-Based Exercises

These exercises don’t directly target the wrists, but rely on grip strength which works your wrists. These exercises include: pull-ups, chin-ups, bicep curls, deadlifts, seated rows, lat pulldowns, chest presses, chest flies and shoulder presses.

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