We live in a world where time at the desk and computer is unavoidable. Our hands and wrists become more used to typing and scrolling than gripping and ripping! That’s why when people start to do more unorthodox exercise training such as handstands and crawling, they may experience wrist strains and pains.
Just like all the rest of the areas of our body, we can condition and train our wrists to tolerate more force and handle the loads encountered in calisthenic and other training. We can also improve our resilience against other issues such as repetitive stress injuries.
It’s easy to neglect wrist training in favor of other areas, but spending a bit more time on strengthening and improving mobility in your wrists allows you to do more and more advanced work with less pain and trouble.
4 Exercises to Give You Unbreakable Wrists
These 4 exercises work more than just your hands and wrists, but they challenge your wrists to handle loads in different positions and the full body movements give you an understanding of how integral your hands are to bodyweight training.
1. Bear to Frogger to Monkey
These three fundamental locomotive patterns are a great first step into quadrupedal work. And because these may be the initial introduction to crawling and locomotion, I recommend performing these slowly for just a few repetitions with lots of rest in between.
Your focus should be on how your weight transfers through your hand and upper body and analyzing where in your wrists you feel it and how you can adjust to improve those sensations.
2. Plank on Back of Wrists
This is a position you are unlikely used to, as we usually bear weight through the palms when we place our hands on the ground. As such, this can be a vulnerable position so please treat this as a training exercise rather than a “challenge”!
Rather than doing push ups, start with holding the position and adding weight shifting from one hand to the other as you get more comfortable. You can also start from the knees to decrease the weight and make progress from there. Increase your hold times gradually to prevent hurting yourself with an exercise that is supposed to make you better.
3. Plank on Hand Blades Walking
Another unusual movement, you’ll begin in the plank position and place your hands with your thumbs up. Just as in the exercise above you can start on your knees to allow for longer hold times before you fatigue.
The force on your wrists requires you to push into ulnar deviation to keep your wrists in a strong neutral position. “Walking” in this way changes the forces and you’ll develop great adaptable strength in your wrists.
4. Seal Walk
This exercise combines strengthening in a stretched position of your hands and wrists. With your fingers pointing back, slowly roll down your fingers to your palms as you walk your body forward. This combination of changing stretch and resistance is a great stimulus for hand and wrist strength.
Learn to Flow and Bulletproof Your Wrists
Start by doing these exercises by themselves to learn and practice the form and then chain them together into a movement sequence, flowing smoothly from one exercise to the next. This continuous change of angles and stresses to the hands and wrists will help make them more conditioned for the forces encountered in training and the rest of your life.
The sequence I show in the video is just one example. Play around with different sequencing, changing the speed and position as you see fit and as you feel your body can handle.
If you want your body to be unbreakable (or as close to it as possible), don’t skimp out on hand and wrist training. The stronger they are, the more you can concentrate on the exercise at hand, rather than worrying if you are going to hurt your wrists. This will help you progress faster, with less frustration and more fun.