Who wants happy wrists?
Last week I showed you how to get more engagement in your hands, fingers, arms and shoulders. That kind of engagement keeps you from dumping all your weight into an unsupported wrist while you are doing push ups, planks, or other movements where your weight is in your hands.
I also showed you how to improve your grip strength with a narrow grip and a wider grip and what it is like to work on wrist mobility while gripping something.
This week I’m going to show you another way to help your wrists get strong in a variety of positions while they are supporting your weight.
Most of us have strength in our wrists in a very limited range. While this is great for accomplishing whatever activity we regularly ask of our wrists, or not, it turns out that life doesn’t always give us challenges that stay in that comfortable range.
Things happen unpredictably and at weird angles. Perhaps you fall and catch yourself with your hand.
You may not land on it in an optimal position. Wouldn’t it would be great if your wrist knew what to do in that strange position?
Your body is amazing at reorganizing itself and strengthening itself in response to what you do with it.
Let's do some weird stuff with our wrists!
Progressively load the wrists in unconventional positions.
The trick here is to pay attention to how you are feeling as you are doing this, and do less than you think you can take.
Check in a day later, are your wrists feeling good or a bit overdone?
Honestly. If you over do it, you are doing yourself no favours.
Less, more often, will get you better results, quickly.
3 steps to progressively load your wrists in weird ways
Step One: Choose a working position.
Here is a list starting from low load to high load. Start with a low load one first.
Lower load positions
Stand facing a wall, palms on the wall in front of you. You can play with how much weight your wrists get by moving your feet closer or farther from the wall and by changing how much you lean your weight into your hands.
- Stand facing a counter or table, palms on the surface in front of you. Lean your weight into your hands. Feet closer = less weight, feet farther away = more weight.
- Kneel on the floor with your butt resting on your feet. Place your hands on the floor in front of you and lean some of your weight into them. You can increase the weight by lifting your butt off your feet and moving your hands farther away from your knees.
Higher load positions
- Start on all fours with your hands under your shoulders, but tuck your toes under and lift your knees off the ground.
If and only if it is easy and you feel really strong in your wrists with the above positions, try the same moves in a plank variation. Three options are pictured below from easiest to hardest.
- With hands raised on a low table or chair.
- With hands and feet on the floor.
- With your feet up on a block or bench or chair.
Don't be stupid or you will hurt yourself!
Start with very low load and work up.
Don't feel like you need to get to the hardest position. I can't do that position!
I promise you, you will get amazing results even if you never even get to having your hands fully under your shoulders when you are on all fours.
Step Two: Change up your wrist position, while you load and unload each wrist
From your chosen working position, lean your upper body so the weight is in one wrist (use lots of engagement like we worked on in the first part of Wrist Love). Lift the other hand off the ground and reposition it so the fingers point in a different direction. Pour the weight into that hand. Lift the other hand off the ground/wall and reposition it. Pour the weight into it. Repeat.
Reposition in as many awkward positions as you can think of.
Plositions to explore:
- Point your fingers in every direction, forwards, backwards, to the side, to the middle and everywhere in between
- Put the back of your hand on the floor and take it through all the different ways you can point your fingers. Imagining a clock face is useful. Point to every number that you can.
- Plant the outside edge of your on the ground. As above point in every direction.
- Plant the inside edge of your hand on the ground (this one feels really weird). As above point in every direction available.
- Come up onto your fists and point them in every direction available.
- How about onto open fists. Weight is on the middle section of every finger. Rotate in every direction.
- Fingertips, as above.
Some of these positions will be easier than others. Don't feel like you need to keep your weight input the same throughout. Put less weight into the unusual or difficult ones for you, until you get stronger in that position.
Feel free to do completely different things with each hand. eg. one hand palm down, one hand palm up. Your brain will like it.
Step Three: Do less than you think and wait and see how it feels to decide how much to do next time.
Progress slowly. Do less, more often, and win big.
How do these positions feel?
Perhaps you haven’t used your hands and wrists like this before?
Maybe you’re wrists or hands feel warmer or are starting to fatigue.
Tell us how it goes....
Go easy with this and have fun!