Mobility Series: The Wrist
The Importance of Wrist Mobility
The wrist is one of the most used yet least talked about joints in the body. Think about it. When you type on your computer what are you using? How about when you talk on the phone? How about when you steer your car or brush your teeth?
It’s of the utmost importance that your wrists stay mobile so they’re able to hold up while performing all of the activities of daily living they’re required for.
To ensure the wrists stay supple/flexible, check out our top five exercises for wrist mobility:
1) Wrist Rolls
Interlock the fingers together. Begin by simply rolling the hands back and forth so that you are consistently flexing and extending the wrists fully. Maintain fluidity of motion throughout the movement. Perform for 30-60 seconds.
2) Wrist Waves
Interlock the fingers with palms facing the floor and elbows out. Begin the wrist waves by fully pushing one hand into the other to force the hand that is doing the pushing into wrist flexion and the hand that is being pushed into wrist extension. Then do it the opposite way. This will result in a wave like motion that takes both wrists through a full range of motion. Maintain fluidity of motion throughout the movement. Perform for 30-60 seconds.
3) Extension Stretch (Prayer)
Bring your hands together so that they are pressed against one another with palms perpendicular to the floor and elbows out. This will create what appears to be a “prayer” position. Push down slightly so that you feel a stretch along the bottom of your forearm. Hold for 30-60 seconds.
4) Flexion Stretch
Place one arm straight out (so that it is parallel to the floor) with the elbow straight and the palm facing down. With the other arm, grab your hand and pull it down (placing the wrist into a flexed position). You should feel a stretch on the top of your forearm. Hold for 30-60 seconds.
5) Banded Joint Mobilization
Attach a moderately thick band around a stable stanchion. Place a plate or something about 3” in thickness a few feet away (far enough away that there is tension on the band when stretch to reach the plate). Place the band atop the hand (where the hand and wrist meet) and place the palm down on the plate with the top of the forearm facing away from the stanchion which the band is attached to. Push down on the stretch band right where the floor and plate meet. You may hold and mildly rock back and forth every 5 seconds for up to 30 seconds.
Once you complete this repeat it similarly the other way with the only changes now being the top of the forearm facing the stanchion and pressing down on the palm instead of the band with the opposite hand.