Stretching and Strengthening Those Wrists

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They’re not flashy muscles, but that doesn’t make them unimportant.

As anyone who works with their hands will tell you, from something lower-impact like writing to something more intensive like day-laboring, your wrists are one of the most deceptively important muscles in the body. It’s thanks to your wrists that you have the vast majority of flexibility in your hands and fingers. Should anything happen to them, you can’t even press buttons on a phone without wincing in pain. However, most popular exercises don’t target the wrists at all, which is something that you can remedy with some specialized stretching.

Curling and rotating your wrist muscles strengthens your ligaments, which not only makes them more resistant to damage, but also increases your range of motion. They’re easy to do, too; for a wrist curl, just grab some light weights, take a seat, place your hands in your lap with the palms facing upward, and curl your wrists up toward your center. A wrist rotation is similar, except you hold your weighted hands out in front of your and rotate your wrists in opposite directions.

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In addition to working the wrists themselves, it wouldn’t hurt to work your elbows a bit as well. The nerves in your elbows connect directly to the nerves in your wrists and fingers, which is why, when you bang your elbow really hard, your wrist may become stiff and painful. You can strengthen your elbows with a simple elbow rotation; just get down on all fours, shift your weight onto your arms, then rotate your wrists so your elbows face outside and inside repeatedly.

Try to do this on a regular basis if you can, especially if you spend a lot of time working on a computer. Carpal tunnel has been an enduring problem since the digital age began; don’t let yourself fall victim to it.