In the last decades, sedentary lifestyles have been taking a toll on our health. Let’s face it: we spend a good chunk of our lives seated. Whether at a desk at work, at home watching TV or even on our car, the fact is that this constant sitting is unnatural for us.
We have already covered the consequences of this endless sitting on posture and back. We also spoke about the damages it can make to our health — sedentary lifestyles are linked with the increase of diseases from the heart, diabetes and weight gain.
Today we are mentioning another issue: your hands and wrists. Long hours of typing on your computer can actually damage them.
The good news is that it’s in your hands to change that: here are our exercises to build pain-free hands and wrists.
By now, you already know that at EVO, we promote functional and bodyweight training. It makes perfect sense then that the recommended exercises for pain-free hands and wrists fall under these categories.
However, if you’re just starting to get used to this approach, it’s normal that in an overall training session, you feel the difference in your joints, tendons and muscles. Since you’re using your body weight to work out, the areas mentioned above of your body will feel the impact in the beginning.
Besides tackling the effects of our sedentary lifestyles, the following exercises will also help you build a foundation of strength, endurance and mobility in the hands and wrists — essential to avoid injuries and improve your fitness performance. It’s important to understand that while functional wrist and hand strength provide the foundation for pain-free movement, a skilful practice also plays a vital role.
Whether you’re a bodyweight training advocate, or wish to build stronger hands and wrists for everyday lifting and to carry things, here are our top 5 recommendations. These exercises can be part of a warm-up at the gym, or as a standalone corrective exercise program.
In a kneeling position, place the palms of your hands upon the knees. Lean forward and gently roll the fingers until the palm is on the floor. Spread the fingers and find a comfortable stretch. Gently pulse forwards and backwards 20 times, then hold the stretch for 30sec. Repeat.
Again an exercise to be performed in a kneeling position. Place hands palms down on the knees. Lean forward and gently roll the fingers until the back of the palm is on the floor. Spread the fingers and find a comfortable stretch. Gently turn the elbow crease inwards and outwards 20 times, then turn the elbow crease out and hold the stretch for 30sec. Repeat.
You guessed it: in a kneeling position, lean forwards, and rest the fingertips lightly on the floor. Gently bounce the fingertips up and down on the floor, as you rock your body forwards and backwards to control the weight. Perform 20 bounces, rest and repeat.
Assume an all-fours position with the fingers facing forward. Spread the fingers and gently turn the elbow crease out, so it’s forward facing. From this position, push the base of the fingers into the floor and raise the palm off the floor. Lower the palm under control and repeat 15 times. Aim for fatigue at the last rep; as you become stronger, you can lean further forwards onto the hands. As a progression, perform the exercise with the fingers facing backwards.
This final exercise combines the flexibility, strength and endurance gained from the above activities into a functional movement. From an all-fours position, spread the fingers, turn out the elbow creases, and push the fingertips and palms into the floor. As you maintain this position, slowly rock forwards and hold for 2sec. Return and repeat 12 times to fatigue. As you become stronger, you can progressively take the shoulders further forwards over the wrists/hands.
You can minimize or even have pain-free hands and wrists. As usual, we recommend you check with your doctor if these exercises are suitable for you. If you’re good to go, start to introduce them in your workouts as a warm-up or a cool-down. It’s in your hands to change this.