When it comes to mobility, the hip and shoulders tend to steal the show but it's important not to forget the smaller joints like ankles and wrists.
In this post we're going to be talking about wrists and if you're like me, you know right away when the wrists start acting up.
Positions get difficult to hold, simple exercise get challenging to do, and barbell workouts become impossible without extra wraps or scaling.
Wrist mobility and sufficient range of motion in the wrist is important for so many things like getting into a front rack position, being able to hold a pain free overhead position, and for supporting your bodyweight in a pushup position.
And failing to address wrist health can lead to painful positions, compensations, and re-occuring injuries.
To help you stay on top of wrist health and keep crushing workouts we wanted to share a few of our favorite drills to improve range of motion, speed up recovery, and stay injury free.
Dynamic Wrist Stretch
Start on all fours with your hands turned out and fingers facing you. Shoulders should be aligned with the wrists or in front of the wrist. Gently rock back until you feel a stretch through your forearm and wrists.
Hold this position for about 10 seconds and then return back to a neutral/start position. Hang out in the neutral start position for 3-5 seconds and then repeat for reps or 1-2 minutes.
*Above: Start Position.
*Above: Rocked Back Position
Note: Coach Mesha has a very common range of motion issue that doesn't allow her to rock back very far and start from a shoulders in front of wrist position. This is a great place for her to start and slowly build a bigger range of motion.
Don't push the intensity too much and risk injury, you want it to be challenging not painful. Work with whatever you have and build with consistency.
Please take a second to watch this video and review notes below.
One of the most important aspects about this drill and any rolling is to be as relaxed as possible. Focus on breathing slowly, inhaling through the nose and exhaling through your mouth.
Tensing up will prevent the barbell from rolling deeper into the muscle.
Use the first couple roll to scan the arm for tender spots and although I don't show this in the video, you can turn the arm over laying in the same position and work the top of the arm.
When you find a tender spot, stop and leave the barbell on top working a few slow inhales and exhales before moving on.
Give yourself 1-2 minutes per arm to start and utilize this as you need.
If you type a lot, this one is great for you!
Start by placing a lacrosse ball on an elevated surface that you can lean your bodyweight onto like a bench or box. Place the ball under the pad of your hand (where the hand meets the wrist) and slowly scan with circular motions.
Note: You can use the other hand to gently pull back the fingers and help create more flexion in the wrist. The goal would be to get the wrist joint as close to 90 degrees as possible. If you're like Coach Mesha who is using this drill to help improve wrist mobility, just placing the hand and leaning forward is a great place to start.
Apply pressure by leaning your bodyweight forward and onto the ball as needed.
As you scan the bottom of the palm you may feel some scar tissue or tight fascia. It will feel like you're rolling over little crunchy things. The goal here is to help release some of that fascia, improve blood flow, and help restore some movement into the wrist.
Hope these drills help!