The Best Exercise Modifications to Try If You Have Sore Wrists


Getting injured is always frustrating for a number of reasons, including the fact that you can’t participate in your normal day-to-day activities, like working out. Recently I suffered a sprained wrist, and although it was pretty minor as injuries go, it did hamper my regular exercise routine. No longer was I able to do my standard practice of yoga, Pilates, or even some barre and weight lifting exercises. Putting any type of pressure on the wrist was not only painful but also greatly increased risk of further damage as well as extending the recovery time.

Which workouts are safe to do for sore and sprained wrists?

“When you have sore or sprained wrists, it’s essential to choose workouts that don’t strain or worsen the injury,” Mauro S. Maietta, District Fitness Manager of Crunch Fitness, tells Lifehacker.

Every injury is different, and you should consult a medical professional for more specific advice—but here are some options that are usually safe to do as your wrists are recovering.

Range of motion exercises:

Gently move your wrists through their full range of motion without causing pain, since this can help prevent stiffness,” Maietta says. For example, bring your thumb and the rest of the fingers together. Then gently rotate your wrists to one side as far as you can comfortably go. Return and repeat on the other side. Do this for 30 seconds.

Isometric exercises:

 Isometric exercises involve static muscle contractions without joint movement,” Maietta explains. “For example, lightly press your palms together, hold for a few seconds, and release. This can help strengthen wrist muscles without risking further injury. Additionally, make a fist, hold it for 30 seconds, rest, and do this again throughout the day.”

Finger and grip strengthening. “Exercises that focus on your fingers and grip can help indirectly strengthen your wrists.” For example, use soft resistance putty and hold the putty in your hand and squeeze it into your hand until your fingertips reach your palm, then release and play with the putty in your hand. Then squeeze again. Repeat for two or three minutes.

Low-impact cardio:

 Engage in low-impact cardiovascular exercises like walking or stationary cycling to maintain overall fitness without putting stress on your wrists, Maietta says.

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