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How to ​Avoid a Wrist Injury When Exercising

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Injuries can be nightmarish to deal with when it comes to keeping active, without a doubt. The hindrance they pose to your routines and ability can be absolutely huge, and they have a lot of potential to get worse if you don’t take care of them in the right way. This makes it essential to know how to avoid them in the first place.

The wrists are a prime example of how these injuries can have such a drastic impact on your life because of their common use and the pain that they can cause whenever you try and do even mundane tasks like holding things or making a fist.


One of the most common ways to actually sustain a wrist injury is from the repetitive strain of performing exercises that remove your wrist from a neutral position. The most common way this occurs is performing bodyweight focused exercises on a flat surface, such as a plank, push up or even a tricep dip. All of these exercises utilise, at their base level, a stance where the hands are flat on the floor facing down, and this is more often not what causes injuries like this.

The pressure these positions assert onto the joints and tendons can be damaging if they are not used to such movements, and if they are over performed, it is an accident waiting to happen. It’s advised to variate your exercises and movements where reasonably possible to prevent this, even by utilising other forms of equipment such as dumbbells or parallel bars to keep your wrists in a neutral position throughout these exercises or elevate the hands when they are being performed to reduce some of the pressure being asserted if this isn’t possible.


Weighted exercises can also cause similar issues as well, especially when the forearms are not trained to a good extent in comparison with the force you are putting on the wrist. Bad technique is the worst factor in this situation as with most possible injuries in exercise, because of the stress being applied to areas where it is not intended and often weakest.

Often the use of dumbbells or barbells that are too heavy for what you can use properly will cause your wrists to move out of the neutral position which can often cause the most damage rather than bodyweight exercises, so ensure this neutral grip is a priority throughout your workouts.


To prevent damage if you think things are beginning to worsen, you can bring in outside equipment to prevent the damage from becoming an issue by using things like athletic tape or wrist supports during your exercises to take some of the weight of them, as well as avoiding some of the exercises that could be causing the issues in the first place.

Stretching can also be good for prevention, such as doing dumbbell rolls with your arms supported, or even just doing more forearm-based exercises to strengthen the wrists before the damage even has a chance to manifest. Some of the most famous wrist strengthening exercises are based around grip movements like contracting and releasing a tennis ball or a stress ball, or a grip strengthening device that’s designed for that purpose.


If you do feel like you are beginning to sustain an injury such as repetitive strain or tendonitis, there are ways to help fight this. When your wrists are in pain during or after exercise, it’s always a good idea to give them a break until the pain dies down. You won’t be able to reach your potential during the exercise anyway because of the injury, it’s wiser to stop completely before you worsen the situation.

Ice is good for inflammation as well as preventing further strain from general day to day wear and tear. If it is particularly worsening than you can handle though, wrist splints are an alternative to use until you are back to full strength. Just try not to rely on it too much and build your wrists back up naturally.

As with all injuries relating to exercise, it is always wise to seek advice from a medical professional if things are worsening. You can also talk to a trainer or do more in-depth research to find corrective exercises to suit your personal injuries and find the least damaging ways to exercise.

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