If action movies have taught us anything, it’s that most of us will spend a few moments hanging off the precipice of a building at some point in our lives. In order to survive, you’ll need strong wrists.
Even if you don’t spend any time hanging on for dear life and quipping with villains, strong wrists can help make daily tasks easier. Whether you’re typing, carrying groceries, doing pull-ups, or opening that impossible jar, wrist strength and flexibility are key.
With these stretches and exercises, you’ll keep your wrists strong and avoid injury.
7 exercises for stronger wrists
Put a pause on leg day — wrist day is where it’s at. To strengthen your wrists, you actually need to strengthen your forearms and increase mobility in your wrist joints. Wrist movement involves 35 muscles!
Your wrist connects your forearm to your hand — that joint needs to stay loose so you can still type 100 words per minute. And all those forearm muscles need to stay strong so you can grip those Costco groceries like a pro.
Especially if you sit at a computer all day, your wrists and forearms can develop repetitive motion injuries or ailments like carpal tunnel syndrome. By giving your wrists a little love and exercise, you may be able to avoid these aches. Even if you have a more trying injury like tennis elbow, simple at-home exercises can relieve pain.
Unless you’re Popeye the sailor man, you likely don’t spend a lot of time on bulking up your forearms. With all these exercises, start with no weights or very light weights so you don’t overstress these relatively small muscles.
As with any other form of exercise, you want to warm up a bit before diving in to wrist exercises.
If you have any pain or stiffness in your wrists, place a warm towel or heating pad on the area for about 15 minutes. It’s a very literal warmup, but it’ll help increase blood flow and flexibility to the area before you start your exercises.
If you aren’t feeling stiffness or pain, simply walk around for a minute or two. This easy cardio gets your blood flowing and lets your wrists and forearms move naturally. You don’t need a complicated warmup for wrist exercises, but it’s best to do a bit of activity so you aren’t accidentally working, stretching, and possibly injuring cold muscles.
Note: If you ever feel pain with any of these exercises, stop! Listen to your body and never push to a point of discomfort.
This gentle exercise gives a tiny stretch to your wrists while building strength.
Try to keep your shoulders and neck relaxed. The movement should be just in your wrists, not your arms, elbows, or shoulders.
This is another gentle exercise that focuses on hand flexibility and strength.
You can do this with no weights, light resistance bands, or 1–5 pound dumbbells. Start with no weights and add weight only if you feel no pain.
You can do this exercise with a resistance band, a dumbbell, or just bodily resistance. If you’re using a light resistance band, hold one end of the band down with the bottom of your foot and grab the other end with your working hand. For dumbbells, stick with 1–5 pounds, depending on your level.
Be sure to move only your wrist. This isn’t a biceps curl, it’s a wrist curl, so keep your arm and shoulder still while your wrist does all the work.
These are pretty much upside-down wrist curls. You can use a dumbbell, a band, or nothing at all!
As with the previous move, make sure the movement is only in your wrist. You may want to position your arm so your wrist can hang off your leg or a bench. If your wrist starts by hanging down about 90 degrees, you’ll get a better range of motion for the exercise.
You can squeeze just about anything in this one. Try a tennis ball, hand grip exerciser, or towel.
Contact Person: Mrs. Michelle