Show your overworked wrists some love with these soothing stretches.
If you’ve found yourself with sudden wrist pain, your desk job or too much texting is a likely culprit.
The wrist joint is made up of nerves, blood vessels, and tendons that move from the forearm and shoulder and go into the hand. Repetitive movements from typing and texting can cause pressure on those nerves, causing irritation, pain, numbness, poor blood flow, and weakness in the hand, fingers, and thumb. Over time, these problems can lead to larger wrist-related conditions like tendonitis, arthritis, and tennis elbow. (1)
Suffering from a sore neck, back and shoulders? Get our mobility guide to ease pain and soreness.
Get The FREE Mobility Guide To Fix Your Pain Today!
A regular stretching routine is the best way to ensure that your repetitive movements don’t lead to pain. These seven simple wrist stretches will help to alleviate pain and counteract the damage caused by too much repetition.
If you have a long day of typing ahead of you, we recommend doing these stretches first thing in the morning and in the evening.
Wrist Extension | 20 sec
Start with this stretch – it relieves tension along the underside of forearms and wrists.
- Begin in a tabletop position on your hands and knees.
- Rotate your fingers so that they point towards your knees. Keep your palms flat on the ground. If you’d like to deepen the stretch, shift your weight back a bit.
- Hold for 20 seconds, then gently release.
Wrist Flexion | 20 sec per side
Counterbalance your last stretch with this move to relieve tension along the top of the wrist and forearm.
- Get back to a regular tabletop position.
- Pick up your right hand and bend the wrist to place the top of your right hand on the ground. Use your core and your left hand to control the amount of weight you are putting on the wrist.
- If you want, gently shift your hips back towards your heels to deepen the stretch.
- Hold for 20 seconds, then switch hands.
Wrist Circles | 10 reps per direction
The exercise invites blood flow to the wrists and improves mobility.
- Kneel down and rest your palms on the floor, with the inside of the wrists together and your fingers pointing out to the sides.
- Engage your abs to control the amount of weight you are putting on your palms.
- Keep your palms planted, and use your upper body to circle in a clockwise direction. You should feel a good stretch through all sides of the wrists.
- Take 10 circles in a counter-clockwise direction.
Fist Pumps | 10 reps
This easy exercise stretches out the hands and brings fresh, oxygenated blood into the wrists.
- Start standing or in a comfortable seat. Reach your arms straight out in front of you with your hands open and your palms facing down.
- Spread your fingers as wide as you can to feel a stretch between your fingers and across your palms. Then, make your hands into fists and squeeze tight. That’s one rep.
- Alternate between spreading your fingers really wide and making tight little fists for 10 reps.
Fist Circles | 10 reps per direction
Improve blood flow and mobility of the wrists as you release tension in the forearms.
- Hold your arms straight out in front of you. Make fists by tucking the thumbs into the palms and then curling the other 4 fingers around the thumb.
- Circle your fists outwards for 10 reps.
- Then, circle your fists inwards for 10 reps.
Thumb Release | 20 sec
Gently release tension along the inner wrist and thumb with this stretch.
- Hold your arms straight out in front of you with the palms turned inward.
- Make fists with both hands by tucking the thumbs into your palms and then wrapping the fingers around the thumb.
- Simply tilt your knuckles forward and down to feel a stretch along the thumb and the inside of your wrist. Hold for 20 seconds.
Forearm SMR | 1-3 min per arm
Use this Self-Myofascial Release (SMR) technique to massage tight muscles in the forearms. If you want, start by rubbing your forearms with lavender oil diluted in a carrier oil. If you have a massage ball, this is a great place to use it!
- Start by massaging the top of your right forearm with your left hand. Work slowly down the top of the forearm to the wrist. Whenever you find a tight and painful spot, stop and press down firmly on the spot for 20 seconds, then move on.
- Next, massage the underside of the forearm. Start near the elbow and work your way down to the wrist. Stop and hold whenever you feel points of tension.
- Switch arms.