T Nation

Broke My Wrist, What Now?


I went to the doctor today after an injury last night to my left wrist. I was DB benching with 70lbers, and when I was done with the set I attempted to lower the DBs slowly so that they wouldn�??t bang on the floor. I had them in a hammer grip and about half way down I felt something give way on the pinky side of my wrist. It hurt a lot, but I figured it was just a strain, and I had just started my workout, so I went ahead and finished the rest of it.

Fast forward to today, and I have a lot of pain in the wrist area. I went to an urgent care and it turns out I chipped part of my ulna off. I also may have a crack through the end of the ulna too, but I have to go to an orthopedic to find out for sure.

I�??ve accepted the fact that there are a bunch of exercises that I won�??t be able to do, but I don�??t want to stop working out. I just took a two week break (holidays, then I got sick). I figure I can still do back squats, leg extensions, and leg curls. Word is still out on front squats, I�??ll have to try those today when I go. I�??ve never tried zercher squats, and those might work. My legs are my weak point so this could be a good excuse to nail them pretty hard. It will hurt that deadlifts are probably out of the question.

I still want to work out my upper body, but I�??m not sure what exactly I can do. I would do isolation on my right side, but I don�??t want to end up being disproportionate. Has anyone else had this injury? How long did it take you to heal? Did you do any upper body work at all?


If you wanna work yourr upper body, just use your imagination. You can still use the pec fly machine, bicep curl machine, tricep extension machine ... well basically, you will have to stick to machines. Instead of using your hand, you will be using the middle of your forearm as a lever.


I wouldn't suggest back squats. You need your wrists to help support the weight on your back. Rest up, recover. Shouldn't take longer than 4-6 weeks to heal.


Awe shit man, that sucks! I know how you feel I broke my hand last march. There's a lot less you can do with the hand than you think. You can do back squats, but you'll have to go light and go for reps. It's a natural reaction to pull down on the bar when you are straining, which you will not be able to do with a bum hand. The cast is bulky and it gets in the way big time. I did a lot of cardio. I also did one arm snatches, one arm push-ups, one arm pull downs, etc. with my good hand. However, my good hand was my left, or non-dominant hand. I wouldn't train the dominant hand because you'll create major imbalances that you will not be able to recover when training bi-laterally again.
The good news was that by 12 weeks I was training full blast again with only mild pain and now that's gone. And I am old, so that's good news for you.


Rest that wrist but make sure to keep training with the opposite hand. Research shows that the unused arm will still get stronger due to a "cross-body neural effect" or something similar.

What pat36 said about imbalances may be true, but not according to what I was told to do when I busted a thumb. If you want to talk to the same guy I train with (a corrective specialist along the lines of Cressey and Robertson) let me know and I'll get you his contact info.


Thanks for all the advice guys. I just got back from the gym. I did a nice 20 rep squat then rest paused some leg curls and calf raises. All of it went fairly well with little pain.

The broken wrist is on my left side so I would be training my dominant side if I went uni-lateral. I may try to do some stuff for reps just to keep loose but I don't think I'll do anything heavy. The doctor said I'll be good to go in 4 weeks or so. Until then I'll just use whatever machines I can and hope for the best.


it's gonna get itchy and stinky like a mother if you dont get your cast replaced within that 4 weeks. I got annoyed from mine so bad that i cut the cast off myself and bought a wrist guard from the pharmacy as a replacement. now i'm back 100%


a broken wrist heals faster than a torn ligament so thats a good thing, replace back squats with hack squats and leg presses

glute ham raise
front squats with arms crossed?
leg curls
leg extensions
shrugs with calf raise
neck stuff (get a big beefy cannibal corpse neck)
some lateral raise machines push from your elbows

maybe you could like weld/attach a hooker strap to your cast and like do pulldownsand rows and shit, i dunno