T Nation

Sore wrists

I am doing the Ian King 12 week to super strength program and in phaseII where you do varieties of bench. Problem is that by end of workout my wrists are really sore, especially during the wide grip press. Have others had the same problem? feedback appreciated

I had the same problem, I ended up changing my schedule so that Workout A was on Monday and Workout B was on Friday to give myself additional recovery time. This seemed to help a lot, although for me, the soreness lasts longer and is harder to work through the first week of each new phase. I’m starting week 10 today and my forearms are huge compared to when I started. I’ve really made great gains doing this program.

You’re not alone in this. The Super Strength program didn’t go very well for me for this reason mainly. If I don’t bench relatively heavy (i.e. Phases I and III) and then go back to it, my wrists can’t take the weight. Hell, I even use wrist wraps, and it doesn’t help much. It’s probably because I have very small joints. I’m sure the program isn’t the problem since I’ve had great success with his Limping series, so I’m guessing it’s my joint size and/or body structure that’s keeping me from fully exploiting the benefits of that particular program.

I got very small wrists too, it sucks, but oh well… try some glucosamine/chondroitin and cod liver oil, that helps a lot.
I’m wondering if theres a way to increase wrist size, I’m still pretty young 18. I dunno if its possible…

Try taping them.

I found a 89# cheerleader to do mine.
Don’t worry about having to tape forever…you will strenthen over time. Tape gic=ves you more control on compression than wraps. If this doesn’t work you might need to go to a maint prog for a while.

Mine got so bad at one point I couldn’t shift when I left the gym. The you will have to take time off. Just use your head.

Just out of curiosity, how do you guys hold the bar when you bench? I used to have wrist problems when benching, too. At the time I was holding the bar so that it rested at the base of my fingers. I don’t remember how I came to this realization, but holding the bar like this puts a lot of torque on the wrist, forcing it into extension. I changed my technique so that the bar rests at the base of my palm, directly above the radius and ulna, which eliminates the torque on the wrist. After a few weeks the pain went away. Start light if you try this, though, because the new grip takes some getting used to.

Great point Ben, when pressing (vertical or horizontal) I always teach athletes to keep their wrist in a neutral position like they are going throw a punch. This reduces wrist strain and also increase forearm recruitment! - Matt

You’re probably holding the bar incorrectly (see grim’s post). Have you considered narrowing your grip? Adhering to a program that is not speciffically designed for you and is causing pain seems strange to me. Immediate pain during or following certain movements suggests to me that maybe your not well suited for them.

Thanks fro the feedback guys, I tend to be have the bar more in the palm of my hand, Matt with that grip do you have a flat wrist? and if so wouldn’t there be a lot of strain across the thumb area?

Hyphnz, no there isn’t strain on the thumb. Do this simple motion - if you have a glass, cup etc on your desk reach out for it - and before you grab it look at the orientaion of your hand and wrist. You have a U-shape made out of your thumb and fingers with the bottom of the U directly in line with a neutral wrist. If you make a fist - like you are going to punch you see that the wrist flattens out just as you said - so that was a bad analogy, my fault! I tell them to keep their wrist solid as if they are gonna punch, but that wrist angle definitely isn’t what I meant and WOULD strain the thumb. Now back to the CORRECT angle, as you reach out and have the U shape again, now curl you fingers around as if a bar were there instead of you cup and you should see that your 2nd knuckle is directly opposite of your wrist. That knuckle should be facing up all the time to keep the weight distributed through all the bones of the wrist evenly as well as the radius and ulna. Okay, I know this is long but teaching positions is more of a hands-on job and is hard to explain sometimes. Sorry for any confusion before with me using the wrong analogy for your situation, must have had been lack of sleep! Any other questions or if you need more clarification, let me know! - Matt

Matt, thanks I’ll give that a check out on Monday as I just did a set of 20,000 with a glass with no pain,LOL. Mark C I can see your point but it may be the problem was technical and thanks to Matt + others I may have found a cure not only to this w/out but an overall technique error. Thanks again