T Nation

Tips for Wrist Stability?


#1

Hey everyone, i have some quick questions id like to get your opinions on.

Basically my left wrist sometimes hurt, i noticed during bench press my wrists used to bend back a bit, more so my left (im right handed), i have bought wrist wraps but have gave benching a miss for a while to let any potential damage heal.

The left wrist sometimes feels weak, directly over the point where the hand finishes connecting to the forearm, i was thinking maybe doing some small extension work for the wrist to strengthen it? Maybe some wrist curls/reverse wrist curls? Anyone have some suggestions? It's more a really mild/dull ache so im hoping it's not nothing too serious and some small strengthening exercises along with resting should do the trick?

Here is the area;

Thoughts?

Thanks!


#2

My training partner suffers allot with this. She has overcome all of the problems with using good wrist wraps but mainly from grabbing the bar and squeezing it with a really tight grip during all her lifts. Must admit it has fixed her bending back prob, its harder than you think to really grab and squeeze the bar tight on B press as most will simply let the bar sit on the hands.

So try to squeeze the bar with a really hard grip when you lift. Hope that provides you with some help mate, and it wouldn't hurt to add a few wrist specific exercises like the ones you mention.


#3

Thanks for the reply mate, yeah i bought wrist wraps to help give my wrists some stability as i noticed they kept bending back on the bench, im sure that's where the pain arised on my left wrist from. If i rest for a little longer, will some wrist isolation exercises strengthen them up to optimal standard? I haven't benched in a while, not like im eager to get back into it, but more interested in getting my wrist feeling better.

Thanks again.


#4

Thanks for the reply mate, i use wrist wraps on bench which i have bought recently to help with stability, haven't benched in a while to let the wrist heal, but would doing some isolated exercises for the wrists in order to strengthen them, get them up to par? I have rested a while but maybe they need to be strengthened due to the damage?

Thanks.


#5

are you perhaps holding the bar a bit further up your fingers rather than more down by your thumb? you want the bar to sit naturally... on top of your forearms (if that makes sense). as low down by your wrist as you can grip it. maybe worth checking to see whether you are holding it a bit different with your left hand than your right.


#6

Hmmm, I would do a few wrist exercises, but not really for strength, more for physio, as wrist exercises will inevitably work your forearms. As alexus has stated, you need to make sure you are grabbing the bar correctly, try to really grip hard on the bar, this will help you bring the bar closer to your forearm/bottom of your hand. By gripping the bar HARD, you will strengthen your forearms and wrists anyway. Good luck with this and let us know how you go man.


#7

Thanks for the replies guys, when it comes to benching i will re-elevate my technique as i was having problems with the bar positioning in my hands but bought wrist wraps to help add stability.

I think i'll try out a few wrist curls/revers wrist curls as a form of more physio rehab, to help strengthen my wrist before going back to benching.


#8

The wrist wraps are definitely a good idea. I don't have any wrist issues; however, I will use my wraps when pressing heavy. As alexus mentioned, make sure that you're lined up with the bar. A fat bar or using fat gripz may help with this.

Until this is resolved, you may want to incorporate pre-exhaust. This will ensure that you won't need to press as heavy for proper stimulation. Also, in my experience, when people db press, they are less likely to hyperextend at the wrist (although some still manage to do so anyway).

To summarize:

1) use the wrist wraps

2) correct your form

3) try pre-exhaust for the time being (the first sets of exercises should not involve the wrist too much)

4) try fat bars/fat gripz or something similar

5) incorporate more db work


#9

Consider doing pushups on your knuckles. I started doing that because a wrist injury made it painful to do them on my palms. If your wrists are currently a weak point they may wobble a bit in the beginning. I put my hands directly under my shoulders & keep my elbows tight to my ribs so the wrist remains sttraight.

A couple of weeks ago I attended a handgun seminar and I was the only student who had no wrist pain or weakness when shooting from the hip immediately after the draw, which tends to be hard on the wrist.


#10

Thanks for the suggestions, i have always done push ups on my knuckles and with my current situation if i were to do them on my palms it would be really stressful, especially on the left wrist which is the problem at the moment.

Will some reverse wrist curls/normal wrist curls sort this? I haven't trained for a good few weeks which will stress the wrist but it isn't getting any better, i noticed the pain flare up earlier when driving and i had my hands on the steering wheel, is it just a case of some
rehab exercises>?


#11

The push up is one of my favorite upper body pressing movements. I strongly recommend the a perfect push up type of device in which you have handles (so your wrists stay tight and lined up instead of hyper-extended) AND you have a certain amount of "float." I mentioned the importance of this in Bret Contreras' recent push up article. This float allows your wrists to stay lined up while protecting the elbows and the shoulders. Cyclists use a very similar principle in their pedals; they have a few degrees of movement lateral and medial. This is extremely important in long term joint health. You can also use blast straps or visit your local rock climbing shop and get set up for less than $20 bucks. That's the set up I use; the webbing and carabiners have a breaking strength of over 2000 pounds.

Just don't make the mistake of doing that extreme twist like you see in the ads or some of the you tube videos. It's a subtle movement.

As for the wrist curls and extensions, my guess is the curls may help the hyperextension because the wrist curls will strengthen the flexors. However, the movement may also irritate the wrist complex. You're certainly welcome to experiment and get back to us. However, I'd personally use fat gripz or a fat bar (if you have access) for pressing. And don't forget about db presses with fat gripz attached.

And for movements such as lat pull downs, bicep curls, one arm rows, pull ups/chin ups, try foam pipe insulation cut to size. Depending on the size of your hands, you may need one or two on top of each other. The foam allows for each finger to sink in like custom molding. This, once you get over the learning curve, ABSOLUTELY will strengthen the flexor digitorum superficialis as well as flexor digitorum profundus. The former plays an important role in wrist flexon (the latter is the only muscle that flexes at the distal phalanges ie the finger tips). In other words, you can strengthen the wrist flexors WITHOUT actually performing wrist curls.


#12

I still seem to get this. I notice it's my left wrist, normally feels weak throughout the day if i happen to activate the pain.

The place i notice it the most is when reading a book and holding it in my hands, my left wrist feels weak and doesn't feel no where near as strong as my right one.

Is this some soft tissue damage? Ive had it for months now.


#13

Well, what strategies have you been implementing since this post first went up? Have done the things I and the other members suggested? Have you avoided the high-risk scenarios?

Before you answer those questions on this forum, ask YOURself if you took the matter seriously or not. Regardless of the answer, I strongly encourage you to have it looked at by an ortho who specializes in hand/wrist.