T Nation

Wrist Problems During Workouts


I've been hitting the gym for about a month now and I love it but I've been running into some problems constantly with my wrists going out during my lifting routines. I train 1 muscle group per day usually and during my workout, about 60-70% through my wrists will start feeling limp/weak to the point where I can't hold my grip. It's a nightmare for things like bent over rows and lat pulldowns etc.

Is this common problem amongst bodybuilders? Are there any ways of treating it/curing it? I often feel like I have to cut lifting sessions a little short because of what's happening with my grip on the weights. Any thoughts?

Some quick info that -might- help:

I've been using the computer a lot for the last 6-7 years(I work online).
I'm 22 6'2 190lbs and have been going to the gym for a little over a month.
I've been very active with sports throughout my life.

Anything else let me know.




Build up your stamina. You won't have this problem after awhile.


Heavy deadlifts are supposed to help grip strength. Other pulling movements too, eg rows, pullups. These helped me


thanks guys


Very common with beginners. I remember having this too. It does get better with time.


use chalk and do stuff like farmers walks that will tax your grip


theres nothing you can do except strengthen your grip. heres a dilemma for ya though. you can get straps and that will help you develop your back because you will be able to work past grip failure BUT if you use them too much you will not develop grip strength and you'll suffer in the long run.


I personally like to use straps to improve my strength on pulling exercises (shrugs, rows, pullups,ects) This enables me to directly work the back because on pulling exercises your grip is the weak link.. I have read that high rep pulling exercises will bring up your grip and wrists/hands.

High rep rows, high rep deads with an under over grip for high reps works great. The straps are a personal choice but there has been some recent research that shows it will help you add a couple extra reps to your sets.. I was reading on this research in M&F...

Also how is your diet? You could be weak and having wrist problems if your not doing the correct things in that area.. Eating enough protein and fat is essential. If your not eating correctly then recovery will be an issue and you will have muscle problems.. Please post your diet..

We want to see what your doing is correct and that your recoving properly between workouts. Time and time again people have alot of problems mainly because of their diet and not how thier training... Diet will help you recover and if your not recoving correctly you will have issues..

This is a bigginers board and saying you have just been lifting for a month the likelyhood of your diet not being right is really really high. It takes a while to find out what works for you...


A guy thats 6'2 190lbs probably doesn't have alot of muscle mass.. Are you planning on doing a mass gain to put on some serious mass. Its much easier to cut once you have a ton of muscle...


High rep pulling WITHOUT straps BTW...


Sure, thanks for taking the time to look deeper into this, I appreciate it.

To be honest, I don't really know what I want out of bodybuilding yet... All I know is that I enjoy it and I enjoy dieting and how I feel when I'm doing these things. I guess, in a perfect world, if I had to tell you what type of physique I would want, it'd probably be the typical 'fitness magazine model' look.. Something like Jessie Godderz

possibly a tiny bit smaller in mass. As much as I respect the physiques of people like Thibs etc. I don't want to look that big at the moment. Although, that might change as I get more into bodybuilding in the future.

I'm not going to lie, I don't really know a ton about bodybuilding and next monday will be my 5th week into the gym.

My diet currently looks something like this..

{11am} I wake up and have a Metabolic Drive protein shake (1 scoop) + banana immediately

{NOON} Couple cups of unsweetened oatmeal with frozen blueberries for flavoring, 2-3 egg whites, 2 slice of protein bread(5g protein per slice)

{3pm} Chicken breast, sweet potatoe, steamed veggies(broccoli, carrots, cauliflower), 1-2 slices of protein bread

{6pm} 1 scoop protein shake with 5g creatine monohydrate, banana

{6:45pm} GYM - Drinking 3 scoops surge recovery during workout

{9:30} Arrive home and have another protein shake (1scoop, 3 total scoops per day) with 5g creatine monohydrate, Banana

{10:30pm} Chicken breast and/or 2x cans Albacore tuna, steamed veggies and/or raw spinach.

{1:30am} couple spoonfulls of cottage cheese (I have to literally force this down my throat, it's the worst)

Now as I post this, I'm not claiming that it's a proper diet, or it's optimal for me - I don't know what's optimal for me. All I can really do is be honest and that's pretty much what my diet looks like. I eat like that 7 days a week with rarely any cheat meals and I've been doing that for a month.

Most of that food is just easily accessible for me and healthy so that's what I eat. It's just my raw diet that I haven't began working towards tweaking yet. I don't ever use anything like salad dressing, or flavoring for any of my stuff. I actually JUST bought some fresh salsa and mrs. dash to try out this week.

edit: I forgot to add that I take a men's one a day, and 3 fish oil pills a day as well.


they wouldn't let me post a picture of Jessie Godderz via link so I just saved it and uploaded it instead.**


This may help,

at the end of all of your workouts just hang from a pullup bar for as long as you can. This number should consistently increase.

Also, as above mentioned (but obviously harder) the farmers walks, rows and deads




sorry I took so long to reply to your post on diet. From what I can see the diet looks really clean. I do think one thing that your totally missing from your diet is the "fat". Do you take either olive oil, all natural PB or any other fat other than fish oil in your diet? I currently go to one of the top nutritionist in the five state area here in MN. Her diet almost exclusively revolves around dietary fats and their antinflamitory effects. I have a whole book on it. I would make your fat intake no less then 20% of your daily caloires and personally I would suppliment with either nuts, peanut butter, or olive oil in your shakes. John Bernardi had a great article her on T-Nation relating to healing and dietary fat intake. I personally know I would myself have alot of aches and pains if my fat intake was that low.

Research has also shown that higher fat intakes have led to higher T levels. So fat is your best friend (actually more then even carbs) I would go under "nutrition" here on T-Nation and read more about fats in your diet. The nice thing too is if your trying to add muscle the fats will give you the extra calories to make total cals higher.. I personally think your problem isn't your training but that your not consuming enough dietary fats to help with joint pain and muscle growth. I once tryed a low fat diet. I totally felt emaculated and weak. And when I came home from the gym my entire body was in pain from the inflamation/low fat. Try increasing your fat (at least 15gms) in each meal for at least a week and come back and see how you feel and post on this board..


I usually put the all natural PB or olive oil in the shakes and shake them up.. You would eliminate the fats postworkout. I usually just eat carbs and protein postworkout.. Maybe have a couple of handfulls of nuts with your meals..


one last thing. Look at the heals of your feet. If they are rough, cracked and dry that is a sign of Omega-6 deficiency... Also dry skin is a sign of an omega 6 deficiency.. Also drink alot of water... That usually helps with joint and muscle pain as well since it increases bloodflow and fluid into the joints...


@ Superpolishpower

Thanks so much for all of your really informative, awesome posts. I'm very appreciative.

What you touched on concerning my fats intake could be, and is probably the problem. I can't tell you 100%, but I can just feel very similar vibes my body is giving me from how you're explaining it. I do have natural peanut butter (just crushed peanuts) almost once a day, but it's a small amount on 1 slice of protein bread in the morning, or before I go to sleep. I'm very new to good nutrition and bodybuilding, so one thing I haven't set focus on is adding fats. I will definitely go pick up some olive oil and increase my fat like you suggested.

regarding the Omega-6 deficiency, the bottom of my feet look good as far as that goes. I just wikipedia'd Omega-6 to check the dietary sources, and it looks like eggs provide it, I have eggs 2-3 times a day so I think that should be ok.

With all of the above said, I also am going to go to the local sports store and pick up a pair of cheap wrist straps to experiment with. I know people said to wait on my grip strength to increase, but I'm not training for a strongman, and I've had my forearm cramp up on me twice in 2 weeks now during my back workout. I think this is because my forearms are one of the stronger, more built groups on my body(always been this way from genetics I guess) so I tend to want to use them whenever I get the chance.

Thanks again for all of the help, and if you have anything else to add, please feel free. I'd love to hear more.


Kroc rows(without straps), farmers walks, try getting some Fatgripz


Every time you get the chance to squeeze something, do it. Throughout the day everyday there are many chances to improve your grip.