T Nation

Wrist Problems


Hello Coach Thib,
Thank you very much for all the great information you put out over the years it helped me greatly with my training.

I have a question for you regarding wrist problems.
Since you are a fan of heavy overhead pressing work I wondered if you ever suffer from wrist pain.
Lately I have been feeling really really horrible in my left wrist after squatting or overhead pressing.
Dips are also a problem.

What is the origin of such problems und how can one fix them?
Especially oly lifters like you need strong wrists - so please tell me all your little secrets and tips.

I would really appreciate an answer from you CT :slight_smile:


i hurt my right wrist about 6-8 weeks ago. i had to stop doing hi pulls and cleans. and anything that required aome wrist movement in the lift. i bought a real good wrist wrap and just di exercises where the wrist did not have to move muc.
it is feelin about 95% better now. im going to start incorporating the other lifts slowly into my plan.
itjust needs time.


Today I tried the layer system for overhead press for the first time.
It was absolutely mind blowing!!!
I really concentrated on my wrists and tried not to bend them more than necessary

Didn't feel any pain but the movement just feels more naturally when the wrists are bent more.

I'm curious what CT has to say about this issue.


I had wrist problems and my physiotherapist askes me to lift with an hand closed on the bar in order to keep the wrist aligned with the forearm. I was used lifting with an open grip.

It may have helped...


I don't know if CT will answer this, but I prefer overhead pressing with an open grip, with the bar resting on the heel of your hand... that pad at the base of your palm. The wrists are probably only back 45-55 degrees or so, just enough to get the bar directly over the forearm.

Obviously the lift can be done either way, with the wrists cocked backwards and the bar not directly over the forearm. However, most of the great pressers in history (i.e., before the clean and press was removed as an Olympic lift) used the form as I described.

If you want to dig a bit, I'd take a look at the writing of Charles A Smith, who wrote extensively on pressing back in the day.

I would venture a guess that with both the press and the dips, your wrist pain is coming from letting the wrists flex too much. As far as fixing them, fish oil + time... and then stop letting the wrist flex so much when you start back up again. It'll probably take time to get used to and the heel of your hands will probably be sore and feel bruised for a bit. After that builds up, you should be fine.


Thanks for the answers
Currently I am on vacation but I will try the tips right after it.
I feel like the vacation helped with the pain too, tried some bench dips and pushups yesterday and couldn't feel any pain.