Wrist injuries are some of the most common gym-related impairments that could hinder you from making the most of your fitness routine. Exercises such as bench and shoulder presses, bicep curls, and push-ups involve strenuous wrist bending, and as such, you need to be extra careful about overextending and weakening your joints. Overexerting your wrists often leads to conditions such as nerve compression, sprains, tendinitis or inflamed tendons that may require professional treatment.
There will always be people who are always looking to adopt a healthier lifestyle by going to the gym, which is why it’s important to boost awareness of wrist injuries among Singaporeans who may be new to fitness activities. For this article, we’ve narrowed down a few tips to help you actively protect your wrists, maximize your exercise, and enjoy a smoother gym experience.
Table of Contents
Perform Wrist Warm-Ups
Before starting your workout, you need to do a few warm-up exercises to keep your joints in optimal condition before high-intensity routines. Essentially, these uncomplicated warm-up activities prevent the crucial parts of your wrists from getting caught off-guard with laborious exercises.
One example of a simple warm-up routine is forearm tension release, which is meant to exercise your flexing capacity and improve your stability. To do this, you simply need to roll a small ball on your forearm and focus the ball’s movements on your arm’s tender areas. Additionally, you can perform hand grip exercises to boost wrist strength. To perform this exercise, you only need to squeeze a small resistive ball for 3-5 seconds at short intervals.
However, if you start to feel tingling, numbness, or pain upon doing these exercises, you may want to contact a medical professional first. For one, you can consult a wrist specialist in Singapore-based fitness enthusiasts favor to get a professional opinion on which wrist exercises are most suitable for you.
Wear the Right Gear
Proper, high-quality gear is necessary to protect wrists from injuries due to impact or falls. If you need to head to the gym soon, wear a wrist guard or brace to stabilize your joints and prevent injury. Alternatively, you can choose to wrap kinesiology tape around your wrists. These protective items keep your wrist from overextending, especially during high-risk exercises such as push-ups or bench presses.
Because wrist protectors are vital parts of your workout gear, you need to make sure that they perfectly suit your hands and wrists. Your wristwear should snugly fit your gear, but not so tightly that it restricts blood flow. To check if you need to loosen up your gear, squeeze a fingertip and check if blood takes too long to flow back. If it takes over five seconds for the color of your fingertips to return, you may be wearing your wrist protectors too tightly.
Exercise with the Proper Form
Exercising with proper posture prevents stress and weight from concentrating on your wrist. Make sure to keep your wrists straight, especially when doing bodyweight routines such as lifting and push-ups. In case you need to do bicep curls, your wrists must remain stable and locked in position. Having bent wrists during these exercises usually means that there is too much weight being pressed against your wrists. When doing push-ups, you may want to consider exercising on your knees or pressing your hands against inclined surfaces to avoid overburdening your wrists with your body weight.
Add Variety to Your Exercises
If you start to feel soreness in your wrists after a few minutes of push-ups, you may want to modify your routines to prevent wrist overextension. For instance, having sore wrists before taking on a weightlifting routine could weaken your grip and decrease wrist strength. Try changing up your way to prevent consecutive high-impact exercises from damaging your wrists.
Make Time for Rest
Recovery time is a crucial part of any tough workout. Your gym session needs to include time for resting your muscles and recovering from aches and soreness. Use this time to cool down, apply ice packs (if necessary), massage your arms and legs, or do some stretching. Be aware of your body’s limits and don’t overexert yourself, especially if you’re new to the routines you’re doing.
Aside from taking exercise breaks, you also need enough rest before your workout to help your body perform at its best. Lack of sleep before exercise is detrimental to your health, primarily due to effects such as diminished energy, lower concentration, and slower muscle recovery time. Be sure to have a healthy amount of sleep before working out to prevent injuries and help your body power through intensive routines.
Fitness Takes Commitment, Awareness, and Preparation
Even a minor sprain in your wrist is enough to keep you from doing your exercise routines safely and effectively. On top of that, some wrist injuries require treatments that take time away from your fitness journey. Like with any illness, prevention is always preferable to treatment. So while a strong personal commitment is integral to any exercise routine, it’s just as important to sufficiently protect your body against counterproductive injuries to your goals.
I am Dr. Yenny Angela, a medical graduate from Hannover Medical School. I have expertise in emergency medicine and care for patients with multiple injuries. Also, I am a researcher always on the lookout for new scientific findings. I also have a publication on Researchgate.