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Wrist Extension Mobility

Hey, it’s Jennifer. Today I’m going to talk about wrist extension mobility and what you can do to improve it. This would be if you’re having pain, with weights overhead, or in a front rack position, or a push up or a plank where you’re on your wrist and it isn’t feeling good. Part of that might be a range of motion issue or strength and stability issue. What can we do to get a little more mobility and then stability in our wrist?

The first thing you can do is take a lacrosse ball to your forearm muscles. You’ll just find a table and a lacrosse ball, put it under your forearm muscles and roll up and down. You can extend the wrist at the top and you’ll do that for about a minute. If there’s a particularly gnarly spot in there, you can work it a little bit more. Then, on the floor, you can do a little self mobilization: you’re gonna put your your hand on the floor, and then your other hand comes in, and really gets in right at that joint. Right where your arm bone is connecting to your hand bones, put a little pressure so the the heel of your hand isn’t lifting up and just rock to the edge of what’s comfortable. You’re not pushing for more inches into a lot of pain, you’re just working with the range that you’ve got, but pushing to the edge of what’s comfortable. You don’t really want to be holding it – just go back and forth for a minute or so and you’ll do both sides.

Another thing that can restrict this wrist extension range of motion is actually a nerve that runs down along your arm. It’s the same nerve that gives people carpal tunnel. You’ll do nerve mobilization: where your arms will close to your body, and then you extend it out during which you might feel a stretch all along from your shoulder to your wrist. You can do about 10 of those. Now you’ve got things nice and loose, you want to take advantage of that little bit of extra mobility you just gained. To work on that strength, put your hands on the floor and pull your fingers up towards you as far as you can hold for a couple seconds, and then relax. It seems like these little things wouldn’t help but I can actually tell a difference – I’ve done only my left side and not my right and my right is not moving very much while my left is moving a lot better. You want to aim to be doing 10 to 20 of those.

If you want to ramp it up a little bit, you can do bear crawls that are really focusing on that wrist extension. It’s almost like heel walking but with your hands – bear crawling is where you’re going heel of your hand first and then fingers come down. You can go backwards, same thing, keep those fingers up as long as you can. You can even turn and do side to side-stepping fingers up the whole time.

Working through that can help with that extension range of motion and stability in that position, which over time might help you feel a little bit better when you’ve got some pressure on your wrists go in that direction.

Here at Peak Endurance Performance & Physical Therapy we help active adults in the Madison Area get back to the activities they love without pain or limitations. We see people of all ages, ability levels, and individuals trying to get back to a multitude of movements including: getting back into running, women postpartum, CrossFit athletes, climbers, gymnasts, wrestlers, overhead athletes, and your recreational weekend warrior. If you’re looking to get back to the activities that give you meaning, relieve stress, and make you feel like you again, feel free to reach out below and we’ll see if we’re the right fit for you.