Save Your Wrists

Prevent injury and strengthen muscles

Save Your Wrists

Think about the main activity we do at our desks. We type. A 2007 study found that 30 percent of office workers who use their computers for four hours or more a day complain of wrist injuries. The repetitive motion of our fingers, typing with vigor and isolating our wrists in one frozen position leads to repetitive strain injuries.

Soothing stretches

Take quick computer breaks to do these stretches.

Wrist Flexor Stretch

  • Extend one arm directly in front of you, wrist in alignment with your shoulder, palm facing out and fingers reaching up toward the sky.
  • Gently pull your fingers toward you with your other hand.
  • Hold for 30 seconds. Repeat on other side.

Wrist Extensor Stretch

  • Extend one arm directly in front of you, wrist in alignment with your shoulder.
  • Create a fist.
  • Curl your wrist down, palm facing in, knuckles pointing toward the ground.
  • Gently push the back of your hand toward you.
  • Hold for 30 seconds. Repeat on other side.

Avoid wrist pain with these exercise alternatives

Common workouts often include push-ups and dips. These exercises force our wrists into an exaggerated extension and compress the joint.

You’ll need light weights (5 to 10 lbs) for these exercises.

Chest exercise (push-up alternative)

During this exercise we focus on keeping our wrists straight. If wrists start to bend (palms begin to face upward), it’s a sign that our wrist extensors (muscles located on our forearm knuckle side) are tight and our forearm flexors are weak or overstretched. By learning to keep the dumbbell straight, we balance the muscles that may be giving us wrist pain.

Chest Press

  • Hold a weight in each hand.
  • Lie on your back, feet flat on floor, legs bent.
  • With elbows flared to each side just below shoulder level and forearms and wrists straight above elbow, reach the weights toward the sky, creating a straight line from knuckles to shoulders.
  • Lower to starting position.
  • Repeat 12 to 15 times.

Triceps exercise (alternative to dips or triceps push-ups)

This arm exercise is just as effective at toning the back of our arms as body weight exercises that compress the wrists. It also includes a great lesson on wrist awareness. During motions that ask our forearm to flex and extend in isolation from the rest of our body, we automatically move our wrists as well. Focus on keeping the wrists frozen while moving the forearm and you’ll begin to create awareness of how to move your muscles independently and reduce unnecessary overuse.

Lying Down Triceps Extensions

  • Lie down, face up, feet flat on the floor, with a weight in each hand.
  • Lift the weights toward the sky, hands facing in and arms aligned with shoulders.
  • Keep upper arms and wrists straight as forearms bend, bringing the weights toward ears, thumbs pointing toward the ground. Then straighten arms out.
  • Repeat 12 to 15 times.