If you’re looking for exercises to strengthen your wrists you’re on the right path! Wrists muscles are possibly the most neglected part of our body when it comes to working out. That doesn’t make sense when you think about how important the wrist is. Can you think about any major movement that doesn’t involve engaging your wrist and forearm muscles? Even the simplest gestures like waving hello or shaking someone’s hand depends on your wrist!
Incorporating simple wrist exercises will not only make your wrists more flexible but will also help avoid further injuries by strengthening the forearm muscles.
Wrist injuries: You might also be looking for these exercises if you’ve had recent wrist surgery or suffered any recent wrist injury like carpal tunnel syndrome, wrist tendonitis, Boxer’s fracture, Colles’ fracture, Smith’s fracture, Humerus fracture. Wrist strengthening exercises will also help prevent these injuries in the future. A word of caution though, it’s best to get any exercises you plan to follow approved by your doctor or a physical therapist.
Here we have a list of exercises that you can do either with the use of a dumbbell (or any handy substitutes) or other items like tennis balls, rubber bands, etc. If you do these exercises at least 3 times a week you’ll soon start to feel changes while using your wrists in everyday life.
Wrists Exercises Using Dumbell
1. Wrist Extension
This is a simple exercise that you can do if you’re sitting at a table and have a dumbbell lying nearby. Just extend your arm over the table in a way that your wrist and hand hang out of the table. Your forearm should rest on the table.
Now hold a dumbbell with your palm facing down for a few seconds. Then lift your arm moving the back of your hand towards the ceiling. Hold the position for some time and then lower your hand back down again.
You can repeat this 10-20 times at a time.
2. Wrist Flexion
This exercise can be done in the same position as the wrist extension except with your palm facing towards the ceiling. Flex your wrist and move your hand upwards then lower it back down. Repeat this 10-20 times at a time.
3. Wrist Supination
For the change from wrist extension to wrist flexion, you must’ve moved your wrist to change your palm from facing down to facing up. This motion is called wrist supination and to strengthen the muscles that help in this movement you can do the following exercise.
Sit in the same position as the earlier exercises with your forearm on the table and wrist and hand hanging out. With your palm facing downwards hold a dumbbell in your hand and twist your wrist in a way that your palm turns face up. Hold the position for some time and then bring your hand back to its original position.
Do this for 10-15 times in a set.
4. Wrist Pronation
The position that your hand makes when you’re holding a bag or pouring into a glass is wrist pronation. To strengthen the muscles that are responsible for that, sit with your forearm on the table and wrist and hand hanging out.
Hold the dumbbell in a way that it points towards the ceiling and your palms are upwards. Then slowly rotate your hands so that palms are facing down. Then rotate your hand to the original position with the dumbbell pointing up again. This also requires twisting your wrist to make your palms face upwards (supination).
This exercise combines all the other exercises we described earlier so you can do this after practicing them for some time. Repeat it 15-20 times at a stretch.
5. Wrist Curl Exercise
Sit on a chair with your legs some distance apart from each other. Rest your forearms on your thighs and hold a dumbbell in each hand. Make sure your palms face upwards and your wrists don’t completely rest on your knees. Now lift your wrists towards your forearms and hold this position for a few seconds. Then bring your wrists back downwards.
Repeat this 10-15 times.
6. Reverse Wrist Curl Exercise
For this exercise sit in the same position as the regular wrist curl exercise but with your palms facing down. Do this exercise with one arm at a time and use the other arm as support by resting it on your knee. Turn your palm holding the dumbbell upwards and towards your forearm and hold the position for a few seconds. Then slowly turn it back downwards.
Repeat this with the other hand.
7. Wrist Roller Exercise
Stand with your legs some distance apart and hold a dumbbell with both of your hands with your palms facing your body. Your elbows should be slightly bent and your dumbbell should be near your pelvic region. Roll the dumbbell towards your body by extending your right wrist and flexing your left wrist. Now roll the dumbbell in the reverse direction by flexing your right wrist and extending your left.
Repeat this process for 10-20 times.
8. Dumbbell Radial And Ulnar Deviation
The name sounds complicated? Don’t worry! The exercise is pretty simple and you can do it while either sitting or standing. Hold a dumbbell in your right hand and extend your right arm forward in a way that its parallel to the ground. Keep your left hand straight resting on your left thigh. Now flick your wrist upwards without bending your elbow and hold this position for a few seconds. Then flick the wrist downwards and hold this position for a few seconds.
Do this around 10 times and then switch hands.
Wrist Exercises Without A Dumbbell
9. Wrist Circles
You can do this exercise either sitting or standing. Make sure your back is straight, roll your shoulders back and stretch your hands out straight in a way that they are parallel to the ground. Turn your hands into fists. Making sure your arms stay straight rotate your fists in a circular motion from left to right and right to left. Repeat this process for 10-15 times in a set.
10. Wrist Strengthening Stretches
Kneel on the ground with your heels tucked under you. Keep your arms straight in front of you with your fingers almost touching the floor. Now place your palms face down on the floor and applying a little pressure hold the position for a few seconds. Flip your palms and turn them face up, press them to the floor and hold this position for a few seconds. Release this position and relax your arms. Repeat this for a few times.
11. With A Tennis Ball
You can do this if you’re sitting at a table and you have a tennis ball. Rest your right arm on the table with your wrist and hand over the edge and hold the ball in your right hand. Tighten your grip around the ball and squeeze for around 10 seconds and release.
Repeat for 10-15 times and then do the same with your other hand.
12. Foam Rolling
You can use a tennis ball for this exercise as well. Place the ball on the ground or a tabletop and your wrist on top of the ball. Apply a little pressure and with your palm facing downwards roll your wrist in a circular motion so as the ball rolls under it. Do it gently but with enough pressure that you can feel the ball massaging your wrist muscles. After 10 circles do the same with the other hand.
13. With Putty
If you have a putty stress ball you can use it to exercise your wrist muscles. Hold the ball in your left hand and use the right index finger and thumb to pinch and turn the putty. Do this until all the edges of the putty are flat. Now switch hands and repeat this process. Take a ball of putty and use a roller pin to roll it. Now with your palms flat on the surface use your thumbs to press the putty in the middle and work your way outwards.
You can repeat this 2 times at a stretch.
14. With A Handgrip
You can use a handgrip tool to strengthen your wrist grip. Make sure you’re holding the tool in the right way and squeeze it with one hand. Hold for a few seconds then release and squeeze again. Do this 10 times and then do it again with your other hand.
15. With A Weight Plate
Sit on a bench with your back slightly bent and your legs some distance apart from each other. Rest both your forearms on your thighs and hold a weight plate in each hand but only with your index finger, middle finger, and thumb. Now pinch the weight for around 10 seconds and release. Repeat the process 5-10 times.
16. Barbell Reverse Wrist Curl Exercise
Sit on a bench in the same position as the above exercise and hold a barbell with both hands, palms facing upwards. Now roll your wrist downwards and bring the barbell closer to the floor without rolling it. Hold the position for a few seconds and roll your wrist back upwards and away from the floor. Do this for at least 10 times at a stretch.
17. Rubber Band Strengthener
This easy exercise can be done anywhere, at home or office, if you just have a rubber band available. Stretch the rubber band around your fingers and thumb. Now extend your fingers in a way that you stretch the rubber band as much as you can. Hold the position for a few minutes and then slowly bring your fingers back closer to each other, relaxing the rubber band.
Repeat this process 10 times.
18. Resistance Band Exercise
You can use a resistance band to exercise your wrist flexors and extensors. Rest your forearm on a table with your wrist hanging out over the edge. Wrap one end of the resistance band around your hand and the other end under your foot which is resting on the ground. Now turn your wrist upwards and pull the band as much as you can. Hold the position for a few seconds and then bring the wrist back down relaxing the band.
Do this 10 times and then repeat it with the other hand. To add to the intensity you can also do another set of this exercise with your palms facing up.
19. Prayer Stretch
Stand straight with your palms joined like in prayer with the fingertips pointing upwards. Now while keeping the fingers together and palms in the same position bring them lower towards your waist. Allow your forearms to feel the tension as you move lower and hold the position for a few seconds before releasing it. Repeat this 5-10 times.
To increase the difficulty level of this exercise and work your muscles out some more, you can do this exercise with a steeple. Stand in the same initial position and spread your fingers and thumbs as apart as you can. Then, while keeping your fingers and thumbs of one hand touched with the other hand, spread your palms away from each other. Repeat this process 5-10 times.
20. Wrist Walking
Place your palms flat on a wall with your fingers pointed upwards and your arms straight. Now move your wrist down in a way that it looks like it is walking down the wall while keeping your palm flat. Now reverse the process by turning your palms around so that your fingers point to the floor, and walk your wrist upwards. Do this for 15-20 minutes.