Wrist Health - FIT Human Performance

Wrist Health


August 14, 2016 – 

I love to repeat information about the ankle to clients, as I think it affects us all…like walking, bending, or standing and so on. I have rattled on about the ankle being the most frequent injury on earth and often in women’s collegiate sports. The main reason is usually due to poor ankle integrity, limited mobility, and muscles that are too tight. Thus the joint is susceptible to injury. Safe and efficient stretching will improve the movement patterns for the ankle joint and attaching musculature. Now it is time to bring another joint into play, the wrist! Here is another joint in the body that often receives no attention or education. Yet deserves the recognition due to its constant use in life; work, sport, or just behavior.

If we have been training together here at F.I.T. Human Performance and done anything involving your arms you probably know about “Neutral Wrist.” To keep the wrist in a strong straight or balanced point of stabilization. The wrist is unique in that the majority of the dozen muscles that control the joint do not actually attach to the wrist. Simply an amazing network of long tendons attached with powerful muscle bellies in the shape of a leaf (penate) to create amazing force. This is a phenomenal ellipsoid joint with an amazing propensity for strength. And this joint needs care.

If you want to test your wrist health…try this;Wrist Movements

Horizontal plane wrist Flexion
Horizontal plane wrist Extension

To evaluate your personal wrist mobility and joint strength bring your arms up to your sides parallel to the floor.

For wrist Flexion, bring your hands together in front of your chest with palms touching as if you were preparing to pray. Now pray this doesn’t hurt as you slowly draw your compressed hands downward toward your navel. If your wrists begin to pull apart prior to reaching your tummy the wrist is tight. If pain occurs, your wrist is very tight and injury is possible. (1)

For wrist Extension, bring arms back to the horizontal plane but this time reverse your hands by placing the knuckles together with fingers pointing downward. Now lift the forearms upward, if your wrists spread apart prior to crossing your eyes the wrist is tight. If pain occurs, your wrist is very tight and injury is possible. (2)

Corrective exercises for wrist mobility

From hands and knees on floor, slide hands flat on floor back to the knees so the wrist is close to the knee joint and lean forward over the hands to create a slight stretch. Many other movements develop the same stretch.
From hands and knees on floor, simply turn the hand over so the palms now face the body and fingers point toward the knees. Lightly and slowly, lean back.
As above, many other movements including standing and facing a wall develop the same stretching sensation.

Warning – Don’t overstretch, ease into each stretch by gradually increasing the range of motion. – Perform each stretch until your wrists feel warm, about 20 seconds. – Perform the stretches daily and before exercise to decrease the likelihood of injury.

Directional terms for wrist mobility are as follows:

The muscles of our forearms and wrists create the movements of flexion, extension, and radial/ulnar deviation. Hand rotations (supination and pronation) are actually from the elbow joints. So wrist “circle” exercises are a combination of elbow and wrist movements.

In good health,


I want the entire smartphone, the entire Internet, on my wrist. – Steve Wozniak