Wrists aren't at the top of the list of muscles that people most like to show off; the focus is usually on the biceps, chest, abdomen, and so on. However, they should not be forgotten: strong wrists can be a great asset in crafts, sports and in everyday life. Plus, there's no denying that it's immensely satisfying to be able to look someone in the eye and shake hands firmly and confidently! Start working out today to gain the forearm and wrist strength needed to help with these important activities.
Method 1 of 3: Strengthening Pulses at the Gym
Step 1. Try wrist curls as basic exercises
They are among the most essential workouts for the wrist and forearm. To do them, you need a dumbbell or a barbell to work both hands at the same time.
- Sit on a regular or biceps bench. Hold the dumbbell so your palm is facing up. Using only your forearm muscles, rotate the dumbbell up toward your wrist as far as you can without bending your elbow. Lower the dumbbell and repeat the movement. Do the same with both arms.
Try doing three sets of 15 reps or continue until you feel tired enough. These recommendations are valid for all exercises in this article, unless otherwise specified.
- This exercise can be done with any object of adequate weight, such as a can of peas or a bag of beans.
Step 2. Make reverse wrist threads to work the other side of the wrists
They are exactly what the name says: straight back threads. They're great to do right after a few sets of regular curls to make sure you work all the muscles in your wrist.
Sit on a bench. Rest one forearm on your thigh so that your hand extends beyond your knee. Take a dumbbell and hold it so your palm is facing down. Let the dumbbell hang down and, using only your wrist, pull it up so that it is level with the rest of your arm. Lower the dumbbell and repeat the movement. Do the same with both arms
Step 3. Try curling your wrists for a challenge
These exercises may sound unconventional, but they are very effective in strengthening your wrists. To make them, you'll need a sturdy stick, such as a broomstick or a weightless bar. Tie a 2, 5, or 5 kg weight to the end of a sturdy rope and attach the other end to the center of the stick.
- Hold the stick in front of you and let the weight hang from the end of the string. The palms of your hands should face down. Start rotating the stick with your arms; the rope should start to curl, and the weight should rise. Stop when it touches the stick. Then carefully unwind the rope to the ground. Do not stop or drop your arms throughout this exercise.
- Repeat for three to five laps or until tired enough.
Step 4. Try the pincer grip with both hands
This challenging exercise uses heavy weight plates, which makes it a good choice for those who are already strong and want to increase their forearm and wrist strength. Since these weights can cause serious injury if dropped, it might be best to stick to the above exercises if you're new to the gym.
- Leave two rings of the same size on the floor in front of you so that you are facing their wide edge and so that they are touching. Take both washers at once from the top; your fingers should be on one side and your thumbs on the other. Lift the weights off the floor and hold them in front of your hips as if you were doing a deadlift. Tighten the washers to prevent them from slipping. Hold for 30 seconds or as long as you can and then return the weights to the floor.
- Repeat for three to five sets or until you are tired enough.
Keep your feet apart when doing this exercise.
If you keep them together and the weights slip out of your hands, you can hit them.
Step 5. Do gripping exercises to indirectly improve the strength of your wrists
A huge variety of gym exercises that don't directly target the wrists still rely on grip strength, so they indirectly work the muscles of the forearm and wrist. If you're serious about improving your wrist strength, try adding more of these exercises to your workout to give yourself more opportunities throughout the week. Below is a short list of exercises that use forearm or grip strength for support; there are many others, and you will find that they all involve holding a bar or cable to move weight.
- Pull (arm flexion on high bar)
- Fixed bar
- bicep curl
- Side pulldown
- bench press
- shoulder development
Step 6. Don't forget to stretch your wrists to improve flexibility
Like the other muscles you train at the gym, your wrists need stretching to maintain flexibility and improve from week to week. Also, stretching them is a way to avoid painful problems like carpal tunnel syndrome that can develop as the body ages. Below are some recommended stretches for the wrist:
- “Prayer” stretches: Start with your palms together in front of your chest. Slowly lower them, keeping them together until your forearms are straight. It will feel like you are praying, and you should feel a slight stretch in your forearms. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat several times for best results.
- Wrist Flexor Stretch: Extend one arm in front of you, palm facing up. Point your hand to the floor by bending your wrist; do not rotate the arm. Apply light pressure with the other hand until you feel a moderate stretch. Hold for 30 seconds and then switch hands.
- Wrist Extender Stretch: Extend one arm in front of you, palm facing toward low. Point your hand to the floor by bending your wrist. Apply light pressure with the other hand until you feel a moderate stretch. Hold for 30 seconds and then switch hands.
Method 2 of 3: Strengthening Pulses at Home
Step 1. Use both hands for one-handed tasks
In most people, the fist of the dominant hand is noticeably stronger than the fist of the other hand. If you make the effort to start using the non-dominant hand in your daily tasks, you will probably be surprised at how difficult it is to do them! Continues; over time, your weaker pulse will get stronger, and your tasks will become easier. Below is a short list of activities in which you can start using your other hand.
- Brushing teeth
- Using your computer's mouse or touchpad
- stir food
Step 2. Try squeezing a ball or a palm exercise device
You may have seen these handheld devices in training spaces, high-stress locations (such as home offices) and others. Even though they come in different shapes and sizes, the basic idea is the same for everyone: hold the device, squeeze it firmly and steadily, relax the grip and repeat.
These devices are great for when you have one hand free. For example, it's not difficult to work your wrist while you're talking on the phone or reading a book
Step 3. Try a golf exercise
Are you thinking of playing a little in the future? Dust off clubs early for this exercise, which is great for improving wrist strength throughout the entire movement. You can also use any type of long, rigid object that is light enough to be manipulated with one hand, such as a broom.
- Stand with your arm at your side and hold a golf club by the end of the handle. Using only your wrist, slowly point it towards the sky and then down again. Repeat until you feel a good "burn" in your forearm.
- To challenge yourself more, start with a light putter and work your way up to the heavier ones.
Step 4. Make circles with your fists
These exercises, which offer very little resistance, are great for short breaks at the office or situations where you can't do anything more complicated, like when you're on a plane. They are also sometimes used in physiotherapy, but don't leave them alone if you're healthy, as they can be great relaxers for those who are feeling tense.
Stand or sit with your hands in front of your body, palms facing down. Rotate your wrists in a slow, circular motion to the left and then to the right. You can open and close your fists as you rotate to give the exercise an extra degree of movement. When finished, turn your palms up and start again
Step 5. Try the rubber bands
They are wide rubber bands that are often used for physical therapy, but they're also great for strengthening, even if you're not recovering from an injury. You will need a strong elastic band for these exercises. This item is usually sold at gym supply stores, but it can also be obtained from physical therapy centers. Below are two wrist band exercises you can try:
- Wrist Flex: Wrap the rubber band around the fingers of one hand, then stand with your arm at your side, your elbow bent at a 90-degree angle, and your hand in front of your body, palm up. Step on the other end of the elastic or secure it to the floor. Bend your wrist up as far as you can, then let your hand relax and repeat. Keep your forearms steady during the movement. Note that this exercise is very similar to the wrist curl described above.
- Wrist Extensions: Same as push-ups, but with the palms facing down. This exercise is very similar to a standing fist curl.
Step 6. Try the rice bucket exercise
This unusual workout doesn't have much to do with the others on the list, but it's easy to set up and perform and quite effective in strengthening the wrist and forearm. In fact, some baseball teams recommend it to players as a way to increase wrist strength. All you need is a container large and deep enough that both hands can fit without touching and enough rice to bury your hands in the container.
- Start by putting the rice in the container. Dip your hands into it until your wrists are buried. Then do the following movements with and repeat until you feel a good burning; the resistance of the rice being pushed by the hands will exercise the wrists a lot.
- Close your fists and turn them in circles clockwise and counterclockwise.
- Open your hands and rotate them in circles in both directions.
- Open and close your hands submerged in rice.
- Move your hands up and down.
- Bend your wrists with your palms facing you.
- Extend your wrists with your palms away from you.
Method 3 of 3: Doing advanced exercises and grips
Step 1. Adjust your normal grip to the pull by keeping your thumbs under the bar and your wrists bent forward
Basically, your palm should be just below the bar. This will make the pull much harder, but it will work your wrists more.
A lot of forearm strength will be required; these exercises are for advanced training, not beginners
Step 2. Try a "flexus" pull by bending your hands over a wider bar, touching only with your fingertips and the bottom of your wrist
This incredibly difficult, but worth the effort, variation requires you to bend your hands over a bar so all of your stabilization comes through your wrists. Start with one or two reps, building up until you can do full sets of eight or ten.
Step 3. Hold the lift on the fixed bar instead of ascending and descending to gain strength
Stay in the position and hold it, trying to last 45 seconds to one minute at a time. Rest a little longer. For example, stop for about a minute if you've held it for 45 seconds. Then repeat twice more. Any exercise in which you need to keep your wrists in position while fighting tension will increase their strength. To increase the difficulty:
- Pull your lower torso so that it is parallel to the floor.
- Make the footprints mentioned above.
Step 4. Use ball tongs for the fixed bar
They will work your wrist in a variety of ways, which is crucial to avoid training only certain muscles. They hang from the fixed bar to provide rounded, intricate grips that will greatly improve the strength of your forearms, fingers and wrists.
You can also use hanging climbing stones of the kind used to train climbers. They can already be found in many gyms, although there is no climbing wall
Step 5. Do forearm push-ups against a wall
Stand 1.5 to 1.8 m from a wall, leaning against it and supporting your hands. You will form a diagonal pointing towards the wall. Push your fingers so that the bottom of the handle comes off the wall. Then come back slowly and repeat. Do 15 to 20 reps.
Move farther and farther away from the wall to increase the challenge
Step 6. Try the wrist crunches
They will hurt if you're not trained, so start on your hands and knees before trying to do one in a plank position. Instead of a normal push-up with your palms on the floor, curl your hands toward your feet and lean on the back of your hands. Do the push-ups as usual.
Try doing them with the sides of your hands as well. Can you walk forward using your feet and the sides of your hands?
Step 7. Do push-ups with the joints
You can also start over the joints, with your fists clenched. This is often a good midway position to strengthen your wrists, although you will need to stiffen your joints first, or it will be painful. Try to start practicing on soft surfaces such as a rug or spongy floor.
Step 8. Plant banana trees on solid ground and in parallel bars
These full-body exercises put a lot of pressure on your wrists, and if you can't keep them stable and strong, you won't be able to support yourself. Don't worry if you can't plant a full banana tree yet; you can place your feet on the wall to maintain balance without compromising too much work with your wrists.
Ready to really test yourself? Try a banana push-up. Just bend your elbows to lower yourself a little to the floor and then push back into the full banana tree. It's much easier using a support wall
- Start each exercise with a light weight to avoid injury.
- Use two dumbbells at the same time or a barbell to speed up your workout.
- Push-ups work virtually the entire upper body, including the wrists.
- Choose a 'personal trainer' who can help you with strengthening your wrists or any other part of your body. He can give you useful tips on how to get stronger faster.
- Tap, but several times, on a punching bag.
- Drummers are known for having strong wrists and hands. You don't need to buy a battery, but tapping a pencil or stick against a surface can really help.
- Don't overdo the exercises.
- don't force if you are in pain. You can seriously injure yourself with any exercise, not specifically with the wrists.
- Don't increase your weight too fast! You could be injured.