Wristful Thinking

Due to my Trex genetics there are two things above my waist that are tiny, teeny and weeny aside from my shoulders. Yes, you guessed it. I was referring to my wrists. My wrists are so skinny that I can wrap my thumb and middle finger around them, and still have about an inch gap left. They are extremely small. As many of you may know, I am trying to add mass to my upper body so this entails heavy lifting. Heavy bench presses, over head presses and on the toes push-ups galore. The problem with this lies with my wrists. They have a hard time accommodating the heavy weights, and at times become tender. I inquired with one of the personal trainers at my gym, and she told me that wrist tenderness is very common in women who weight train. She said the key is to include wrist-strengthening exercises at least twice per week in your workouts. She also suggested decreasing the pressure from my wrists when doing push-ups on my toes by holding dumbbells instead of just putting body weight on my opened, flat palms. Another tip she shared that is very important when lifting a bar or dumbbell is to not bend my wrists, but to keep them stabilized and as straight as possible because bending can cause joint pain. I have really been focusing on not bending back my wrists when lifting and paying extra attention to wrist stability. I don’t often see people strengthening their wrists and forearms at my gym, so this is an area we often over look I believe. I know I never considered these areas of the arm region before I started experiencing soreness, and focused solely on building the big guns and so forth.

Below are the exercises I do to strengthen these little puppies. The tenderness has eased up since I started these exercises.

Wrist curls with palms facing down. I do 3 sets of 12 reps.
Wrist curls with palms facing down. I do 3 sets of 12 reps.
Wrist curls with palms facing up. Same sets, same reps, done two to three times per week.
Wrist curls with palms facing up. Same sets, same reps, done two to three times per week.

Have you ever experienced wrist pain due to heavy lifting?

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8 thoughts on “Wristful Thinking

  1. Grip strength is definitely something I could improve for sure. I have a tendency to use straps too much with heavy lifts. It’s great to get that extra couple of reps you normally couldn’t because your grip would have gone out, but it also takes away from grip strength. I need to get better about doing some grip strength a couple times per week too!

    1. I was actually considering straps, but I think I will continue with the grip strengthening exercises instead and see what happens. Hopefully this will continue to help as my bench press increases.

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