Wrist strength exercises and increasing mobility

How far can you move your hands towards your forearm? Do you always wince with pain in your wrists when performing a handstand, a pike push-up, or even when just trying to complete some push-ups in a row? Halfway into this article, you will find wrist strength exercises to increase strength and mobility.

In fact, almost every calisthenics athlete or strength trainer have experienced some pain in their wrists in their training career. There is always a reason why athletes like to invest in wrist wraps and straps.

They make this investment because strength training and possible heavy weight lifting cause a significant amount of stress and tension on the wrists.

Lack of attention to the wrist

Lack of attention to the strength and flexibility of the wrist joint can quickly lead to an inability to get anything done on the floor. The lack of flexibility limits your capability to execute an exercise. Furthermore ignoring this pain can leave to further damage and injury. I’ve been there and regret it still till this day!

Just like any other joint, the wrist requires a certain amount of motion to function correctly. A lack of mobility and strength in your wrist, especially in calisthenics exercises, can increase your risk for injury.

The wrist is often neglected in most people’s training. Ask yourself how much time did you spend in the last month on wrist strength exercises?

The lack of enough strength and mobility of the wrist are somewhat common; this leads to the constant use of wrist wraps among athletes (especially in weightlifters) or frequent complaints of wrist pain.

However, this conversation is meant for you if you always find yourself stopping to shake out your wrists during warm-ups or your regular training.

Our bodies need more attention than most of us give them. Increasing mobility is not enchanting, but neither is the pain. Keeping this in mind, you should not only do some drills on your wrist after they start to hurt.

Although not everybody likes homework, everybody should work on his or her wrists’ health every day; whether it is a training day or a rest day.

The wrist joint

The human wrists are a complex joint full of bone, connective tissue, muscles, ligaments, and nerves. The wrist has a multiple ranges of movement, which includes moving the palm forward or backward relative to the forearm (flexion and extension) and moving the hand from side to side (adduction and abduction).

For example, we can compare this to the movement of the knee joint, which only has flexion and extension. This also marks the area of alteration between the hand and the forearm. In other words, the health of the wrist can impact directly on your grip strength.

We should also consider the fact that if we do lack the motion at the wrist, we will try to make a move up at the elbow and shoulder. On the other hand, if we lack shoulder mobility, we will try to make it up at the wrists and elbow.

It is as important to focus on the shoulder and scapular mobility as it is on the wrist; this is because the two are interconnected and emphasizing one may not ease the problem for the other.

Superlatively, there will be enough mobility to keep a tight grip on the bar.  If the wrists are weak or stiff, you will place additional stress on the structures of the joint and along the front of your forearm. Keep reading to get to know some wrist strength exercises to get you started.

Wrist strength exercises and increasing mobility

Utilizing proper technique is a significant factor in executing an exercise properly and keeping the wrists healthy. Using the right technique includes aligning the body correctly and employing the right grip.

Maybe you are one of the lucky ones that doesn’t have any problems regarding their wrist. Although, this does not mean that you should not spend quality time working on the mobility of your wrists.

People can develop arthritis and carpal tunnel syndrome (a situation whereby there is excessive pressure on the median nerve; the nerve that allows feeling and movement to parts of the hand) if they do not take care of their wrists.

To take care of your wrist and to improve their mobility and strength, here are a few wrist strength exercises and stretches to get you started:

Wrist Rotations

This is a straightforward exercise to perform. To do this, wrap your fingers together and move your wrists around in all directions possible. If you feel stiffness or tenderness at any point, hold the position for a few seconds and repeat the exercise often throughout the day.


To start this exercise, stand up and place your hands together right in front of you while maintaining contact between your hands lower them and go down as far as you can.

The farther you can go with both hands placed together, the better you will stretch the wrists. At the base of your hands, reverse things with your fingers pointing downward and your hands put together. With this new position, bring up the hands together. Try this for about ten times before moving on to the next.

Static Holds

Pull your wrist back into flexion and extension and hold for at least 20-30 seconds.

Planche Push-up Position

Get into a plank position (this can be done with elbows fully extended right at the top of the push up). Turn your hands inward with fingertips pointing toward your toes.

While keeping a rigid torso, directly at an angle from your shoulders to your wrists, shift your body forward. Hold this position for 20-30 seconds and repeat several times. You can drop down to your knees and use the same technique of this is too intense.

Wrist Walks

Place your palms on a wall, with your fingers pointing to the ceiling and your arms straight. Walk your hands down the wall while remaining in full contact with the wall.

Go down as far as possible without letting your palms come off the wall. There will be a point where you can’t walk your hands down any farther; at this point, turn your hands around (with your fingers pointing to the floor).

Now, walk your wrists back up the wall as high as possible. Repeat this for about five times for both ways.

Ring Push-ups

This is a great exercise to work on wrist stability, in addition to balance through the shoulder, elbow, and core. Change the height of the rings suitable for your fitness level. Keep in mind the lower the rings, the harder the exercise.

While extending your legs fully behind you, don’t forget to keep your body straight. Slowly lower yourself down towards the floor and pause at the bottom. Push yourself back up to the starting position.

Don’t lock out your elbows to maintain tension all through the muscles during the exercise. Repeat the procedure.

Double Kettlebell Rack Walk

Hold a kettlebell in each hand and lift the kettlebells up under your chin; while doing this, make sure that your wrists are facing each other.

During this time, the kettlebells should be resting on your upper arms and shoulders. Begin to walk forward with the kettlebells and hold them at the same position the whole time. Continue this procedure for the desired amount of time or distance.

To sum it all up

The above exercises are just a few to get you started to increase wrist mobility and strength. With this, you should understand how vital the wrists are in calisthenics and how underappreciated they are.

You could do some of these wrist strength exercises at work and it doesn’t take much effort to do. So, there is no more ignoring the wrists! You should always work on your wrists and make them the first thing you target for every mobility session.


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