Exercises for Wrist Flexibility

In most cases, the issue of wrist flexibility will likely never cross your mind until you have sustained an injury or developed a condition that takes it away. Having flexibility in your wrists makes the lifting, gripping and twisting of daily life easy to handle. Problems such as overuse injuries or arthritis can make the little wrist actions you take for granted quite painful. Maintaining flexibility in your wrists is easy if you perform a few regular exercises.

Someone is stretching their wrist. (Image: Rutchapong/iStock/Getty Images)

Flexion and Extension of the Wrist

Many daily activities and sports require you to use the flexor and extensor muscles of your wrist. To stretch these muscles, lay your forearm on a bench or table top and hang your hand over the edge, with your palm facing the floor. Bend your wrist up, so your fingers point to the ceiling, hold for a few seconds, then bend it down and hold. You should feel a mild stretch with no pain. Repeat 10 times on each wrist.

Rotation of the Forearm

Wrist rotation is a movement that is used every time you have to twist or turn something such as a doorknob or screwdriver. To help make the rotation movement easier, bring your elbow to your side, with your arm bent at 90 degrees. Hold your hand out and rotate your wrist, as far as you can in either direction, your palm is up and then down. Repeat 10 times on each wrist.

Side to Side

Although it doesn't happen often, your wrist sometimes moves in a side to side fashion. To stretch those particular muscles, place your arm on a bench or table with your palm down. Bend your wrist so your thumb moves toward your body, then the other way, so your pinky moves out toward your elbow. Hold each stretch for a few seconds, and do 10 on each wrist.

Tendon Stretch

The tendons in your hands and fingers are obviously closely connected with wrist actions. To give them a good stretch, the wrist is held straight, with fingers stretched straight out. Hold it there and feel a stretch, then flex all your fingers at the knuckles so your fingertips are touching the very top of your palm. Hold that position, then stretch them out again. Repeat 10 times on each hand.

Extensor and Flexor Pull

To really give the extensor and flexor muscles in the forearms and wrists a stretch, use your other hand and help them out. Hold your arm out in front of you with your palm down. Place the palm of your other hand on your knuckles and gently push inward. You will feel a stretch at the top of the wrist. To stretch the bottom, flip your hand over so your palm is up, and grab your fingers and pull them in toward your body. Hold each stretch for several seconds and do 10 on each hand.

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