Exercises for Wrist Flexibility

There are several stretches you can do for wrist flexibility.
Image Credit: Neziha Kalı Ertuğrul/iStock/GettyImages

Many people take wrist flexibility for granted. Yet your wrists are essential for a variety of different activities, from playing the violin to doing handstands. If you're struggling to perform activities like these, there are many different ways to increase wrist size, strength and flexibility.

Read more:Normal Range of Motion of the Wrist

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The Importance of Wrist Flexibility

From lifting to twisting, your wrist flexibility and strength are important for a variety of daily activities. Unfortunately, wrists can easily be accidentally damaged by bending them improperly or even lifting heavy items.

Wrists are also affected by conditions like tendonitis, arthritis and carpal tunnel syndrome, which can cause pain, inflammation and reduce your ability to move them. According to a September 2019 study in the ​BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders Journal,​ wrist problems can even occur due to repetitive motions, like typing on a computer keyboard.

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Read more:8 Reasons Your Wrists Might Hurt From Weight Lifting (and What to Do About It)

Regardless of whether you're recovering from a wrist sprain or simply want to improve mobility, wrist stretches can be very helpful. According to Harvard Health Publishing and a January 2012 study in the ​Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation,​ wrist stretches can improve your wrist flexibility and help reduce stiffness, swelling and pain.

Tip

If you suffer from regular wrist pain, inflammation or reduced range of motion, talk to your doctor. They can advise you on the best ways to increase wrist strength and flexibility, as well as pain management strategies.

Wrist Stretches for Your Workout

The Connecticut Children's Medical Center and Harvard Health Publishing recommend these wrist stretches to improve your range of motion:

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Move 1: Wrist Extension

  1. Extend your arm out so that the palm of your hand is facing the ceiling.
  2. Hold the tips of your fingers with your other hand.
  3. Keeping your arm straight, pull your fingers toward the floor so that your hand bends back.
  4. Hold for 30 seconds, rest and repeat three times.

Move 2: Wrist Flexion

  1. Extend your arm out so that the palm of your hand is facing the floor.
  2. Hold the tips of your fingers with your other hand.
  3. Keeping your arm straight, pull your fingers toward the floor. Your hand should be facing down and your fingers should be facing your toes.
  4. Hold for 30 seconds, rest and repeat three times.

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Move 3: Prayer Stretch

  1. Place your palms in front of your chest so that your hands rest against one another.
  2. Press your wrists toward the floor. Don't let your palms come apart. You should feel a light stretch along your forearms.
  3. Hold for 30 seconds, rest and repeat three times.

Move 4: Reverse Prayer Stretch

  1. Place your hands in front of your chest with the backs of your hands against one another.
  2. Press your elbows toward the floor. Don't let your hands come apart. You should feel a light stretch along your forearms.
  3. Hold for 30 seconds, rest and repeat three times.

Move 5: Wrist Supination and Pronation

  1. Hold your arm at your side with the elbow bent at a 90-degree angle.
  2. Start with your palm facing down and then rotate your forearm so that it's facing upward. Hold for five seconds.
  3. Rotate back so that it's facing down again. Hold for five seconds.
  4. Repeat 10 times.

Move 6: Ball Squeeze

  1. Hold a soft ball, like a stress ball, in one hand.
  2. Squeeze the ball tightly for three seconds; then slowly relax.
  3. Repeat for five minutes.

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Is This an Emergency?

If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, please see the National Library of Medicine’s list of signs you need emergency medical attention or call 911. If you think you may have COVID-19, use the CDC’s Coronavirus Self-Checker.
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