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Why Do My Wrists Hurt So Much After Lifting Weights?

author image Rachel Nall
Rachel Nall began writing in 2003. She is a former managing editor for custom health publications, including physician journals. She has written for The Associated Press and "Jezebel," "Charleston," "Chatter" and "Reach" magazines. Nall is currently pursuing her Bachelor of Science in Nursing at the University of Tennessee.
Why Do My Wrists Hurt So Much After Lifting Weights?
Improper form can cause pain when lifting weights.

Weightlifting exercises such as the bench press and biceps curls put extra strain on your wrist. If you use improper form, too much weight or lift weights too frequently, you can experience wrist pain known as tendinitis. Tendinitis indicates the tendons that connect muscle to bone have become inflamed. Learning proper form and resting enough between weightlifting sessions can reduce your wrist pain.

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Proper Form

The next time you lift weights, carefully observe the way your wrists look as you lift. For example, you should always keep your wrist aligned with your forearms when lifting weight to properly support them. Dumbbells should be grasped in the palm, not with your fingers. You also can incorporate wrist curls into your routine to strengthen the muscles around your wrist. Hold a light weight -- 1 lb. to 3 lbs. -- dumbbell in each hand and curl your wrists toward your arms. Also, if you can't lift a weight for at least eight repetitions, the weight is too heavy and can place excess strain on your wrists.

Wrist Stretches

If you experience wrist pain with exercise, stretches for the wrist can relieve pain and tension. Rest your forearm on a chair arm or bench with your hand over the edge. Point your hand downward to stretch the top of the wrist. Hold for 10 seconds. Lift the hands up to point your fingers toward the ceiling, feeling a stretch. Hold for 10 seconds, then release. Repeat the entire exercise 10 times, then switch arms. To increase wrist flexibility, hold your hands in front of you with your palms facing upward. Turn your palms over, then rotate back to your starting position. Repeat 10 times.

Protective Gear

When you experience wrist pain, you can use an assistive device during your weightlifting session to support the wrist. Wrist guards, which feature a metal or plastic bar covered in a bandage-type material, support the wrist and prevent excess motion and strain. You can buy these at most drugstores, discount superstores or sporting goods stores.


Although stress or trauma to the wrist joint can cause pain when lifting weights, sometimes wrist pain during exercise can indicate another medical condition. This includes arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome or a ganglion cyst, according to If you take protective measures yet your pain doesn't go away, see a doctor.

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