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Push Ups, Planks and Wrist Pain
By: IHI
07.15.14 Tuesday
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You are a faithful gym rat but recently, wrist pain keeps you from enjoying your full workout.  Your pushups and planks are not what they use to be.  Maybe you are just beginning and can’t imagine after the pain you felt, doing one more push up let alone attempting a plank! It’s not an uncommon question, why do my wrists hurt when I do pushups or planks?… and the answer seems pretty straight forward.  It hurts because essentially, you are supporting your entire body weight on your wrists when you do pushups and planks.  That’s pretty much a no brainer but what can you do about it? Well, here are some useful tips to keep your wrists safe and pain free.
  • Make sure you strengthen the muscles in your wrists and arms
  • Always use good form.  Don’t do pushups or planks on carpet or any surface that is thick and places your wrists at a hyper extended angle.
  • Keep your shoulder and wrist aligned
  • Try to keep the pressure equally dispersed between your fingers, heel of the hand, wrist and shoulders
  • Consider switching between forearm work and hands for plank.
At this point, you may be asking … how can I strengthen my wrists?  You can start with some light weights.  Hold one in your hand with the palm up and arm extended out front so it is perpendicular to your body.  Simply curl the weight toward your body.  Do 10 reps with each hand. Repeat twice.   You can also do a reverse wrist curl by turning your palms to face down.   Pull the weight up towards the ceiling.  Often, we focus our weight training on biceps, triceps etc., but keeping your wrists strong will be one of your best assets when it comes to weight training, sports and even day to day activities.  After a little strengthening exercise, those planks and pushups will be much easier to tackle.
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