Yesterday we talked about full body stretches and their importance for a healthy lifestyle. Having stability and flexibility decreases your chances of suffering from an injury drastically, your muscles and your bones are already accustomed to unconventional movements, which in turn, prevents injuries. Today’s focus is more on the wrist joints.

The wrist joints are constantly under demand in sports. Falling on your hands after a football tackle or getting hit with a ball can cause a blunt trauma injury to the wrist. Throwing a ball, swinging a club, or landing a punch also stresses the wrist.

Most common wrist problem that can occur from prolonged training is carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS). This occurs when the median nerve, which originates in the upper part of your arm and runs all the way down into the palm of the hand, becomes compressed or irritated. The carpal tunnel is a narrow passageway in the wrist comprised of bones and ligaments, which allow the median nerve to enter the palm.

The wrist is comprised of eight small bones; carpal bones and the two longer bones in your forearm which are called ‘radius and ulna’. The wrist can move in flexion and extension and also the abduction and adduction muscles. Proper wrist flexibility and stability is crucial to help prevent a major injury.

These are the few wrist stretches/exercises that you can do to make sure you don’t suffer any injuries. Remember, if you experience any pain, tingling, or numbness from these movements, seek a medical evaluation for CTS and spend some money on gym gear like, wrist bands, gloves, wrist extenders and so on.

Wrist Extensor Stretch: With your palmed facing up and your elbow straight, pull your hand down with your other hand. You should feel a mild to moderate stretch. Hold for 10-15 seconds. Repeat with your other wrist for three sets.

Wrist Flexor Stretch: Keep your elbow straight and pull your wrist backward with your other hand. You should feel a mild to moderate stretch. Hold for 10-15 seconds. Repeat with the other wrist for three sets.

Tennis Ball Squeeze: Squeeze a tennis ball as hard as possible without causing pain. Hold for 5-10 seconds. Repeat 8-10 times.

Resistance Band Wrist Flexion: Wrap a resistance band around your hand with your palm facing up and your elbow by your side, as if doing a dumbbell curl. Keep the elbow bent to 90 degrees and slowly curl your wrist up, squeezing your hand and forearm muscles. Repeat on the other wrist for three sets with 15 reps.

Resistance Band Wrist Extension: Repeat the same thing as above but this time as if doing a reverse curl. Slowly curl your wrist up, squeezing your forearm muscles. Repeat with the other wrist and perform three sets of 10-15 repetitions.

A little bit of knowledge about your own body and bones comes in handy if you have a tough lifestyle, turning your body into a high functioning steady and rigid machine keeps you stronger and injury free! incorporate these stretches into your daily routines, a few minutes every day and see the difference for yourself.