Wrist Exercises: Stretching and Mobilizing Matters!

Global Bodyweight Training Mike Fitch

Wrist mobility exercises can be done before, during or after a workout.

Wrist mobility exercises and stretches are an important tool for anyone who is into bodyweight training, hand balancing, or, of course, Animal Flow. This week’s video was inspired from a recent experience in my own personal journey. It’s fair to say that if you plan on dedicating yourself to practicing bodyweight training, you will be spending a fair amount of time on your hands. Add in some Animal Flow and some Hand Balancing and your hands will get to know the ground very well. But, while all of these practices are excellent for strengthening the wrists and hands, you also run the risk of exposing yourself to over-use injuries. This is exactly what happened to me last month…

Why Should You Do Wrist Mobility Exercises?


We recently began production on our upcoming DVD on Hand Balancing, so I’ve been spending a lot of time practicing my balances and learning new skills on the ground.

Global Bodyweight Training Mike Fitch

Hand balancing can be hard on your wrists, so be sure to include proper wrist mobility exercises in your practice!

Even with my experience as a medical exercise specialist and knowing the importance of proper programming, I failed to compensate for the increased amount of time on my hands by incorporating an aggressive “pre hab” strategy. What I ended up with was some acute aches and pains in my wrists.
You see, the wrists are a complex joint full of bone, ligaments, connective tissue, muscles and nerves. They weren’t specifically designed to take the entire weight of our bodies for extended periods of time. However, if properly trained, they will adapt enough to pull off some pretty impressive hand balances. But, they have to be trained.

Eight Wrist Mobility Exercises

So, this week’s video tutorial is all about wrist mobility stretches and exercises! The goal of mobility work is to actively increase the range of motion at a joint while increasing the extensibility of the involved tissue, as well as increasing temperature and lubrication. In this week’s tutorial, I’ll show you eight mobility exercises that will seriously prepare your wrists for any workout. These include:

Global Bodyweight Training - Mike Fitch

Wrist Roll

Global Bodyweight Training - Mike Fitch

Ascending and Descending Wrist Roll



Global Bodyweight Training Mike Fitch

Finger Locked Lateral Wrist Stretch

Global Bodyweight Training - Mike Fitch

Wrist Wave Stretch



Global Bodyweight Training - Mike Fitch

Prayer Position Stretch

Global Bodyweight Training - Mike Fitch

Reverse Prayer Position Stretch



Global Bodyweight Training Mike Fitch

Shaka Wrist Stretch

Global Bodyweight Training Mike Fitch

Sagittal Shaka Stretchh


Incorporating Wrist Mobility Work

These exercises should be done before and after any hand balancing or Animal Flow practice, or regular resistance training. They can also be useful to provide some relief between sets in the middle of your practice. I even recommend it if you’re spending extended periods of time typing on a computer. Even just dedicating five minutes as part of your warm up and another five minutes as part of your cool down can make a world of difference. Remember, the goal is to train to last, and you’ll be missing out on serious training time if you’re taking time off for injuries. If you can, I recommend getting into the habit of doing them throughout the day!



About Mike Fitch

18 Responses to “Wrist Exercises: Stretching and Mobilizing Matters!”

Read below or add a comment...

  1. Colt says:

    If I ever get my dream gym with a large matted area, I would want to have a large bucket of rice off to the side for prehab. There are far too many bones in the wrist and hand to not eventually tweak something. Thanks for the article

    • Mike Fitch says:

      I totally agree Colt, and I look forward to getting an invite to your dream gym when you open it up!

  2. Mariana Abeid-McDougall says:

    Hey Mike,

    Excellent video tutorial as usual. I’ve been practicing the Animal Flow and my wrists are doing all right, but I’m finding my ankles are getting fatigued and a little sore pretty easily from lifting my heels for some of the movements. I know I could just practice the movements with heels on the ground for relief, but I’d like to do them as the video suggests. Could you offer some tips or do a tutorial on ankle mobility and pre-hab?

    Thanks much,
    Mariana

  3. Brandon Cook says:

    Great post Mike!

    When I studied Aikido which utilizes a lot of wrist locks, we spent time before each practice using the same wrist locks as stretches and mobility increasers. I still use those today along with some of the ones you mention in the video.

    Another tip I’ve picked up, because my forearms and wrists seem to get knots and trigger points in them alot, is to use a lacross ball or a spikey massage ball to roll my hands, wrists and forearms. Used consistently, this has helped to remove the trigger points and alleviate any pain.

    I’ve got really thin wrists (6.5″ around) so all the training can be hard on them! Gotta keep em mobile! lol… take care my man!

  4. Rach says:

    Hello Mike,
    Thanks for your article.
    It’s awesome and it’s just on the right time as I do have some long-pending issue with my wrists.
    By the way, how long should we do the drills? 30 sec, 1 minute or more?
    Also, if possible could you later cover also mobility for elbows and shoulders?
    Thank you again and take care
    Rach

  5. Excellent series of movements. The wrist are so often neglected in functional movement.

  6. Louis says:

    HI Mike, I just went through the wrist exercises, it really worked, i will try and do these on a daily basis!!

  7. Louis says:

    HI Mike, I just went through the wrist exercises, it really worked, i will try and do these on a daily basis.

    • Mike Fitch says:

      Hey Louis, that’s a great idea. I use them every time i’m going to do an Animal Flow or hand balancing workout and I never experience any pain. Keep training hard my friend.

  8. James says:

    Excellent advice, thank you !!!!!

  9. Dan says:

    Thanks for sharing this great article! That is very interesting I love reading and I am always searching for informative information like this.

    • Mike Fitch says:

      Glad you enjoyed it Dan! I can’t tell you how much these mobilizations have helped me practice the Animal Flow and hand balancing with out any pain or discomfort. Keep checking in for new videos every couple of weeks

  10. Matt says:

    Makes perfect sense. For years I have neglkected my wrist and always wondered what in the world I could do to stregthen them. I will hopefully get rid of all these little aches. Thanks for the video.

  11. Cowan says:

    Great article, there are some great wrist exercises here. are there any books you would recomend on old school wrist strenghtening without weights

    • Mike Fitch says:

      None come to mind, but I’ll follow up with you if I stumble across any. Also if you find any that you would recommend, I’ll share them with the rest of our readers. Thanks!

  12. Lucy Howlett says:

    Hey Mike. Thanks for this, great article and video. I always warm up and stretch out wrists when I teach others so it’s great to have some variations here. I had a wrist injury myself, from pole fitness training. It’s also wonderful to use these in yoga class to help with inversions. Thanks again! – Lucy

Leave A Comment...

*