Wrist mobility is crucial to complete functional movements like front squats and cleans. You never realize how much you actually use your wrists until you find yourself in the front rack position and it feels like your wrists are going to snap right off your arms. This is due to poor wrist mobility. Most of us can get through life just fine without having an exceptional wrist range of motion. But for you, wrist mobility is a crucial factor in movement progression and form. And if you’re in pain during your front rack position, chances are your form and performance won’t be as good as it could be. Let’s learn a few ways to improve wrist mobility so you can workout in less pain.
How To Improve Wrist Mobility
Wrist mobility exercises will help improve wrist rotation and range of motion. Wrist mobility exercises should be incorporated in your training as a supplementary movement before your workout. Spending more time and being consistent with these exercises will improve wrist mobility over time.
The wrist is one of the most complex joints in the body with man joints that function together in unison. Your wrists include the proximal, distal, and meta carpals. Wrist bones have many responsibilities, and include moving the wrist back and forth, side to side, and providing flexion and extension.
Best Wrist Mobility Exercises
1. Hand To Hand Wrist Circles
Simply interlock your fingers, and rotate your wrist in circles, modulating the path of a figure-8. This will help loosen your wrists and enable your wrists to move with more fluidity.
Wrist rotations are a great way to help your range of motion to improve wrist mobility. Simply interlace your fingers and rotate your wrists in every possible direction a few times per day. If you find that your wrists are more tender in some positions as opposed to others hold them in that position for a few seconds and repeat.
2. Isometric Wrist Flexion
Simply make a fist with both arms fully extended in front of you. Flex your wrists in the downward motion and hold for 3-5 seconds, then release. Do this for a series of 10-12 times.
3. Wrist Extensions
In the planche push-up position, your elbows are fully extended. Turn your hands inwards pointing towards. From here you want to shift your body forward and hold your weight towards the front of your body. Hold here for 20-30 seconds and come back to resting position. Perform this a few times to improve your wrist mobility.
4. Front-Rack Walk
In conjunction with the above-mentioned movements, get into front-rack position and practice the real thing. Use a PVC pipe and hold front-rack position, rotating your wrists back and forward in and out of position. This will help you establish the range of motion you need to successfully complete a front squat or clean without grimacing in pain. Once you get past the PVC pipe use the barbell.
5. Wrist Walks
Place your hands on a wall shoulder width apart with your fingers pointed towars the ceiling. After you place your hands on the wall walk them down the wall as far as you can. Once you reach the lowest point your wrists can bear, turn your hands with your fingers pointed down towards the floor, and walk them back up as far as you can go. Repeat as needed.
6. Wrist Flexion
Similar to the wrist extension exercise, simply flip your hand over, so that your hand is facing you in wards, yet the weight is placed not on the palm but the top of the hand. Extend your arms fully and rock your weight back and forth stretching your wrists.
Wrist Mobility Exercises: Takeaway
Wrist mobility is critical when performing olympic weightlifting or more complex movements in high intensity functional training protocols like CrossFit. If you want to improve your athletic performance, then taking the time and putting in the effort to improve your range of motion, is vital to your overall success. Incorporating mobility technique and getting the right amount of nutrients in your diet, will help you add more volume to your workouts in less pain.
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