Strengthen Your Wrist With These Exercises

Strengthening your wrist muscle not only makes your arm look stronger but also helps you prevent injury. Continue reading below ↓

Strengthening your wrist muscle not only makes your arm look stronger but also helps you prevent injury.

That’s because a common problem with the wrist muscle is how it gets overlooked while working out. The wrist also isn’t utilized as much in our daily lives (unless you constantly lift heavy items). 

As such, unless you’re playing a sport that heavily focuses on strengthening the wrist muscles, like tennis or golf, your wrist may be weaker than it should. This weakness often shows as wrist pain whenever you carry some extra weight.

This guide will show how to strengthen your wrist with these 8 wrist strengthening exercises. 

8 Wrist Strengthening Exercises 

Unlike popular belief, weight-bearing wrist exercises aren't the only way to make a joint or a muscle stronger, especially if the joint has a full range of motion, like the wrist.

As such, in addition to the strengthening exercises, you’ll also require ones that stretch your muscles and improve wrist mobility. Accordingly, the following eight exercises will alternate between these three factors.

1. Wrist Rotations

Wrist rotations are some of the easiest and most overlooked exercises. As the name suggests, the whole exercise involves rotating your wrists to their full range of motion.

Try it now as you read this, and you’ll notice immediately that your wrist feels a bit stiff at some point(s) during the rotation. 

This suggests that your wrist doesn’t move around comfortably and that any sudden movement or weight application at this particular stiffness point can make you prone to injury. 

Performing the exercise itself is as easy as it gets. Stretch one or both arms forward, and rotate 10 clockwise circles followed by 10 counter-clockwise circles. Rest for 15-30 seconds, then do another 3-4 sets. 

We recommend doing wrist rotations before any weight-bearing exercise after you wake up, and before you sleep. 

2. Wrist Flexor and Extensor Stretch

Other useful wrist-stretching exercises are the flexor and extensor muscle stretches. Much like wrist rotations, wrist flexors, and extensors need no special equipment, and they are useful to relax your muscles before a hard workout.

Stretch your flexors by extending your arms straight in front of you with the fingers pointed up. Then, use one arm to grab the fingers of the other arm toward you. Do that for 5-10 seconds per hand for 2-3 sets.

Right after, stretch your extensors by extending one ahead without spreading your fingers. The extensors are stretched by pulling your fist down, and opening your fist can apply painful pressure on your tendons. 

3. Finger Stretch

Now that your range of motion is extended and your wrist muscles are stretched, it’s time to stretch the remaining hand muscles.

Make a fist with your hand, then stretch your fingers slowly as much as you can, and then go back to the fist.

A man making a fist with his hand to perform wrist strengthening exercises.

If you do this one correctly, you’ll feel a great stretch in your wrist muscles. Try it.

4. Ball Squeeze 

The ball squeeze is the opposite of finger stretch, and it’s the first exercise on our list that applies actual resistance to your wrists to improve grip strength.

Squeeze balls often have different resistances, allowing you to experiment with what works best based on your strength level. As such, you can get some serious muscle toning by using them.

This exercise is as simple as it gets. Hold the ball, squeeze it, hold the position for two seconds, then relax your hand in a slow, controlled motion. The resistance of the ball determines how many reps you need.

If you’re going for toning, focus on high reps and low resistance. If you’re building some muscle, you guessed it, low reps, high resistance. Either way, you’ll need 3-5 sets per hand. 

Note: If you have a hand grip strengthener, you can use it instead of the ball. It’s often harder, but it’s also more effective to improve poor grip strength.

5. Dumbbell Wrist Flexion (Wrist Curls)

If you go to the gym frequently, you may already be familiar with this exercise. It involves applying a dumbbell weight to your wrist to increase the size of the muscles.

To do the dumbbell wrist flexion, put your hand with the palm facing upward on a flat surface, allowing your wrist and hand to be suspended in the air while the rest of your arm is on the bench.

Start with a low-weight dumbbell to avoid injury, and lift up the weight until you feel the contraction in your wrist. Hold the position for a couple of seconds, then let your arm relax in a controlled manner. 

Do three sets of 10-15 reps to call this a good exercise (assuming you’re not using excessive weight). 

Note: You can also do a dumbbell wrist extension by facing your palm down. However, this often requires lower weight to avoid injury. 

6. Dumbbell Wrist Pronation and Supination

Wrist supination and pronation exercises are among the lesser-known wrist-strengthening exercises. The exercise involves resting your elbow on a flat surface, slightly lifting your wrist with a light dumbbell in hand, and rotating your wrist at a controlled 180° angle. 

This one is a little hard to imagine through text alone. Watch this video for a better demonstration. 

7. Finger Push-ups

Finger push-ups are the most difficult exercise on the list so far. You must be able to correctly perform regular push-ups before you can try this exercise. 

Finger push-ups are identical to regular push-ups regarding form and body positioning, but instead of resting your body on your palms, you do so on your fingers, which applies a bit more pressure on your wrist joints.

A man doing push-ups.

If you find this one too difficult or cannot do regular push-ups, you can try the knee push-up variation. 

Note: Finger push-ups can help you strengthen your forearm muscles, but they can be dangerous if you don't know what you're doing. We recommend consulting a physical therapist before doing this exercise.

8. Palm Pulses

Palm pulses are popular wrist-strengthening exercises that provide you with some of the stretching associated with finger push-ups without the excessive effort required.

The starting position requires you to sit on your knees and place your hands shoulder-width on the ground, with your fingers stretched apart as much as you can. 

Now, pull your palms off the ground while keeping your fingers (except for the thumb) on the ground.

Do three sets of 20-30 pulses to get the most out of this exercise. If you’re feeling brave, go to the push-up position instead of having your knees on the ground. 

Don’t Forget to Recover

Muscle recovery is as important as working out. If you don’t recover enough, you’ll fall into the trap of underrecovering, which can render you tired throughout the entire day. 

One of the best and most natural ways to recover is by improving the blood supply to your exhausted joint.

Besides eating healthy food and getting a good night’s sleep, you can improve your wrist’s recovery by using recovery wear. A good example of such recovery wear is the Thermo™ Lite Recovery Wrist Sleeve.

Using bamboo charcoal, also known as Black Diamond, the recovery sleep releases therapeutic elements into your skin. This improves blood supply, controls inflammation, and reduces pain by up to 62%.

Additionally, it’s comfortable enough to be worn 24/7 and has superior moisture-wicking and deodorizing properties. You can wear it while sleeping or going through your day without feeling that it’s there. 

A Few Extra Words

Most of the wrist strengthening exercises on this list can be performed anywhere without special equipment, making them easy to incorporate at home or in the office. 

Mix these simple exercises with the natural recovery you get from Thermo Recovery Wear, and your wrist will always be in good health.

There are also additional recovery products for every major joint in the body, so be sure to explore those.


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