Conditioning your hands is very important when training with your own bodyweight. When advancing to harder exercises, like handstand, planche training, one arm work, etc. , your wrists are under a lot of stress. By conditioning your wrists, you will be able to advance more safely and avoid unnecessary injuries.
In this post, I am going to show you some exercises to increase both the strength and flexibility of your wrists.
Strength Training For Your Wrists
Wrist push ups [0:55 on video]
This is a very difficult exercise and you should expect some time until you master it. Personally, I still perform them on my knees.
I recommend you to practice the movement on a wall for the first couple of months. Try to perform the movement slowly with as much control as possible. You can easily adjust the difficulty of the exercise by controlling the weight you are putting on your wrists.
After you feel comfortable performing the exercise on the wall, you can move to the floor progressions as seen on the video.
Knuckle push ups [1:55 on video]
You can start practicing this variation on the floor, as seen on the video.
Again, make sure to perform the movement with as much control as possible.
To progress with these exercises, I like to implement the “Steady State Cycle” method . Find a variation that is challenging and you can perform 2×10 reps and don’t increase the difficulty (reps/ resistance) fro 8-12 weeks. Then test and add more reps, etc. I recommend you to not add resistance if you can’t do 2×20 reps with ease and control in a particular progression.
Stretching And Mobility
When I stretch my wrists I use the PNF method. I first read about this method in Pavel Tsatsouline’s book Relax Into Stretch . I personally use only this 2 stretching exercises.
Wrist Stretch #1: Praying Stretch
Place your palms in from on for chest like you would if you were going to pray. Then try to move them downwards, without lowering your elbows or letting your hands separate. When you feel the stretch, even a little bit, push isometrically with your hands in the opposite direction. Meaning that the right hand will push towards the left and vice-versa, while your wrists are trying to separate from each other. Hold the tension for 20-30 seconds with approximately 70% of your power. Then relax and move your hands a little bit lower and repeat for 5 reps.
3x(3-5) reps are usually enough.
Wrist Stretch #2: Reverse Praying Stretch
Place your hands in from of your chest like in the praying position but have your palms face outwardly. Follow the same instruction as above.
Putting Everything Together
This is a lot of info to digest and you might need some time to implement the whole routines into your training.
The way I perform them is this:
- I do the dynamic warm up, as seen in the second video for approximately 3 minutes.
- Then I do 2x(10-20) for both wrist and knuckle push ups. And then I proceed to my training/ rest warm up.
- I perform the stretches after my workout.
Thanks for reading. If you have any questions feel free to comment below.
 I implement the SSC method as described in this article.
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Recommendations for further reading:
 A different variation of wrist push ups: “Wrist Push-ups“
 A blog post by Ido Portal: “Preparations for our daily training”
 These 2 forum discussions: “Elbow/wrist Prehab Routine” , “Question about WRIST PAIN (incl. Wrist Pushups pt 2)”