Wrist Pain Solutions

Do you have wrist pain when exercising?

Lea recently commented on the Female Fat Loss Over 40 Facebook fan page saying how much she enjoyed Shawna’s workout videos for Female Fat Loss over 40 but shared how frustrated she felt with exercises like burpees and mountain climbers because her wrists were not strong enough to support her weight.
So to Lea, and others like her, the answer is “of course we can modify these exercises!”

Let’s have a quick look first at why wrist soreness can occur.  Lea mentioned that she’d had years of wrist pain due to overuse of the computer and other technologies.  Many of us working on computers for hours at a time will experience wrist and forearm weakness or tension at different times and it’s just as important to stretch after this type of work as it is to stretch after a workout.   A simple stretch at any time of day is to bring your palms together in a “prayer” position  allowing for a gentle forearm stretch.  Hold for 15-20 seconds, slowly lifting elbows as forearms relax.


You could also stretch forearms by extending the arm, palm facing up, and using your opposite hand, pull the fingers down and feel the stretch in the forearm muscles.  A gentle strengthening isometric (using the body’s held tension without movement) exercise is to hold the same prayer position, spreading the fingers wide and pushing the hands in to each other firmly without movement.  Maintain the pressure for about 20-30 secs. This will allow the wrists to strengthen without stress on the joint. Depending on the strength of your wrists you may need to drop the elbows a little to prevent undue strain.

Pain in the wrists most often comes from tightness in the forearms so the more stretches we can do for forearm flexors (inner forearm) and extensors (outer forearms) the better.  Generally look to hold your stretches for about 20-30 seconds.

forearm stretch

Now on with the modifications.    The basic movement behind all our favorite exercises like burpees, mountain climbers and pushups is the plank.  So if you can find a comfortable position there, you’ll be pretty right with everything else.

When I’m training clients in my Personal Training Studio I ask clients to use a padded incline bench and that allows for most movements including a plank right up to spiderman crawls and burpees.


This may be as simple as moving your hand position to shift the pressure in your wrists.  For some clients whose wrist pain actually comes from neck tension or injury, we’ll modify further to pushups against the wall.

At the other end of the scale, you may be happy to do your pushups on the floor but find your wrists fatigue easily, in that case try gripping dumbells or using pushup grips (pictured).    Discount stores will stock these very inexpensively – so if you’re serious about your fitness, these will be a worthwhile buy.

If you don’t have a padded incline bench then the padded but stable arms of your couch may be a


great alternative.  Or try using a chair and curl your fingers over the far side of the seat to reduce pressure in your wrists.  Note to self:  make sure whatever you’re using is stable and strong enough to support your weight.

With these modifications, burpees, mountain climbers and other exercises become immediately attainable with all their strength and heart rate benefits.  And don’t forget, if your wrists give you constant trouble – go visit your health practitioner for a massage or further advice.

For more wrist pain solutions CLICK HERE.

In our upcoming Female Fat Loss over 55, we have designed the entire program to accommodate issues like weak wrists, and general mobility issues.  Struggle to get up and down off the floor? We’ve got it covered.  Trouble with your knees?  We’ve got it covered.  Require lots of modifications to all exercises?  We’ve got it covered!