Are you an athlete who catches, throws, swings, crawls or grapples?
If you don’t take care of your hands, fingers and wrists, you might decrease your ability to grip and reduce the amount of force your hands can handle.
Many exercises aim to increase size and strength of the arms and upper body but ignore the hands and wrists, which do the lifting. The following recovery and regeneration exercises will help you work those overlooked areas so you can quickly return to play.
The most prominent wrist muscles—palmaris longus, palmaris brevis and the flexor muscles—originate at the elbow. If you feel pain locally in the wrist or hand, the elbow on the affected side is the first places you should perform self-myofascial release (soft-tissue therapy) using a foam roller.
When you have significant pain in the arm between the elbow and the wrist, take this three-step approach.
1. Perform foam roller therapy on your wrist.
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2. Foam roll your hand.
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This is significantly different from stretching. Whether foam rolling does anything physiologically or neurologically, the idea is that it helps to reduce “tonicity” (or tightness) in the muscle that is lighting up.
3. Reintegrate range of motion with digging and clawing.
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This serves a different purpose than simple Wrist Curls, because your wrists hurt. Based on findings in the Journal of Athletic Training, after an intense training session, performing this or a similar motion restores blood flow to muscles and ligaments, aiding recovery of the wrists and hands.
Perform this movement after a heavy lifting day or after foam roller therapy.
If you feel pain in your wrists or hands consistently, I highly recommend some type of manual therapy or massage to reduce your symptoms and pain.
Martin, Nancy A., Robert F. Zoeller, Robert J. Robertson, and Scott M. Lephart. “Result Filters.” National Center for Biotechnology Information. U.S. National Library of Medicine, n.d. Web. 01 Aug. 2013.