Exercise for Wrist Pain, Strength & Flexibility

Wrists are generally a low priority on people’s lists of areas to train, if they’re trained at all.

“Wow you’ve got really nice wrists!” said nobody, ever.

But the thing is, your wrists are often a weak link and if you’ve got wrist pain, you’re limited from so much, from exercises in the gym to sports to wrestling with your 2 year old daughter who has a black belt in squirm-jitsu.

Plus, our wrist flexors are trained so much whenever we hold something heavy, whether it’s a barbell during Deadlifts or a bar during Chinups, so we often have a strength imbalance between wrist flexors (strong) and extensors (weak), which results in limited extension.

The last time my wrist was injured, I had to take a break from all floor based upper body work like Pushups and Handstands because I couldn’t put my wrist into extension, which was a major bummer.

After the injury was healed, I was limited in wrist extension, so had trouble with handstands since the wrist is at 90° of extension when in one.


And it wasn’t just the flexibility that was the issue, it was also the strength in that end range that really limited my ability in the handstand since as anybody skilled in handstands knows, the hands are very active in helping maintain balance.

So I had to come up with something to help me get back to normal function so I could resume pursuing my goal of a 60 second free handstand and today’s exercise was paramount in regaining both the strength and flexibility needed.

This drill follows my 3D Flexibility System in that we’re building strength in the end range to gain “useable flexibility”, not just passively stretching/mobilizing the wrist into the end range.

The first few times you do this it’ll likely feel uncomfortable, but stick with it because this is how you gain flexibility that lasts.

Do anywhere from 3-6 reps per wrist and you can throw it in pre or post workout or anytime, really. Doing it a couple of times a day is fine as well, but at least 3 times/week to get good results.

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4 years ago

I have a pain in my left wrist while doing bench press and pushups (when my chest is in furthest distance from the bar/ground – at the end of the push), so hope this helps… 🙂

4 years ago

Oh! Like this! My right wrist is not very flexible, but this helps!