Wrist prob­lems? No jokes, please – they’re a painful busi­ness. Avoid any is­sues with our ex­pert’s ad­vice

Men's Fitness - - Contents -

Avoid th­ese wrist in­juries

Wes Tubb is an os­teopath and per­sonal trainer with over 12 years’ ex­pe­ri­ence help­ing treat a wide range of mus­cu­loskele­tal in­juries from his prac­tice in west Lon­don (wes­

The wrist and hand com­plex is made up of 28 bones and 14 joints, al­low­ing it to be flex­i­ble enough to per­form many in­tri­cate move­ments, but also mak­ing it vul­ner­a­ble to in­jury,’ says Tubb. ‘Most of the mus­cles that con­trol the wrist and hand orig­i­nate in the fore­arm, with long ten­dons at­tach­ing to the bones in the hand.’


‘The lig­a­ments sup­port­ing your wrist can eas­ily be sprained in sports in­volv­ing di­rect force go­ing through the joint, such as when hand­ing off in rugby or do­ing a hand­spring in gym­nas­tics.’


‘Strength­en­ing the fore­arm mus­cles that con­trol the wrist will help. Tar­get them di­rectly with wrist ex­ten­sions – hold­ing light dumb­bells, rest your fore­arms on a bench and curl your wrists up and down. You can also tar­get them in­di­rectly by us­ing Fat Gripz when do­ing pulling ex­er­cises like chin-ups and dead­lifts.’


‘Flexor ten­dons and nerves have to pass through a small space called the carpal tun­nel. In­flam­ma­tion of th­ese ten­dons caused by repet­i­tive strain, such as too much com­puter work or even from too much wrist flex­ion when do­ing biceps curls, can lead to com­pres­sion of the me­dian nerve. This leads to pain, numb­ness or pins and nee­dles in your wrist and hand.’


‘In the gym, use a ham­mer grip when do­ing biceps curls to keep your wrist straight. At work, take regular breaks from your desk and stretch your fore­arms (by bend­ing your palms back for ten sec­onds) and your pec mus­cles too (by stretch­ing your chest us­ing a door frame). Tight­ness in your pecs caused by poor pos­ture can com­pro­mise vas­cu­lar drainage of your arm and en­cour­age in­flam­ma­tion.’


‘Strain­ing the fin­gers’ ten­dons is com­mon in con­tact sports such as MMA, rugby and climb­ing. This can cause prob­lems in the near­est pha­langeal joint, characterised by swelling and bruis­ing in the knuckle and base of the fin­ger.’ PRE­VENT IT ‘Strengthen your fin­gers with fin­ger pull-ups. In­stead of a full grip on the pull-up bar, hook your fin­gers over it. This is de­mand­ing, so start with a low vol­ume and in­crease the reps over time.’


‘De­vel­op­ing cal­luses is an in­evitable part of weight train­ing. Con­stant pres­sure on your palms at the base of your fin­gers causes the skin to thicken to pro­tect the joints un­der­neath. Th­ese may be­come blis­tered and rip open, tak­ing time to heal and pre­vent­ing you from train­ing.’


‘Pre­vent the skin be­ing trapped un­der the bar by us­ing a hook grip when do­ing dead­lifts, bent-over rows and other heavy pulling lifts. Grip the bar with your palm and thumb first, then tightly grasp the bar and your thumb with your fin­gers.’

Max Whit­lock re­lies on ro­bust wrists to per­form.

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