For anyone who has practised yoga for any amount of time, you know how much strain it can put on your wrists — especially if you’re new to the practice and are building up your wrist strength! Often the culprit is tightness and weakness in the forearms, and an inability to wake up the muscles of the hands.
Wrist health is often overlooked, but it’s such an important part of yoga. Without taking proper care of your wrists, you put yourself at risk of aches, pains, and injury.
Here are some of Phoebe's favourite stretches and exercises to build strength and flexibility in your wrists, the unsung heroes of your extremities!
Extended Arm Stretch
Extend your right arm out with your palm face up. Stretch your fingers toward the ground and wrap your left fingers around your fingers. Take a deep inhale and let your shoulders roll down as you exhale. Gently pull your fingers back toward your torso and feel the stretch come into the inner forearm. You can do this with fingers together or splayed.
Tabletop Wrist Stretch
There are so many variations you can play with here. Fingers pointing outward, backward, or even gently pressing weight into the tops of your hands.
With your fingers pointing outward, make circles with your shoulders. You can even drop your heels back toward your heels and create big full circles. Remember to breathe as you flow here.
From here, turn your fingers to point toward your knees. Either rock back and forward (while keeping the heels of the hands grounded) or play with a cat/cow movement here. This is a great way to release the forearms.
If you play with the option of taking the tops of the hands to the floor, go with caution! You can do one hand at a time if this feels sensitive. Rock gently forward and back here to find a release in the forearms and muscles surrounding the wrists.
As funny as it sounds, this is a great way to build strength into the hands and fingertips – a key way to support the wrists in yoga movement.
With your palms on the floor, gently lift up onto your fingertips, and then lower. Repeat these movements, activation your fingers into the floor and feeling the muscles of the hands build. Repeat about 16-20 of these movements.
Clasp your hands together, and undulate your hands in a wave-like motion. Remember to move in both directions – there is always an awkward way!
You can practice these stretches and more online with Barre Base Anywhere.