A lot of people who do strength training, including those spending good amount of time in gym, often overlook workout of wrists. While the wrist bones can’t be made bigger, several gym workouts encourage strengthening of wrist muscles and their thickening.
Specific wrist workouts not only build the muscle and the increase size but also enhance the grip and strengthen the forearm as well as palm.
Both weight training and weightless training help in increasing the wrist size, adding flexibility and strength. It’s important to follow the right exercise regimen and do the exercises properly in order to prevent any kind of injury or wear and tear of tissues and muscles of wrists.
Here are some different exercises, stretches and yoga poses to increase your wrist size and strength.
Stretching the Wrists
Performing the wrist stretches is important to combine along with the strength training routine. Especially, stretch out your wrist muscles if you have small or weak wrists.
1. Warm Up
Before starting the workout of wrist muscles, do the warm up by doing unweighted wrist movements. Hand circles and wrist flexions and extensions can be some of the ways. This helps in loosening the wrist area gradually and gets you ready for the training.
2. Wrist Extensions
An easy stretching exercise, the wrist extensions can be done at home for increasing the flexibility of forearms which power your wrists. It is one of the most effective ways to gradually get bigger wrists.
Lay the back of your forearm on a table or on your leg. Your palm should face upward and your hand should be in line with your arm.
Keep a light-weight in that hand and then lower the weight gradually toward the floor. The movement takes 5 seconds. Now bring the wrist back to initial position.
Perform 2 sets of 10-15 reps with each wrist 4-5 times every week.
3. Radial Wrist Exercise
Radial wrist training is quite similar to wrist extension. The focus is on a different muscle motion as the direction of direction of exercise changes. It is very common in physical rehabilitation routines after wrist facing a wrist injury. These exercises can be done at home.
To do it, get a dumbbell and then keep your arms at your side. Now, slowly tilt it upward and downward. Perform 2 sets of 10-15 reps for each wrist 4-5 times every week.
4. Wrist Releases
A great exercise to stretch the muscles at the end of workout, wrist releases decrease the chances of any injury or soreness. Make sure you do it at the end of every exercise routine.
Keep one hand on the back of other with the hand drawn up toward the wrist. Hold the hand in place by applying a bit of pressure on it and move the forearm lower to increase the angle. Hold for 6-10 seconds and do the same for other arm.
Exercising the Wrist Muscles
Wrestlers, bodybuilders, athletes and fitness enthusiasts exercise their wrist muscles to strengthen them and build them up. Here are some of the most common wrist exercises:
1. Knuckle Pushups
If you want to boost the stability and strength of your forearms, push ups is an amazing exercise. But rather than doing the usual flat-handed push-ups that cause soreness and stiffness in the joint and stress your wrists, do your push-ups on knuckles to build strength in the wrists.
Keep the wrists straight and firm while doing these push-ups. For a beginner, it may be harder and it is recommended to do just 3 sets of 10 reps.
2. Plate Pinches
One of the most common forearm strength training exercises, plate pinches are performed by bodybuilders to get bulky forearms and grip.
Perpendicular to the ground, line up one or two plates from the weight machine. Squat down, grip the plates with your hands and then stand up gradually holding them. You can do 3 sets of 5-10 reps each with alternate hands or more as you find comfortable.
3. Wrist Rollers
A device called wrist roller that is usually found in gyms is used for practicing wrist rollers. It works effectively in building forearms and bigger wrists. A wrist roller bar is a short bar with rope in center and a weight hangs from it. A bar from barbell can also be used as an alternative and weight can be hanged from the rope.
Grip the bar with both hands, palms should face down and arms should extend straight out. With the weight hanging, twist the bar upward and backward with wrists. Do 10-15 reps in 3 sets.
Basic bicep curls require keeping the wrists straight and this thus helps in building the strength. It can also be mixed up by doing some wrist curls with both straight bar as well as fat bar. This will enhance both hand strength and wrist strength.
Grip the bar over-hand with weight lesser than the one used for bicep curl. Rather than bringing the bar all the way up as is done in a bicep curl, flex your wrists to bring the bar up. Perform the exercise with an under-hand grip also.
5. Forearm Developer
A forearm developer is a simple equipment made of a dowel linked with a rope or chain with a weight hanging down in the middle. Grip the dowel over-hand and roll it forward, pulling the rope/chain up. When the weight reaches dowel, unroll it gradually.
6. Towel Pull-Ups
Hang the two towels evenly on a pull-up bar at your shoulder width. Now, grab both the towels with palms facing and thumbs pointing upward. Do pull ups until exhaustion.
7. Lever Lifts
A popular exercise among arm wrestlers, lever lifts develop wrists and forearms. A dumbbell bar with weight plate on one end or object like sledgehammer with weighted end can be used for gripping on the other hand.
Stand straight, hold the handle area with your arm extended at your side, rotate the wrist to lift the weighted end as high as you can and come back to the initial position.
Yoga Poses to Develop Wrist Strength
Yoga postures give a full body workout and are also known to be effective in increasing wrist size. Some basic and advanced yoga postures such as cobra pose, side plank pose, downward dog pose, upward facing dog pose, crane pose, side crane pose, crow pose, peacock pose and others lay pressure on hands and wrists. This facilitates strengthening of these muscles and thereby increase wrist size.
Do not practise these yoga poses too many times as overdoing them can cause injury in hands and wrists as whole body weight gets concentrated on them.
Grip exercise is a convenient exercise for increasing wrist size that can be done anywhere, anytime. A wrist muscle developer with a counter grip, working much like a squeeze ball, is used for grip exercises. They have a handle that is linked with a spring.
You have to hold the spring-loaded grip exerciser in one hand and press the handle towards each other. Hold for some time and then release. This exercise works out your wrists and the palms and improves your grip.
You can even try a simple squeeze ball for grip exercises. It can also be tried without use of any equipment. Just flex your palm with the fingers wide apart and release after holding for some time.
A tennis ball can be held in one hand. For 5 seconds, squeeze the ball as firmly as you can and gradually release it. Do 10 reps on each hand. This will strengthen the muscles in the hand connecting to the wrist.
Building strength takes time so you need to have patience. Consistency is key. Stick to a training routine and perform the exercises consistently. Warm up, stretch and work out your wrists to develop stronger and bigger wrist muscles.