Dr. Hawley’s Health Corner – Take care of those wrists!
I hope all of you made it through the storm ok and had a little fun in the process! When I was thinking about what I should write about this week I couldn’t help but think how much time I was putting in before each class trying to get my wrists loosened up before each workout. It is easy to forget how important your wrists are until they hurt.
A person’s wrist is made up of several small bones and several ligaments both of which can be injured pretty easily. Wrist injuries happen really for two reasons. The first is you fall on your wrist or something falls on your wrist; the second is overuse. The overuse injury is usually due to poor flexibility or range of motion of the wrist. When dealing with those athletes who CrossFit wrist range of motion is of the utmost importance, just think of all the movements we do that require full wrist extension. You have the power cleans, any lift overhead, front squats, squat thrusters and snatches. Now you can see the importance of having proper wrist range of motion.
Wrist Range of Motion Exercises: (there are basically two primary movements of the wrist and 2 secondary movements: we will be focusing on the two primary movements)
- Flexion – most people have proper flexion (when you bring your palm toward your elbow). The best way to stretch is to have your arm straight (palm down) grab your fingers and pull back towards your elbow. Your palm should now be facing backward. Do this 10 times and hold each one for 5-10 seconds.
- Extension – this motion is of extreme importance. This is when you bring the back of your hand towards your elbow. The best way to stretch is to have your arm straight (palm down) grab your fingers and pull back towards your elbow. Your palm should now be facing forward. Do this 10 times and hold each one for 5-10 seconds.
*A more advanced version of the above exercises incorporate PNF stretches. PNF stretches are stretches that involve contracting the opposite muscle and then relaxing that muscle into a stretch. This video will provide a good example of working on your wrist extension. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Vh71MlgBFs Try not to focus too much on the awesome music in the background!