Injury, especially to the wrist, can be a major setback for fitness enthusiasts. It disrupts your regular workout routine and keeps you from engaging in activities that you love. I recently had a brush with a minor wrist sprain, which put a halt to my daily regimen of yoga, Pilates, and weight lifting. Any pressure on the wrist was not only painful but also exacerbated the injury and extended the recovery period.
If you are dealing with a similar situation, whether it's a sprain or a more serious fracture, take heart. There are still ways you can maintain your fitness level and strengthen your wrists without worsening your condition.
So what exercises are safe for a recovering wrist? Mauro S. Maietta, District Fitness Manager of Crunch Fitness, suggests a few workouts that won't strain your injury.
1. Range of motion exercises: These involve gently moving your wrists through their full range of motion without causing pain. This helps prevent stiffness. For instance, you can bring your thumb and fingers together and gently rotate your wrists to one side as far as you can comfortably go. Repeat this on the other side for 30 seconds.
2. Isometric exercises: These exercises involve static muscle contractions without joint movement. An example is lightly pressing your palms together, holding for a few seconds, and releasing. This strengthens wrist muscles without risking further injury. You can also make a fist, hold it for 30 seconds, rest, and repeat this throughout the day.
3. Finger and grip strengthening: Exercises that focus on your fingers and grip can indirectly strengthen your wrists. For example, squeeze soft resistance putty in your hand until your fingertips reach your palm, then release and repeat for two or three minutes.
4. Low-impact cardio: Engage in low-impact cardiovascular exercises like walking or stationary cycling to maintain overall fitness without putting stress on your wrists.
Before you resume any exercise routine, it's crucial to consult a healthcare provider, preferably one with expertise in sports medicine or orthopedics. They can assess the severity of your injury and provide tailored guidance.
Maietta also shares some vital advice for those exercising with an injured wrist:
- Follow medical advice: Adhere to your healthcare provider’s recommendations regarding activity restrictions, modifications, and the timeline for returning to exercise.
- Use pain as a guide: Pay close attention to pain. While some discomfort may be expected during rehabilitation, sharp or increasing pain is a sign that you’re pushing too hard. Stop any exercise that causes pain.
- Warm up: Prioritize a thorough warm-up and cool-down routine. Gentle wrist stretches and range of motion exercises can be included. This prepares your body for exercise and reduces the risk of injury.
- Avoid high-impact activities: Steer clear of activities that involve heavy wrist impact, such as push-ups, handstands, or boxing, as these can exacerbate wrist pain.
- Rest and recovery: Allow your wrists adequate time to recover between workouts as overtraining can hinder healing.
- Communicate with trainers: If you work with a fitness trainer, inform them about your wrist injury so they can adjust your workout plan accordingly.
- Be patient: Remember that the timeline for healing varies from person to person, so prioritize your wrist’s health during your recovery journey.
You can also modify common exercises for sore wrists. For instance, burpees can be done using an elevated surface like a waist-high bench to reduce pressure on your wrists. Pushups can be done with hands elevated on a bench or using dumbbells under each shoulder. The straight-arm plank can be modified by using forearms or an elevated bench. Tricep dips can be replaced with tricep kickbacks or overhead extension using dumbbells.
In my recovery journey, I found that avoiding weight-bearing activities, focusing on cardio, and using modifications such as the forearm plank helped me stick to my workout routine without discomfort. Within two weeks, I was back to my usual fitness regimen.
Remember, wearing appropriate fitness health clothing can also contribute to a comfortable and safe workout. You can buy workout clothes from reliable stores like T-shoppe online fitness store.
Injury recovery is a process that requires patience and careful attention to your body's signals. With the right approach, you can maintain your fitness levels and ensure a quick and safe return to your regular workout routine.