When you think weight lifting, you think big muscle groups: quads, biceps, abs. When you think this way, you’re already on your way to injury. So many of us step up to the weight bar thinking we are ready to rock our reps without properly focusing on key joints and smaller muscle groups. A major area that most women don’t think about is their hands and wrists. It’s these very areas that cause a ton of post-lifting pain, especially for beginners who are just starting a strength training routine.
You should absolutely continue to warm up big muscle groups and major joints, but don’t forget the small stuff either! Weight lifting, when done improperly, can be dangerous, and women especially should take extra care to maintain the health of their hands and wrists. Proper hand and wrist care is important whether you are a regular gym fanatic or simply use your hands for daily tasks like working at a computer.
Try This: Yoga Poses for Computer Wrists
Experts from the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center recommend the following:
1. Target wrist areas when stretching before workouts. Try cobra pose in yoga, except twist your fingers around to point towards your toes instead of straight ahead.
2. Wear lifting gloves or wrist wraps. Ever wonder if supportive gear does more harm than good? There are certainly pros and cons, so do your research, read reviews, and test things out for yourself.
3. Start with lower weight levels and slowly increase. No brownie points for overdoing it! The principle of progressive overload is important not only for injury prevention, but neuromuscular development and proper toning.
4. Strengthen wrists and forearms. Squeezing a tennis ball with one hand or doing wrist curls with a resistance band is a great way to increase strength and stability. Here are some simple exercises to prevent wrist injury.