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Alleviating Wrist Pain

“I just have really bad wrist mobility,” is one of the most common things I hear from new athletes at RxFIT. The wrists tend to be aggravated most when we program in heavy front squats, high volume thrusters, or any variation of an overhead weightlifting movement (specifically, snatches and overhead squats). I’ve learned over the years, however, that the issue usually isn’t the wrist. Although the pain is manifested at the wrist, the problem is usually the shoulder–more specifically, the lat muscle. In today’s video, I will review three primers that you can do for the shoulder before lifting in order to alleviate wrist pain. Later in the video, I will also review three primers that you can do for the wrists as well. Prioritize the shoulder over the wrist, but doing both would be ideal.

Here’s the written protocol to follow:

  1. General Warm-Up (Anything that uses most of the body and increases your heart rate.) Rowing, squatting, light pressing, etc.

  2. Soft Tissue Mobilization (Foam roll, percussion therapy, or barbell smashing.) Shoulder: Focus on the rotator cuff and lat. Wrist: Focus on the forearm and area near the tennis elbow.

  3. Stretching (Dynamic stretches over static.) Shoulder: Prayer rotations, child’s pose, and wall slides. Wrist: Floor leans and wrist rotations.

  4. Eccentric Contraction (Loaded exercises that lengthen the muscles.) Shoulder: Pull-up negatives and bar hangs. Wrist: Wrist curls; palm up and down.


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