Think back to the last time you saw someone bust out a set of push ups: what did they do when they were finished?
There's a good chance it was something like this:
It's such a common reaction that many yoga and Pilates classes now regularly include the cue to "shake out the wrists" after push ups, chaturanga, or arm balances, as though pain in the wrist joint was a perfectly normal part of these exercises.
And when, perhaps, you complained to a trainer or therapist about your wrist pain, maybe they told you it was a weakness issue. Just strengthen those wrists (whatever that means) and the pain will subside! Well, did it?[caption id="attachment_31073" align="aligncenter" width="259"] Doubtful.[/caption] That, or they offered you a modification so that you didn't have to worry about it, like bearing weight on your fists instead, or propped up on dumbbells. This will work in the moment, but it's still predicated on the idea that the only thing you can do with aching wrists is try to ignore them. Well, like the vast majority of joint aches you'll ever experience, wrist pain during weight bearing is a simple, mechanical issue that's actually pretty easy to fix.
This is palmar extension, or dorsiflexion . . . . . . which is, obviously, the position of your wrist while you're doing a push up. What you might not know is that, what looks like a pretty straightforward hinge has a significant component of rotation. In particular, dorsiflexion of the wrist requires (or causes, depending on which direction the force is traveling) internal rotation, or pronation, of the forearm.So, if your forearm isn't rotating enough, your wrist isn't dorsiflexing enough. And if your wrist isn't dorsiflexing enough, bearing weight on it feels awful.
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