Listen Up Computer Geeks and Meatheads
Computer geeks and meatheads share at least one thing in common — tight wrists and elbows! You probably stretch your legs, back and shoulders, but have you given any thought to your wrists and elbows? Who has tight wrists and elbows? You, me and the guy next to you. Why?
Our hands and fingers are used hundreds of times throughout the day, resulting in tightness from overuse movements and possible long term injury.
Think about the technology boom. Tablets, smart phones, and laptops serve a great purpose for us in our everyday lives, but they can also wreck havoc on our wrists and elbows. The angles you type on the small keyboards and the duration of use seem to be the major culprits…not to mention checking your Instagram account every 10 minutes.
Tight wrists and elbows can even hold you back in your workouts. Lacking the correct range of motion in your wrists and elbows is a major hinderance on your overhead barbell work for instance. Great compound exercises like the overhead press, bench press, thrusters, jerks, snatches and overhead squats will benefit from stronger, more flexible wrists and elbows.
So what can you do to gain more flexibility? There are 3 easy stretches to do anytime, anywhere that will help you strengthen and stretch your wrists and elbows: fingers forward, fingers backward, and palms up with fingers backward.
Let’s get started on making you stronger and more flexible. Try these three easy stretches out before your next workout or coffee break.
1. Fingers Forward:
Our first stretch begins with you crouching down to the ground on your knees. Lay your hands flat on the ground, palms on the floor and your fingers facing forward in front of you. Keep your arms straight and rock forward without any bouncing while bringing your shoulders a bit past your fingers.
Concentrate on pushing the blood in your hands to the end of your fingertips. You should keep your palms flat on the ground during this routine. Hold the stretch for 5 seconds, then relax for 10 seconds. Repeat for a total of 5 reps.
2. Fingers Backward:
The second stretch is completed in much the same way as the fingers forward stretch above, except your fingers will be turned in facing your knees. This may be challenging to some people at first with tight wrists and forearms or elbows.
Remember, go slowly as you may not be able to do the stretch fully at first. The ultimate goal is to get your fingers directly facing your knees for a 5 second hold with a 10 second break for 5 reps. You will notice each additional rep offers you even more flexibility.
3. Palms Up with Fingers Backward:
The third and final stretch is a combination of the first two. Start by turning your hands over with your palms facing up. You want to keep your fingers facing your knees and sit back, holding for 5 seconds with a 10 second break for a total of 5 reps. If you have trouble keeping your arms straight, move your hands closer to your knees.
Simple yet effective! Your hands and forearms will feel loose and more flexible than ever before.