When it comes to exercise, there is a modification for everything!
Today we are talking about 3 easy push-up and plank modifications for sore wrists. The modifications are:
- Neutral Position
Often when a workout move feels painful, it gets eliminated from the workout plan. This only keeps those pain ridden muscles sore, stiff and weak.
Push-ups and planks are great examples of exercises that get eliminated.
While these amazing workout moves strengthen the core, the back, the arms and the legs all at once, they often get eliminated because they create sore wrists.
So, it’s so important to know how to modify these workout moves so you can get all of the amazing benefits these exercises have to offer.
It’s also important to know that modifications are just one piece of the puzzle. You have to make sure that you’re stretching and strengthening (rehabilitating) your wrists and your hands in order for those planks and push-ups to become easier and pain-free over time.
Use these 3 push-up and plank modifications for sore wrists while following a program to rehabilitate the wrists too.
If you need a program that consists of exercises to strengthen wrists (and stretch too) click here.
Once your wrists start to feel strong, slowly but surely you can go back to doing those push-ups and planks without the modifications.
Let’s take a closer look at all three ways you can modify:
When you do planks on the ground or push-ups on the ground there is a lot of pressure and a lot of force on the wrist joints.
This is great if you have flexibility in all of your extensor muscles and in all of your flexor muscles, but lots of times we get tight because of driving, typing or because we “high five”.
The point is, these muscles are constantly being used so they become tight but weak.
With elevation you are literally going to elevate your body so you’re doing your plank or your push-up position in a higher up elevation. You’ll do them on the back of the sofa, using a countertop, or the back of a chair.
The higher you elevate your body, the less weight load you’ll have on the wrists.
When elevating your body for push-ups and planks, you need to make sure you’re in proper form.
Many times women tell me they’ve decided to do an elevated plank but they still feel wrist pain. Meanwhile their wrists are not in alignment with the shoulder which creates more compression and more load on the wrist joint.
Make sure that your hands are completely underneath the shoulder when elevated.
If you are still feeling a lot of pain, even when in proper alignment, then it’s time to go into the neutral position.
2. Neutral Position
If elevation doesn’t reduce your wrist pain much, then it’s not the actual load (your body weight) that’s creating the issue. It has more to do with your flexibility, both in your wrist flexors and in your extensors.
A lot of times what happens is the muscles in the back of your arm tend to get really weak and they’re over flexible where the muscles in the back of the hand get really tight and overused.
As a result, the movement (being in the push-up or plank wrist position) and the flexibility of having your fingers splayed out and your wrists completely underneath your shoulders creates the tightness.
So, until you’ve worked on the flexibility and the strength in these muscles, you’ll want to create a neutral position with your wrist. In other words, you want your wrist and hand to be in alignment. One line from your elbow, down to your fingertips with a limited wrist bend.
To do this:
- Continue to keep the elevation so you’re already lightening the load.
- Then, place a rolled up mat or a tea towel underneath your palms.
- Your palms are on the rolled up mat, and your fingers are down off of the mat.
- Make sure that your fingers are completely extended and flat on the elevation surface.
- Then from here you’re going to do your push-ups.
You might need to have a higher or lower mat or towel rolled up underneath your palm.
The goal is to have a completely neutral wrist position. The wrist needs to be nice and straight when you’re doing your push-ups and plank modifications for sore wrists.
If after both elevating your body, and creating a neutral position with your wrists, you still feel a bit of pain (especially around your pinky finger) you are not alone.
The most common reason you feel pain around the pinky is muscle tightness and joint compression on the ulnar side (on the pinky finger side). This tightness and compression creates a weak unhealthy joint position.
Without even realizing it, you may have been doing your push-ups and planks with your hand caving in and compressing the joint.
The only real way to solve this is by doing wrist strengthening and stretching exercises so you can start to strengthen all of the muscles that support the joint, which will then stop the compression and create a more neutral wrist alignment.
But, of course we’re not talking about how you can do the strengthening exercises that’s for that other video.
For now what you might need to do is give your wrists more external support to create a neutral wrist position.
The support acts as if it were a set of strong muscles that refuse to let the joint compress or collapse.
The way to do that is through taping your wrists, using kickboxing tapes or kinesiology tape. You can also buy gloves that support the wrists.
These supports will help support the joints so you can keep a neutral position.
This alleviates the pressure on the nerve and it allows you to continue to do push-ups and planks.
Once again, to recap, the 3 push-up and plank modifications for sore wrists are:
Create a neutral position
Then you are going to add support through taping, or wrapping the wrist joint if you still need wrist support.
And for all of those exercises to help stretch and strengthen so that you remain pain-free you can visit the Exercises to Strengthen the Wrists video here.
Feeling Sore? Need Workout Modifications? Book a FREE online consult with me. During your call, we’ll determine the fabulous transformation you want to make. We’ll uncover what you can do to achieve your goals and look at the next steps to get there.