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Wrist Pain During Plank Positions

Posted Aug 24 2008 9:44pm

Do you feel pain in your wrists during push ups or plank positions?

If you find yourself in wrist pain, or consider yourself to have weak wrists, the problem could actually be coming from your shoulders.

Kneeling on all fours, place your hands on the mat, slightly wider than shoulder width apart. Make sure your fingers are pointing straight ahead, don't let them face inward or outward.

Look at your inner elbows- which way are they facing? They are either rotating back towards your legs, towards each other, or forward. Try rotating them back and forth through each of these directions and feel that your shoulders also rotate with this movement.

When your inner elbows are rotated to face forward, your shoulders will naturally rotate into your back, away from your ears. This is the proper placement for your shoulders.
If you allow your inner elbows to rotate back, your shoulders will roll into your ears. It is this poor placement of your shoulders that will put excess pressure and weight into your wrists and cause wrist pain.

You will also have to connect into your core to lift a bit of your body weight up out of your wrists. If you let your ribs hang heavily into your arm pits, or let your abdominal muscles go, the weight of your torso will just fall right in your wrists.

You can also use the principles listed above if you have wrist pain on the reformer during Elephant or Long Stretch.

If you do feel wrist pain on the reformer, you should not only rotate your shoulders into your back, but also keep a light hold on the footbar. Try to keep your fingers straight and avoid a "death grip".

Of course, if you suffer from a wrist injury, or have carpal tunnel syndrome, your wrists will probably hurt during a position like plank. Ask your teacher if there's a modification you can do instead, such as a low plank on your fists and elbows. If you can, try practicing this way of holding your body during plank a little bit at a time, and maybe you'll actually strengthen those sore wrists!
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