Try these 5 yoga poses for stronger wrists.
In the practice of yoga, it’s crucial to maintain strong, healthy wrists to avoid injury. On the other side of that, yoga can also help to improve the strength of your wrist muscles if they are relatively weak. Bearing weight on your hands in certain yoga poses is the key. The majority of your weight should be directed primarily to your fingers, rather than the palm of your hand, for proper form. Below are 5 yoga poses to help strengthen and maintain the health of your wrists.
By Bianca Williams
Downward Facing Dog
Starting in Table Top, ensure that the shoulders are stacked over wrists and hips stacked over knees. Tuck the toes and lift your hips skyward, making an A shape with your body. Practice this pose with your fingers spread wide and your weight rooted evenly through your hands. Press through the knuckles of your index fingers into the floor to relieve pressure from the wrists.
Upward Facing Dog
Beginning by lying flat on your stomach, plant your palms alongside your rib cage, and begin straightening your arms and pressing the top of your feet into the mat to lift your torso and front body. This should feel like a gentle backbend in the spine, opening and expanding the chest and the front of the shoulders. Again, remember to engage the scapula to roll the shoulders down and back, while maintaining alignment of your shoulders over wrists. Remember to keep your hands actively pressing into the mat. You should feel the weight being supported through the middle of the wrist and slightly into the base of the palm.
Your shoulders should stack directly over your wrists, while your body is straight and strong like a plank of wood. Tuck your pelvis slightly to engage your core muscles and keep your lower back from arching. If your hips dip down, you will feel pressure in your lower back (which is a sign of misalignment). Engage the scapula and pull the shoulders down and away from the ears, while maintaining alignment of shoulders over wrists. Your weight should be distributed evenly through the fingers so there’s little-to-no pressure on the wrists.
Upward Plank Pose
Starting in Dandasana (Staff pose), plant your hands behind your hips with the tips of your fingers pointing towards your feet. Place an equal amount of weight in your hands, keeping the entire palm pressed firmly into the mat. Lift your hips, keeping your arms and legs straight and strong, and actively press hands and feet into the mat. Press your shoulder blades against your back torso to support the lift of your chest, with the option of slowly dropping your head back (without compressing the back of your neck).
Side Plank Pose
Starting in Plank position, bring your feet to touch and then roll onto the outside of your left foot, stacking your feet, hips, shoulders and wrists. Engage the left arm, while pressing the base of the index finger firmly into the mat. Gently work to balance the weight in the left (bottom) hand between the pinky finger and thumb. Engage the thighs, and flex the feet to keep them active, which will provide stability in this pose.
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All images courtesy of Bianca Williams.