The wrists, like ankles, are another area of the body that often gets overlooked when warming up for your weight lifting session. If you think about it, mobile and strong wrists are critically important for pain free Snatching, Cleaning and Jerking. Not only will every overhead movement benefit from having more mobile wrists but it will also improve your front rack position, which can be the difference between a made and a missed lift! Strong and mobile wrists provide support all the way up the chain from forearm to shoulder, which in turn lessens your chance of an injury.
Setup Instructions and Cues
- To begin, come to hands and knees. Press your shoulders down and away from your ears and spread your hands evenly onto the floor. Begin making circles in both directions to warm up the wrists.
- Next, flip your hands so that your fingers are pointing toward your knees. (Optimal position is for your middle fingers on both hands to be centered facing each knee.)
- Inhale while keeping your arms straight, and again, check to ensure you are pressing from your shoulders through the palms, hands placed down evenly into the floor. The feeling in your shoulders is very similar to that in a handstand.
- On a slow exhale begin to sit back and deepen the stretch. The tighter your wrists and fingers, the more you will feel the stretch in the forearms.
- With each exhale continue to sit back further onto your heels while keeping your spine straight, belly pulling in toward your spine. You may find that you don’t go anywhere when you try this stretch for the first time. With time and continued practice, you will deepen the stretch.
- Finish as you began, with circles in both directions, providing blood flow throughout the area.
This stretch should be held for 30-40 seconds prior to beginning your weightlifting session. Only go so deep as you feel a solid yet challenging stretch. Discomfort is expected but pain, sharp or otherwise is not.
If you are unable to line up your middle fingers with your knees, start where your limitations allow. Practice pressing from your shoulders through the palm of your hands evenly into the ground. After stretching and warming up the fingers, restart and work through the steps above.
Sandra Arechaederra has actively practiced yoga for years but maintains a focus on its application for improving athletic performance. Sandra is an accomplished Olympic weightlifter in her own right, having medaled at the 2010 USA National Championship Meet, she continues her work with the California Strength weightlifting team on a weekly basis for mobility training and runs a mobility program implemented with the California Strength NFL Combine Prep Class every year. Sandra has her 200 RYT credential as a certified Yoga Teacher.