17 Best Wrist Strengthening Exercises To Avoid Pain & Injury

Doing these wrist exercises can relieve pain and strengthen your wrists.

Reviewed by Dr. Sudhansu Singh, BPT Dr. Sudhansu Singh Dr. Sudhansu SinghBPT facebook_icontwitter_iconlinkedin_icon
Written by , MSc (Biotechnology), ISSA Certified Fitness Nutritionist Charushila Biswas MSc (Biotechnology), ISSA Certified Fitness Nutritionist linkedin_icon Experience: 6 years
Edited by , BSc, Professional Certificate in Food, Nutrition and Health Ravi Teja Tadimalla BSc, Professional Certificate in Food, Nutrition and Health linkedin_icon Experience: 8 years
Fact-checked by , BTech (Biotechnology), Certified Health & Nutrition Life Coach Sindhu Koganti BTech (Biotechnology), Certified Health & Nutrition Life Coach linkedin_icon Experience: 6 years
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If you are susceptible to wrist injuries, wrist pain, or carpal tunnel syndromei  A numbness, weakness, and tingling sensation in the hand and arm caused by the compression of the nerve at the wrist. , wrist strengthening exercises can greatly benefit you. They are perfect for anyone lifting weights in the gym and working on improving wrist flexors and extensors. You can perform these 17 exercises for wrist pain and improve flexibility. This article discusses the muscles involved and the various injuries you can avoid by performing these exercises. Take a look.

protip_icon Workout Blueprint: Wrist Exercises And Stretches
  • Frequency: Daily
  • Benefits: Strengthen the wrists and improve mobility.
  • Equipment Needed: Dumbbells, resistance band, barbell, tennis ball, handgrip, putty.
  • Space Required: Small area
  • Assistance Required: No
  • Who Should Avoid: Anyone who experiences extreme pain or discomfort while performing these exercises or with a wrist injury.

17 Wrist Exercises & Stretches

NOTE: Do these exercises post-recovery under the supervision of a trained physical therapist.

1. Wrist Circles

Wrist circles excercise for wrist strengthening
Image: YouTube @HomevedaParenting

Target – Wrist flexors, extensors, pronators, and supinators.

How To Do Wrist Circles
  1. Sit or stand with your spine erect, shoulders rolled back, and look forward.
  2. Extend your hands forward at the shoulder level, and fold each palm into a fist.
  3. Keeping your elbows stationary, turn your wrists to the left, flex them up, turn to the right, and then flex down. Repeat 10 times.
  4. Reverse the direction and repeat it 10 times.
Sets And Reps

3 sets of 10 reps in each direction

2. Wrist Curl Exercise With Dumbbells

Wrist curl exercise with dumbbells
Image: YouTube @livestrongcom

Target – Wrist flexors, extensors, pronators, supinators, and brachialis.

How To Do Wrist Curl With Dumbbells
  1. To do wrist curls, sit on a bench or a chair and keep your legs shoulder-width apart. Grab a dumbbell in each hand, and place your forearms on your thighs such that your palms are facing up. Do not rest your wrists on your knees. This is the starting position.
  2. Keeping your forearms stationary, curl your wrists toward them. Hold this pose for a moment.
  3. Slowly extend your wrists back and down toward the floor.
Sets And Reps

3 sets of 10 reps

Tip: Do not use heavy weights if you are a beginner or have a wrist injury. Wear wrist support if needed.

3. Reverse Wrist Curl Exercise With Dumbbells

Reverse wrist curl exercise with dumbbells for wrist strengthening
Image: Shutterstock

Target – Wrist flexors, extensors, pronators, and supinators.

How To Do Reverse Wrist Curl With Dumbbells
  1. To do reverse wrist curls, sit on a bench or a chair and keep your legs shoulder-width apart. Grab a dumbbell in your right hand. Place your right forearm on your right thigh, with your palm facing down. Do not rest your wrist on your knee. Place your left palm on your left knee for support. This is the starting position.
  2. Keeping your forearm stationary, slowly flex your palm up and toward your body. Hold this pose for a moment.
  3. Slowly bring the right hand down, pointing toward the floor.
Sets And Reps

3 sets of 10 reps with each hand

4. Resistance Band Wrist Flexion Exercise

Resistance band wrist flexion exercise
Image: YouTube @SportsinjuryclinicNet

Target – Wrist flexors and extensors.

How To Do Resistance Band Wrist Flexion Exercise
  1. Sit on a chair, wrap a tube resistance band around your right palm, and step on the other end of the band with your right foot. Place your right elbow on your right thigh, with the palm facing up. This is the starting position.
  2. Move your fist down toward the floor. Hold this pose for a second.
  3. Flex your wrist up toward your body.
  4. Do this 10 times.
  5. Wrap the resistance band around your left hand and repeat it.
Sets And Reps

2 sets of 10 reps with each hand

5. Resistance Band Wrist Extensor Exercise

Resistance band wrist extensor exercise
Image: YouTube @SportsinjuryclinicNet

Target – Wrist flexors and extensors.

How To Do Resistance Band Wrist Extensor Exercise
  1. Sit on a chair, take a tube resistance band in your right palm, and step on the other end with your right foot. Place your right elbow on your right thigh, with the palm facing down. This is the starting position.
  2. Flex your fist up toward your body. Hold this pose for a second.
  3. Extend your wrist down toward the floor.
  4. Do this 10 times and then take the resistance band in your left hand and repeat.
Sets And Reps

2 sets of 10 reps with each hand


protip_icon Quick Tip
Try to massage your wrist, fingers, and forearms lightly to release tension, and take regular breaks to stretch.

6. Wrist Roller Exercise With A Dumbbell

Wrist roller exercise with a dumbbell
Image: YouTube @RehabMyPatient

Target – Wrist flexors and extensors.

How To Do Wrist Roller Exercise With A Dumbbell
  1. Hold a dumbbell with both hands. Keep your legs hip-width apart, elbows slightly bent, and palms facing your body.
  2. Flex your left wrist and extend your right wrist. In doing so, you will roll the dumbbell inward. Do this 10 times.
  3. Reverse the direction. Extend your left wrist and flex your right wrist. When you do this, the dumbbell will roll outward. Do this 10 times.
Sets And Reps

2 sets of 10 reps in each direction

7. Dumbbell Seated Supination And Pronation

Dumbbell seated supination and pronation
Image: YouTube @morphopedicsPT

Target – Wrist pronators and supinators.

How To Do Dumbbell Seated Supination And Pronation
  1. Sit on a chair near your dining or study table. Hold a dumbbell with your right hand and place your wrist at the edge of the table, with the palm facing down.
  2. Without moving your elbow, slowly turn your palm up toward the ceiling. Hold this pose for a second.
  3. Slowly turn your palm toward the floor.
  4. Do this 10 times and then do the same with your left hand.
Sets And Reps

2 sets of 10 reps with each hand

8. Dumbbell Radial And Ulnar Deviation

Dumbbell radial and ulnar deviation
Image: YouTube @RehabMyPatient

Target – Flexor and extensor carpi ulnaris and flexor and extensor carpi radialis.

How To Do Dumbbell Radial and Ulnar Deviation
  1. Sit or stand and hold a dumbbell in your right hand like you would to do hammer curls. Keep your hand extended at the shoulder level, and the left hand on your left thigh.
  2. Without bending your elbow, flex your wrist up toward your body. Hold this pose for a second.
  3. Slowly lower the wrist so that your knuckles point toward the ceiling.
  4. Do this 10 times.
  5. Repeat with your left hand.
Sets And Reps

2 sets of 10 reps with each hand

9. Barbell Reverse Wrist Curl Exercise

Barbell reverse wrist curl exercise
Image: YouTube @livestrongwomen

Target – Wrist flexors and extensors.

How To Do Barbell Reverse Wrist Curl Exercise
  1. Sit on a bench and hold a barbell in your hands. Your palms must be facing up, shoulders rolled back, and legs shoulder-width apart. Place your forearms on your thighs. This is the starting position.
  2. Without rolling the barbell, extend your wrists down, toward the floor. Hold this pose for a second.
  3. Flex your wrist up, toward your body.
  4. Do this 10 times to complete a set.
Sets And Reps

3 sets of 10 reps

10. Wrist Exercise With Tennis Ball

Wrist exercise with tennis ball
Image: YouTube @NehaUberoi

Target – Wrist flexors and extensors.

How To Do Wrist Exercise With Tennis Ball
  1. Hold a tennis ball with your right hand and place your right forearm on a table.
  2. Do tennis ball squeezes and count to 5.
  3. Release.
  4. Do this 10 times and repeat with your left hand.
Sets And Reps

3 sets of 10 reps

11. Wrist Strengthening Stretches

Wrist strengthening stretches
Image: YouTube @Supersisterfitness

Target – Wrist flexors and extensors.

How To Do Wrist Strengthening Stretches
  1. Kneel down and sit on your heels. Extend both your hands in front of you and ensure that they are shoulder-width apart. Flex your palms so that your fingertips point toward the floor.
  2. Keeping your wrists flexed, place the back of your palms on the floor. Apply gentle pressure and hold this pose for 30 seconds. You can fist your palms and release them while holding this pose.
  3. Release the hold after 30 seconds. Extend your wrists and turn your palms down.
  4. Place your palms on the floor and hold this pose for 30 seconds.
  5. Release and shake your hands.
Sets And Reps

2 sets of 30-second hold for each hand

12. Wrist Strengthening Plate Pinch Exercise

Wrist strengthening plate pinch exercise
Image: YouTube @ironmounties2731

Target – Wrist flexors and extensors.

How To Do Wrist Strengthening Plate Pinch Exercise
  1. Sit on a bench. Keep your legs shoulder-width apart. Place your forearms on your thighs.
  2. Hold a weight plate with your index finger, middle finger, and thumb in each hand.
  3. Pinch the weight plate with the finger for 10 seconds and then release it.
  4. Repeat.
Sets And Reps

3 sets of 3 reps

13. Wrist Grip Strengthening Exercise

Wrist grip strengthening exercise
Image: YouTube @FitnessRxMag

Target – Wrist flexors and extensors.

How To Do Wrist Grip Strengthening Exercise
  1. For this, you need a handgrip tool (as shown in the image).
  2. Hold the tool and squeeze it.
  3. Release and squeeze it again.
  4. Do the same with the other hand.
Sets And Reps

2 sets of 10 reps

14. Wrist Exercise With Putty

Wrist strengthening exercise with putty
Image: Shutterstock

Target – Pronators, supinators, wrist flexors and extensors.

How To Do Wrist Exercise With Putty
  1. Hold a ball of putty in your left palm.
  2. Pinch the putty with your right index finger and thumb and press it away. Release the pinch, turn the putty a little, and pinch it again until its edges are pinched. Do this with the other hand as well.
  3. Take a ball of putty and roll it using a rolling pin.
  4. Place your palms on the table or the surface on which the putty is placed. Place your thumbs on the putty.
  5. Press the putty in the middle with both thumbs and move them outward.
Sets And Reps

1 set of 2 exercises

15. Foam Rolling For Wrists

Foam rolling for wrists strengthening
Image: YouTube @howcast

Target – Wrist and forearm muscles.

How To Do Foam Rolling For Wrists
  1. Use a tennis or cricket ball to do this exercise/massage.
  2. Place your wrist on top of the ball, with the palm facing down.
  3. Apply a little pressure and roll your wrist and forearm in a circular motion. This will help massage the muscles and aid the rapid recovery of muscle injury.
  4. Do the same with the other hand.
Sets And Reps

2 sets of 10 circular motions with each hand

16. Prayer Stretch

prayer stretch
Image: Shutterstock

Target – Wrist flexors, extensors, supinators, pronators, and brachialis.

How To Do Prayer Stretch
  1. Kneel on a cushioned surface with knees slightly apart.
  2. Ease your hips back towards your heels.
  3. You may use a pillow between your calves and thighs for added knee support.
  4. Extend your arms forward and place your hands on the floor.
  5. Lower your upper body toward the ground.
  6. Tuck your head in and gradually move your hands forward on the mat. Hold for 10-20 seconds.
  7. Slowly return to the starting position.
Sets And Reps

3 sets of 10 reps

17. Wrist Walking

Target – Wrist flexors, pronators, extensors, supinators, and brachialis.

How To Do Wrist Walking
  1. Begin with your arms extended in front of you and wrists flexed upward.
  2. Slowly move your hands forward as you bend at the wrists to make a “walking” motion.
  3. Continue this motion for the desired duration or distance.
Sets And Reps

3 sets of 10 reps

protip_icon Quick Tip
If you have any arm injury, consult your doctor before starting hand and wrist exercises or occupational therapy exercises for wrist pain to know whether they are safe for you or not.

A good understanding of the muscles in your wrists and forearms can help you do these exercises better. Check them out below.

Wrist And Forearm Muscles Involved In Various Movements

  • Wrist Flexors – When you flex your wrist or when your palm is moved toward your forearm.
  • Wrist Extensors – When your palm moves away from the forearm.
  • Supinators – When you flip your palms up.
  • Pronators – When you flip your palms down.

Here’s a list of injuries you can prevent by adding wrist and forearm strength exercises to your daily workout routine:

  • Wrist Tendonitis – Inflammation of the tendons around the wrist joint. Wrist stretching works wonders for wrist tendonitis.
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome – occurs when the median nerve is compressed as it passes through the wrist area. Light gripping and lifting exercises may help.
  • Boxer’s Fracture – Fracture of the bones that form the knuckles. These bones are attached to all the five fingers and the wrist. Wrist extensions, side-to-side movement, grip strength training, wrist flexion and extension stretches may help in post-fracture recovery. You can also try finger exercises for wrist strength improvement, but only if your doctor recommends them.
  • Colles’ Fracture – Fracture of the radius bone of the forearm near the wrist. Post recovery, exercise therapy like supination and pronation of the wrist and grip strength exercises may work.
  • Smith’s Fracture – Fracture of the distal radius. It is just the opposite of Colles’ Post recovery, flexion, extension, and hand grip exercises that may help to achieve functional movements of the hand.
  • Tennis Elbow (Lateral epicondylitis) – An irritation of the tissue connecting the forearm muscle to the elbow. Try tennis elbow exercises for wrist strengthening. Ball squeezing, wrist stretches, and wrist strengthening exercises can help relieve this condition.
  • Golfer’s elbow (Medial epicondylitis) – Pain in the inner elbow or inflammation at the medial epicondylei  A part that sticks out at the end of a bone where tendons (strong fibrous collagen tissue) and muscles are attached. . Ball squeezing, finger extension, and wrist extension exercises may help in recovery.

Trin, a blogger, shared how she dealt with a wrist injury caused by a triangular fibrocartilage complex (TFCC) tear. She had to wear a wrist splint and perform specific stretches to improve the condition of her wrist. She shared pictures of her wrist while doing wrist curls and recommended, “To increase the mobility of these palm muscles, I’m supposed to curl my fingertips inward so that they touch my upper palm, then flex the back of my fingers upwards…If you try this stretch, make sure your fingertips stay touching your upper palm throughout the whole stretch, and don’t overdo it (i).”

Infographic: Best Wrist Strengthening Exercises To Avoid Pain & Injury

It needs strong wrists to carry out daily duties without excruciating pain. The wrist-strengthening exercises, wrist flexor exercises, and wrist extensor exercises mentioned in the infographic below target the brachialis, forearm, wrist, supinators, pronators, extensors, and extensor muscles of the wrist. Regular practice of these wrist exercises for carpal tunnel syndrome, tennis elbow, wrist fractures, and inflammation of the wrist tendons can help.

best wrist strengthnin exercise to avoid injury (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

Having strong wrists is essential to perform everyday tasks without reeling in pain. The wrist-strengthening exercises listed above work on your wrist flexors, supinators, pronators, extensors, brachialis, forearm, and wrist muscles. Doing these wrist mobility exercises regularly can help prevent the inflammation of wrist tendons, carpal tunnel syndrome, tennis elbow, and several fractures associated with the wrist. You can do most of these workouts at home, provided you have a pair of dumbbells and a resistance band. However, if you have a wrist injury, do these exercises only after fully recovering from it, that too under the supervision of a physiotherapist.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is my wrist so weak?

You may develop wrist weakness due to carpal tunnel syndrome, arthritis, tennis elbow, ganglion cystsi  Non-cancerous lumps that most commonly develop along the tendons and joints of the wrists or hands. , or injuries.

Can wrist ligaments repair themselves?

Yes, mild to moderate wrist ligament injuries will gradually heal on their own with home remedies. Wrist rehab exercises and wrist stability exercises can help. Major wrist ligament injuries will require medical intervention.

What does a torn tendon in your wrist feel like?

If you experience pain, swelling, bruising, and difficulty moving the wrists, chances are you have torn a tendon in your wrist. Consult your doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Key Takeaways

  • Injuries or inherently weak wrists are susceptible to pain and show a lack of required mobility.
  • You can follow certain simple exercises aimed at strengthening your wrist by curling, extending, flexing, or rotating your wrists.
  • Simple exercises provide enough support to and massage the affected muscles that enable them to recover quickly.
wrist strengthening exercises

Image: Stable Diffusion/StyleCraze Design Team

Looking to strengthen your wrists without hitting the gym? Look no further! This inspiring video explains a series of home-based exercises to build wrist strength, and improve overall stability. Get ready to elevate your fitness game and watch the video now!

Personal Experience: Source

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Dr. Sudhansu Singh is a Physiotherapist, Sports and Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist, and Neuro Physiotherapist with 8 years of experience. He is a member of the Federation of Indian Manual Therapists (FIMT) and an active member of the Delhi Council of Physiotherapy and FIMT Australia Association.

Read full bio of Dr. Sudhansu Singh