The Best Physical Therapy Exercises for Wrist Pain (Olympic Weightlifting, CrossFit, Handstands)
There really are no best exercises when it comes to physical therapy. The best exercises are going to depend on the individual, how advanced they are with their training, how irritable they are and what they're trying to get back to.
With that being said, here are some of my favorites that I use regularly with my patients who have wrist pain and want to get back to training in the gym. I've categorized the exercises from easy up to advanced. If you want to see the rationale behind why I chose these exercises you can watch the FPF episode below"
Without further ado, here are (in my opinion) the best physical therapy exercises for wrist pain in folks that want to get back to Olympic Weightlifting, CrossFit, Push-ups or Handstands:
1) Back of Wrist Pushups
2) Wrist Up (on knees)
3) Wrist Curl
4) Wrist Curl (into fingertips)
5 Wrist Rocks On Hand: Knees Down
6) Wrist Rocks On Paralletts: Knees Down
1) Plank Shoulder Taps
2) Wrist Up in Plank
3) Turkish Sit-ups
4) Reverse Crawl
6) Lateral Inchworm
7) Handstand Hold (Wall Facing)
8) Handstand Floater (Back to Wall)
9) Wall Facing Handstand Floater
10) Supine Wrist Curl (With Compression)
11) Supine Wrist Curl (With Compression) Into Fingertips
12) Wrist Rocks in Pike
1) Wall Walks
2) Lateral Wall Walks (back to wall)
3) Lateral Wall Walks (wall facing)
4) Wall Facing Weight Shifts
5) Wall Facing Weight Shift with Palm Lifts
6) Shoulder Taps in Handstand
7) Single Arm Handstand Holds
8) Overhead Squat
9) Snatch Balance
So there you have it! My favorite physical therapy exercises for folks trying to get out of wrist pain and back to Olympic Lifting, CrossFit, Powerlifting and performing handstands and pushups.
Listen and Subscribe to the Podcast:
You can listen to the podcast and subscribe with any of the links below.
Show Notes / Relevant Articles:
- FPF Mini Course - 7 Reasons Why Injuries Happen in the Gym and What to do About it
- The Ultimate Front Rack Mobility Guide
- The Best Exercises for Front Rack Mobility (Clean, Front Squat, Jerks, Thrusters)
- Assessing and Correcting Overhead Mobility for Better Overhead Lifts
- Physical Therapy Treatment for Wrist Pain | Olympic Lifting, CrossFit, Powerlifting: FPF Show Episode 32
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Dan Pope DPT, OCS, CSCS
- Nasr LA, Koay J. Kienbock Disease. [Updated 2021 Aug 11]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK536991/
- Shehab R, Mirabelli MH. Evaluation and diagnosis of wrist pain: a case-based approach. Am Fam Physician. 2013 Apr 15;87(8):568-73. Erratum in: Am Fam Physician. 2013 Oct 1;88(7):427. PMID: 23668446.
- Nance EM, Byun DJ, Endo Y, Wolfe SW, Lee SK. Dorsal Wrist Pain in the Extended Wrist-Loading Position: An MRI Study. J Wrist Surg. 2017;6(4):276-279. doi:10.1055/s-0037-1599829
- Tawfik A, Katt BM, Sirch F, et al. A Study on the Incidence of Hand or Wrist Injuries in CrossFit Athletes. Cureus. 2021;13(3):e13818. Published 2021 Mar 11. doi:10.7759/cureus.13818