Planks are highly effective in burning fat and torching calories-do any set of plank exercises and you’ll quickly be sweating and feel your core screaming. It’s a great functional exercise that works multiple muscle groups, however, it is common for people to complain of wrist pain or discomfort while performing plank.
If you have wrist or hand pain while in plank, it could mean a few things, poor form or alignment is most common.
When you’re holding plank, your wrist is at a 90-degree angle to your forearm. A lot of people simply don’t have the range of motion (wrist extension) or flexibility at the wrist joint to hold this position comfortably, especially for a long period of time. You are putting the wrist joint into full extension while weight bearing, so this is a position your body is not use to handling.
4 Tips to improve wrist pain in plank:
1.) Take note of your form and alignment. Your hands should be directly underneath your shoulder (not too far in, forward or too far out). Do NOT round your shoulders- shoulders should be retracted. Place palms flat on the mat, do not lift your fingers, rotate your hands in/out or put more weight on either side of the hand. Make sure your core and glutes (buttocks) are engaged! Planks truly are a full body workout.
2.) Warm up with a wrist extension stretch before going into plank. Straighten your left elbow in front of you with your palm to the ceiling. Next take your right hand and gently stretch/pull left fingers/hand down so you are stretching the part of the wrist/forearm that is facing the ceiling. Hold this for 20 seconds and do 5 times. You can also do some active range of motion of the wrist as well.
3.) Place a towel under hand (wrist not in full extension). Fold a small towel and place underneath your hand, so your wrist is no longer in full extension at a 90-degree angle.
4.) Modify! There are a few different options to modify the plank position to make it easier on your wrist. You can go down to your elbows or use a step stool so you are slightly elevated and place forearms on the stool.
Now that you know the correct form and options to modify your workout, try some plank exercises again! Planks are an effective and challenging full body exercise, but wrist pain is not something you should have when doing them. Try these tips out and let me know how it goes!
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