Wrist Exercises With Rubber Balls
The muscles and tendons in your wrist work in tandem with those in your hands and forearms to provide grip strength and support as you lift items, carry them or exercise with weights. Exercising with a rubber ball can help build strength in your wrist and grip, which can increase the number of repetitions you can do when lifting weights, keeping your wrists and hands from becoming exhausted before the rest of your arms. It can also be effective for people recovering from a wrist injury or for those with arthritis. Check with your doctor to determine the proper exercises for your wrist.
Squeezing a rubber ball can help strengthen weak muscles on the inside and sides of your wrist. Start with a soft stress ball and squeeze it 10 times, holding the squeeze for five seconds each time. Work up to three sets, then use progressively firmer balls, ending with a racquetball or a rubber ball of similar firmness. Skip the exercise for at least two days if you experience pain or swelling in your wrist, then go back to the softest ball to resume squeezing after asking your doctor to approve the return to exercise.
Wrist curls can combine the isometric squeeze with a weighted motion exercise to build your wrist strength. Use a weighted rubber ball and place the back of your forearm across your thigh for support. Lift your wrist, curling your hand in toward your forearm while holding the ball tightly, squeezing it at the top of the lift. Lower your wrist as far as you can while keeping your forearm parallel to the floor. Start with one set of 10 repetitions and increase to three sets. Flip your forearm over so your palm is facing down, then repeat the exercise. For more intensity, use heavier weighted balls. Cease the wrist curls if your wrist hurts during or after the exercise or if you notice swelling. Ask your doctor if you should wait to resume the exercise or try again with a lighter weight.
Wrist circles can increase your wrist flexibility and range of motion. Hold your hands out in front of you while holding unweighted rubber balls in each one. Grip the balls tightly to engage the muscles in your wrist, then rotate your hands, making circles in the air. Only your wrists should move. Continue for 10 circles, then change the direction for 10 circles. Use weighted rubber balls when approved by your doctor, increasing the weight gradually. Stop the exercise if you notice wrist pain or swelling.
Stretching your wrists helps the muscles regain flexibility. Pull back on the fingers of one hand using your other hand, pulling them toward your forearm. Stretch until you feel a slight tension, then hold for 15 seconds. Repeat with the other hand. Move your hand forward and push down on the back of the hand so the fingers reach toward the inside of your forearm. Hold for 15 seconds with each arm. You can also use a table to help stretch your wrists. Stand in front of a table and place your hands flat along the edge near your body. Lean forward slightly to stretch the inside of your wrists. Turn your palms over so the back of your hands are on the table with your wrists facing outward, then lean forward again. Hold each stretch for 15 seconds.