Wrist Pain Rehab-5-Minute Daily Exercises

Article by Lucas Rockwood


Do you have wrist pain from doing yoga, push-ups, or gym workouts? If so, this article is for you. Your wrist is an incredibly sophisticated joint, but since many of us go from very little use to overuse in a hurry, injuries in this area are common.

The five-minute rehab exercises presented in this article are designed to progressively load the soft tissues of your wrists. Just as calluses form on your hands from manual labor, the connective tissues of your TFCC will similarly strengthen and stabilize if you carefully train them.

Do you have wrist pain from doing yoga, push-ups, or gym workouts? If so, this article is for you.

Your wrist is an incredibly sophisticated joint, but since many of us go from very little use to overuse in a hurry, injuries in this area are common.

The five-minute rehab exercises presented in this video are designed to progressively load the soft tissues of your wrists. Just as callouses form on your hands from manual labor, the connective tissues in your wrist will similarly strengthen and stabilize if you carefully train them.


Anatomy of the Wrist

Your forearm has two bones, the radius and ulna, which articulate with the carpal bones in your wrist. Unlike where the radius meets the carpal bones, there is a notable, triangular gap between your ulna and wrist bones. This gap is filled with tendons, ligaments, and cartilage, referred to collectively as the triangular fibrocartilage complex (TFCC). When overused, inflamed, or damaged from stress or impact, pain and instability can be so severe here that weight bearing might not be possible in the short term.


How to Heal an Injured Wrist

In the first week or two after injury, bracing, wrapping, and reducing movement can be helpful, but as soon as you’re past that acute phase it’s important that you rehabilitate the joint through progressive strengthening. The best way to heal strong is with isometric loading. The rehab exercises presented here are designed to progressively load the soft tissues of your wrists.


Corrective Exercises

These exercises are split into two separate routines designed to be practiced on alternate days. The routine should only take about five minutes and can be done before or after exercise.

Download PDF pose chart


Day 1 – Push/Pull Exercises

Compression Plank
Keep your wrists in a neutral alignment avoiding abduction, adduction, flexion, or extension throughout this exercise.

  • Fold your fingers in half, with your thumb sticking out
  • Place your finger fists on the floor, thumbs out for balance
  • Option 1: stay here, lean forward
  • Option 2: move your knees back in a half push-up
  • Option 3: step your feet back to a high plank
  • Aim for 5/10 intensity
  • Hold for one minute

Decompression Hang
The first pose compressed your wrists, this exercise focuses on decompression. You can use a door frame, a pull-up bar, gymnastics rings, or Yoga Trapeze handles – just make sure your feet are on the floor for support.

  • Hook your fingers over a door or door frame or grab a pull-up bar, rings, or Yoga Trapeze handles
  • Option 1: feet flat, straighten your arms, use your legs for support
  • Option 2: tip toes, straight arms, less leg support
  • Option 3: legs up, straight arms, hang here
  • Engage your muscles throughout, this is not a passive hang
  • Aim for 5/10 intensity
  • Hold for one minute


Day 2 – Loaded Range of Motion Exercises

Gorilla Hands
This pose develops soft tissue strength in full wrist flexion.

  • Flex your wrists and place the backs of your hands on the mat
  • Point your fingers toward your knees
  • Spread your fingers, straighten your arms, and lean your weight forward
  • Aim for 5/10 intensity
  • Hold for one minute

Reverse Dog
This pose develops soft tissue strength in full wrist extension.

  • Spread your fingers as wide as you can
  • Rotate your hands to the outside
  • Point your fingers toward your knees
  • Keep your palms down on the mat
  • Lean back to increase intensity
  • Aim for 5/10 intensity
  • Hold for one minute

Soup Can Tops
This pose develops soft tissue strength in abduction.

  • Squeeze your hands into fists
  • Imagine your fists are soup cans
  • Place the tops of the soup cans down on the mat
  • Lean forward and straddle your fists as much as you need to
  • Straighten your arms
  • Aim for 5/10 intensity
  • Hold for one minute

Soup Can Bottoms
This pose develops soft tissue strength in adduction.

  • Squeeze your hands into fists
  • Imagine your fists are soup cans
  • Place the bottoms of the soup cans down on the mat
  • Lean forward and straddle your fists as much as you need to
  • Bend or straighten your arms as needed to make it work
  • Aim for 5/10 intensity
  • Hold for one minute

Wrist Exercises & Pain

Keep the movements slow and controlled and if you feel pain, stop. If you have a major wrist injury see a doctor. Always check with a medical practitioner before you begin any self-care routine.


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