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Should I strap my wrists when I train?

Physio West | Physiotherapy, exercise therapy and massage services in Adelaide, South Australia.

 

Should I strap my wrists when I train? It’s a question that we hear a lot from patients visiting the clinic. It’s usually driven by a feeling of ‘weak’ or ‘sloppy’ wrists’ when lifting or exercising.

 

For a lot of people, the first point of call is to go out a buy/find something that will provide them with a sense of stability. A quick lick of sports tape or a standard wrist brace from the pharmacy might do the job. But, by doing this is the underlying issue being addressed?

 

For a lot of regular gym goers (or more fittingly for the moment… home exercisers) the purchase of these supports can be premature. In particular, for those who have no history of a wrist injury, instability, or pain; other methods should be given a chance to succeed first.

 

In this population that feeling of ‘sloppiness’ is likely attributable to a variety of factors – lack of wrist control/strength, lack of tissue capacity to deal with the task required, and/or a lack of familiarity or exposure to the troubling exercise.

 

Consequently, by strapping or bracing the wrists to help meet the demands of the exercise, it might mask the issue, rather than truly address it.

 

So how best can we address the issue? Next time your exercising and finding your wrists are struggling with certain exercises, give these ideas a go –

  • Change the weight of the exercise and see how this changes what you feel.
  • Consider your exercise routine, does it have any wrist specific exercises in it? If the answer is no, try adding some into the program and see what happens (if you need ideas, check out our IG page for some goodies).
  • What positions are the wrists in during the exercise? Change it up! For example, if your deadlifting try palms up, palms down, one palm up and one palm down, how does this change what you feel?
  • If it’s a new exercise that the wrists are struggling with, just try giving it some time. Don’t rush to change the exercise, trust that your wrists and body will adapt as the exercise becomes more familiar.

So what’s the answer to the question – Should I strap my wrists when I train?

 

For some, in particular, those with significant wrist injury histories or genuine instabilities, strapping and bracing might be the best way to go. But, for the many, including most of us gym-goers (and home exercisers) these supports are unnecessary, particularly as the first point of call.

 

If you need help with your wrist, we can help. Book an appointment below and let’s work together.

 


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