As always, please be aware of your own health and try these exercises at your own risk. This information is not substitute for medical advice and please seek professional care if you need it.

Taking care of your wrist

     The wrists are very crucial to being able to effectively use our upper bodies. With the rise of computer use in the workplace, we have seen a rise in wrist related injury increase to 25% of the computer using population. For those who spin props as well as work at the computer, special care should be taken to care for wrists on a daily basis as to reduce the possibility of injury. There are also specific things we can do as spinners to treat our wrists well as we work on improving our skills.

     For many props, instructors will be mindful to repeatedly mention having a loose grip on the prop. Not only does a looser grip allow for smoother movement, but the force of a grip can impact the wrist. A tight, vise-like grip on a prop while trying to rotate the wrist and spinning compounds the stress placed on your wrist. Relaxing as you grip your prop can have immediate changes to your flow. This especially applies to heavier props as you may have an urge to hold them tighter at times to to remain in control.  However, please make sure you are still physically able to wield a heavier prop safely as added weight to a prop will be felt in your wrists immediately and after you cease spinning. Conversely, healthy grip strength is something that can be fostered and this will have a positive impact on wrist health.

     When spinning, there are times when it is important to take frequent breaks. Some individuals naturally use their wrists more when spinning and other technical moves sometimes require wrists to move in unconventional positions. Being aware of these personal movements can let you know when you need to take a break to relax your wrists. Like the shoulder muscles, there is common fatigue one experiences from actively using their wrists and then there is unhealthy strain we can feel from causing our wrists to move in ways they do not want to go. This feeling is an individual one which must be discovered by each person, however if you are experiencing continual pain and limited movement please consult a trained professional.

Stretches to work out the wrist

     There are different tools available to buy to promote wrist health as well as some activities you can do own your own. Some of these tools, such as braces, can be used to address wrist issues  when they occur and try to prevent unnecessary strain. For promoting grip strength, there are some tools you squeeze and some you extend your fingers against resistance. These can be found in most exercise stores and online.

Wrist Extensor Stretch

     With straightened elbows and palm facing the sky, gently pull down your fingers with your other hand until you feel resistance. You should feel a light stretch, but do not try to induce a more severe stretching sensation.

Hold for 10-15 seconds. Repeat with your other wrist for three sets.

Wrist Flexor Stretch

     With straightened elbows and palm facing the ground, gently pull down your fingers with your other hand until you feel resistance. Again, you should feel a light stretch but should not try to induce a more severe stretching sensation.

Hold for 10-15 seconds. Repeat with your other wrist for three sets.

Figure 8

     Wrist figure eights: Begin with your elbows bent and your hands in front of you, like you were holding a tray. Begin to draw sideways figure eights with your hands allowing your wrists to move. The palms will alternate between being up and down. Reverse the direction of circling after 10 to 12 reps.

Wall Push

     Push a wall: Start with your hands in loose fists just below your shoulders. Spread your finger wide as you push an imaginary wall away from you, feeling the power of your arms from your shoulders to your fingertips. Bring your hands back to starting position and repeat 10 times.

Tennis Ball Grip

     Squeeze a tennis ball in your hand as hard as possible without causing pain or discomfort. Hold for 5-10 seconds. Repeat 8-10 times.