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Why Your Wrists Hurt After Doing Push-Ups

Updated: Sep 28, 2020

Regular exercise has a fantastic impact on your physical and emotional well-being. With strength training and cardio, you can improve your heart health, lose weight, build muscle, and relieve stress, for example. However, it would be best if you tailor your exercise regimen to your needs. Although you’ll need to push yourself to make progress, you shouldn’t experience pain while exercising.

Push-ups are one of the most popular forms of exercise. While they may be challenging, they’re a great way to build upper body strength and strengthen the core and lower back muscles. Whether you’re completing reps at the gym or working out at home, incorporating push-ups into your repertoire can help you to achieve your fitness goals.

There is one common issue that prevents people from hitting their push up target, however.

If you experience wrist pain while doing push-ups, it’s essential to address the cause and rectify it. To prevent injury and enhance your performance, take a look at these common causes of wrist pain during push-ups:

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Blue and Gray Stethoscope

1. Undiagnosed medical condition

If you’ve recently started working out or the pain in your wrist occurred suddenly, it’s important to check that you’re not suffering from an undiagnosed medical condition. There are many reasons why wrist pain can occur, such as carpal tunnel syndrome, stress fractures, or even a cyst. By consulting with a medical practitioner, you can confirm that you don’t have any underlying condition and that it’s safe for you to continue working out.

Related: Micro Workouts, Macro Benefits for Muscle Building and Stamina

Person holding hand

2. Lack of joint mobility

If your joints lack flexibility, it could be why you’re experiencing discomfort in the wrist when performing push-ups. That is a common issue for beginners, but it’s certainly something that you can resolve. Similarly, if you spend a lot of time on a computer or laptop, you might find that you experience limited joint mobility in the wrist, which might explain why you experience wrist pain.

Exercising the joints and focusing on wrist extensions can help to improve flexibility. By spending just 2-5 minutes extending the joint before your next push up session, you can help to minimize pain and discomfort. Oscillate your hands in and out and change directions regularly for maximum effect. By doing so, you’ll improve joint flexibility and enable your wrists to bear your weight when doing push-ups.

Related: Joint Mobility

Push-up on the floor

3. Improper form

No matter what type of exercise you’re doing, it’s vital to check your form. When you’re performing a strength training exercise, you won’t get the benefit if you don’t use the correct form. What’s more, you significantly increase the risk of sustaining an injury.

When doing push-ups, your hands should be shoulder-width apart or just slightly wider. Keep your fingers splayed, with your middle finger pointing directly in front of you. As you push your body up, don’t try to lock your elbows. Instead, use your muscles to complete the movement. When lowering your body, bring your arms to a 45-degree angle before repeating the movement.

Remember – your back should remain flat during a push-up, which means your body should form a straight line. In addition to this, you’ll want to engage your core to ensure you get maximum strength training benefits.

Person stretching her arms

4. Forgetting to warm up

Warming up is an essential part of exercising, even if you only intend to do a few reps. If you fail to warm up before working out, you increase the risk of injury. When you don’t warm up before doing push-ups, your muscles aren’t going to be as engaged as they could be when you’re starting. That means you’re more likely to strain your joints, including your wrists, instead of your muscles.

By doing so, you’ll expose your wrists to unnecessary wear and tear. Ultimately, this could be a simple reason as to why you’re experiencing discomfort in your wrists when you’re working out. Fortunately, it’s effortless to rectify the cause of the problem. Commit to doing an active warm-up before completing your reps, and wrist discomfort will be a thing of the past.

5. You lack strength

Although push-ups may look easy, you’ll soon find out just how tricky they can be! If you’re new to working out or you’re recovering from an unrelated injury, you may not currently have the strength you need to complete a full set of reps. If so, there’s no need to worry.

Modifying the exercise will enable you to benefit from doing push-ups without putting excess strain on your body. Instead of keeping your hands and toes on the ground when you push up, try keeping your hands, knees, and feet on the ground instead. Alternatively, consider elevating your upper body to reduce the percentage of body weight on your wrists.

As you gain strength, you’ll be able to complete more reps and sets of your modified push-ups. In time, you’ll be strong enough to switch to regular push-ups without experiencing wrist pain.

Get Maximum Benefits from Your Push Up Routine

When you make push-ups a core part of your fitness regimen, you’ll notice a wide range of benefits. As one of the most effective ways to flex your triceps, deltoids, pecs, serratus anterior, and abdominal muscles, push-ups are a great way to boost strength in multiple areas using just one simple exercise.

Furthermore, you can do push-ups anywhere, which means they’re supremely flexible and convenient. With PushApp, you can refine your regimen and boost your motivation. With custom reminders, variable pace difficulty, and bespoke goal setting, you can create a tailor-made regimen that helps you to achieve your fitness goals.

Regular exercise is the key to success, so make the most of the neuro-cognitive benefits PushApp offers. Using timely reminders and daily incentives to keep you motivated, PushApp makes it easier than ever to reach your target.

Ready to boost your push-up routine? Get PushApp now.

Related: PushApp Available on the Apple App Store!