Forewarned Forearm

We have been talking about the issue of preventative care in the last couple of issues. Today I want to have a look at the very important FOREARM AND WRIST.

Yet again being forewarned can strengthen and safeguard the forearm and wrist to avoid possible tendinopathies.

All the time I see individuals starting a recreational sport or activity without considering the muscles and joints in use. Examples of this is dusting off that tennis racquet, which has been in the cupboard since varsity days or entering the world of fame with repetitive piano lessons. At the other end of this, are some athletes in training, performing multiple sets of press ups, chin ups, dips, tennis and squash players etc, where there are repetitive wrist and forearm action - (extensions, rotations).

Sometimes periodised programs don’t allow enough cross training adjustments, which add diversity to prevent injury. So soon there are complaints about pain on the outside of the elbow, with varying degrees of swelling, and this then is “Tennis Elbow” (lateral epicondylitis).

Although it is an “itis” condition, research has shown that it is more due to degenerative changes than an inflammatory process.

Like with most activity it is always advisable to progress slowly and let your body adjust to the specific movements you are engaging in. Often incorrect execution of movement leads to strain on wrists (collapsing wrists on the lift due to a weight that’s too heavy). Good form is ALWAYS key.

So, what now, if you are in this painful situation already?

Obviously minimize the activities that aggravate the discomfort. Seeking advice from your physical therapist or trainer (stretching exercises, massage techniques, ice packs, ultrasound, acupuncture) If you are already past these steps, then your physician will administer anti-inflammatory meds or even corticosteroid injections or other.

But our concern here and now is to offer preventative ways to assist you in strengthening your forearms and wrists and possibly avoid all the expensive and traumatic events that follow weaknesses.

  1. One of my favorite exercises for wrist and forearm is in warm water – whether in an aquatic training session or in your bath – equally effective. With palms facing down, form a tight fist. After a good strong squeeze, extend fingers out, separate the straight fingers as wide as you can, bring them together again and flex the fingers back into a fist. Repeat 10 times.

  2. With arms straight out in front of your body (in water try cover shoulders and arms to reap benefits) flex your wrists up, hold, and extend wrists down, and hold. Repeat 10 times.

  3. “Stress balls” – why not do a tight squeeze and hold for ten repetitions while watching your favorite television show?

  4. Most individuals have an exercise band somewhere inside the house. (Still in front of your television) place the band under your feet and rest your arms on your upper thighs while sitting on a chair. Forearms are on your thighs with palms facing downward; wrist about four inches away from knees. The two ends of the band are each in a hand. Extend the wrists fully, tightening the bands tension to enable full extension. Elbows stay put on thighs throughout all ten repetitions (repeat 2-3 times). This reverse wrist curl movement can be repeated with the palms facing upward in the same manner (wrist curls)

  5. Same position as above also can be used for the wrist hammer curls (thumbs pointing upward)

The moral of this story is to analyze which activities you are starting (responsible in the moment living) or which activities you are already engaging in, maybe of repetitive nature; or which areas are simply weaker than the rest of the body’s structure.

So now, after having engaged in these exercises for a period, you can think of doing that paint job that you have been putting off for months…………….

#Tennis #squash #wristinjury #elbowinjury #ElsaStorm #personaltrainer #fitnesstrainer #expert