Your wrists are crucial for lifting, gripping, and twisting. Push-ups put a lot of pressure on your wrists when your hands are placed flat against the ground. Using wrist support for push ups can help to prevent wrist injuries by giving the wrists more stability and balance and stopping your wrist joints from overextending.
Why Do You Feel Wrist Pain During Pushups?
When performing a push-up, you need to use your upper and lower body to perform the movement correctly. Alongside your upper body muscles, your hips and core are used to maintain a straight, stable body position.
If you feel your lower body touching the ground too early, it's a sign that you're not engaging your hips properly. Make sure to keep a straight body position whilst focusing on engaging your lower body throughout the whole movement.
Alongside not engaging your hips, flaring your elbows out when lowering your body to the floor also puts unnecessary pressure on your wrist joints. This is quite a common issue, especially for beginners who find flaring their elbows out much easier than keeping them bent back and closer to their sides.
Flaring your elbows out during a push-up can also be bad for your shoulder and elbow joints. To fix this, keep your elbows at around a 45-degree angle whilst bending them back when lowering your body to the ground.
A good way to check your form is to use a camera or ask a friend to check.
Even if your push-up form is good, you should perform a good wrist and hand warm-up before your exercise session. This allows your wrist and hands to get loose and be ready to perform push-ups alongside other gym exercises.
Rotate each finger and thumb in a circle a few times each way. Make sure you're only moving one finger or thumb at a time. If you're finding this difficult, it's a sign that you need to warm up more and this could be why you're feeling wrist pain.
A common cause of wrist pain during push-ups is incorrect hand positioning. Placing your wrists too far in front, too far to the side, or at the wrong angle relative to your body increases the pressure on your wrist joint. This increased pressure can cause wrist pain that won't go away unless you fix your hand positioning.
Your hands should be facing forward, with each finger and thumb firmly on the ground. Lifting your fingers up and cupping your hand both exert more pressure on your wrist joint. When your arms are extended, make sure your wrists are directly under your shoulders.
Use your core
To perform a push-up correctly, your core needs to be engaged throughout the whole movement. If you’re not using your core or it isn't strong enough, you're putting more pressure on your wrist and increasing the chance of wrist pain.
If you notice your hips sagging or your back moving when you're lowering down to the ground, it’s a sign that you're not engaging your core or you need to strengthen it. Before lowering down, take a breath in and try to tense your core area. Use your abdominal muscles to pull your belly button up and in against your breath. It takes a bit of practice but you should notice a difference fairly quickly.
Simplifying your push-ups whilst performing core exercises such as planks is a good way to take a step back and limit the damage to your wrists. Start with half planks on your forearms and progress to full planks.
How to Support Your Wrists During Pushups
Whilst wrist pain may be painful and annoying at times, it doesn't have to stop you from doing push-ups completely. There are lots of ways you can support your wrists and stop the pain. Here is how to do push ups without hurting wrists and other joints.
Use push-up bars
Using push-up bars is a great way to keep your wrists straight and take some pressure off your wrist joints. The positioning of the push-up handles relative to the floor force you to keep your wrists in a straight position rather than at awkward angles.
Performing static holds with your hands placed on the bar is a great way to practice the correct top movement and how to recruit the correct muscles before lowering your body down. You can also use dumbbells or kettlebells if you don't have access to push-up bars.
Use exercises to build wrist strength
Even if you're not experiencing wrist pain when doing push ups, performing daily stretches and strengthening exercises can increase your wrist flexibility and build strength.
The following exercises can be done at home or at the gym with little equipment and time:
1. Make a fist and hold. Open your hand and stretch your fingers as far as possible. Repeat 8-10 times with each hand.
2. Squeeze a tennis ball or equivalent ball for 10 seconds. Repeat 3 times on each hand.
3. Extend one arm out in front of you and turn your hand so your fingertips and facing down with your palms open. Using your other hand, pull your fingers and thumb down until you feel a stretch. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat 3 times for each hand.
4. Place your hands in a prayer position in the middle of your chest. Move them down until they start separating. Hold briefly and repeat 8-10 times.
The health of your wrists is crucial for a wide variety of gym and everyday movements besides just push-ups. Wearing a wrist brace for push ups offers a convenient, cost-effective way to provide your wrists with the support and balance they need, keeping them strong and healthy.
They work by preventing your wrists from overextending throughout the push-up movement. They also give you time to keep strengthening your wrist and other push-up muscles whilst focusing on the correct technique.
If you're looking for a pair of high-quality, durable wrist wraps that provide push up wrist support and come at a great price point, the WARM BODY COLD MIND Premium Velcro Weight Lifting Wrist Wraps are an excellent option.
Professionally designed to offer the best wrist support for push ups, these lifting wrist wraps are suitable for a wide range of intense, dynamic exercises from weightlifting, fitness, and powerlifting, including push-ups.
The conveniently designed wrist wraps allow you to use the elastic strap and heavy-duty velcro fastener to easily slide the wraps over your wrists and securely fasten them in place. The thumb loops keep the wraps from moving and keep your wrists protected, preventing unnecessary injuries.
The quality cotton and reinforced cross stitching keep the wraps from breaking easily even with repeated, intense use.
Overall, the WARM BODY COLD MIND Premium Velcro Weight Lifting Wrist Wraps are a great, affordable option that provides you with the push-up support and confidence you need to improve your push-up technique and performance.
Can push-ups damage wrists?
The push-up movement results in extension and compression of the wrist joint which puts a lot of strain and pressure on the wrists. Whilst this is common, long-term damage shouldn't result if you correct what's causing it.
Check your technique, perform regular warm-ups and wrist strengthening exercises, and use wrist support such as wrist wraps where needed.
Will wrist wraps help with push-ups?
Wrist wraps are designed to provide support and protect your wrists from injuries in movements like the push-up. By preventing your wrist joints from over-extending, they help you to focus on the correct technique cues so you don't feel wrist pain in the future.
How do I protect my wrists when doing planks?
Before doing planks, make sure to do the wrist warm-up and strength exercises mentioned above. When doing planks, focus on the correct technique cues such as keeping your wrists, shoulders, and fingers aligned and correctly engaging your hips and core.
Using wrist support for planks will provide the extra stability and balance needed to support your wrist joints when putting them under increased pressure.
Conclusion - Do You Need Wrist Wraps for Push ups?
If you feel wrist pain when you're doing push-ups, using wrist wraps gives your wrists the stability needed when they are under a lot of pressure during the press-up movement.
They prevent your wrists from overextending and allow you to focus on other important factors such as warming up before, using the correct technique and hand positioning, and engaging your full body throughout the movement.
Have you experienced wrist pain before? What do you think of wrist wraps? Let me know!
- How to Do Push-Ups: Proper Form, Variations, and Common Mistakes // VeryWellFit: https://www.verywellfit.com/the-push-up-exercise-3120574
- 15 Plank Variations You Haven’t Tried but Need to ASAP // HealthLine: https://www.healthline.com/health/14-plank-variations-your-core-will-thank-you-for-later#3.-Forearm-plank
- 11 Ways to Strengthen Your Wrists // HealthLine: https://www.healthline.com/health/how-to-strengthen-wrists#tips
My name is Ihor and I have been a professional weightlifter since 1996. With over 20 years of competition experience, my resume includes European Champion in 2009 and the silver medalist at 2011's Senior World Championships – 105kg division.
I competed at the 2008, 2012 and 2016 Summer Olympics.
After hanging up my own competitive lifting shoes, I decided to share my huge background as a coach. I am currently coaching multiple athletes who are competing at national and international competitions.