Whether you’re slaving away at a computer, using a smartphone to scroll through Facebook, or even just driving home from the office, everyday life can quickly take its toll on your hands and wrists. Over time, repetitive motions can begin to cause weakness – especially in the colder months. Thankfully, practising a few simple yoga exercises can help to prevent injury. Not only can these exercises keep your fingers flexible, they also strengthen the muscles to keep pain and discomfort at bay. Below, we explore a few simple yoga poses for your hands and wrists. Before getting started, it’s important to pick up some comfortable yoga gear to practice in.
To practice Praying Pose, stand tall with your palms together as if you are praying. Bring both elbows to-gether until they are touching. Your hands should be held in front of your face. Keeping your palms pressed together, begin to draw your elbows apart. As you do so, lower your hands until they are in line with your waist. If the stretch begins to feel uncomfortable before your hands are in front of your belly button, hold your current position, instead of continuing to lower your palms. You are in Praying Pose. Hold the posture for 30 seconds before separating your palms and lowering your arms back down to your sides.
Whether you are relaxing on the sofa or busy in the office, Clenched Fist Pose is simple to practice. Better still, the posture can be conducted whilst you are sitting down! When you’re seated, place both hands on your thighs with your palms facing upwards. Next, slowly close your hands into fists. For best results, it’s important not to clench too tightly. Keeping your forearms touching your legs, lift your fists off of your thighs and bend them back towards your body. You are in Clenched Fist Pose. Hold the stretch for around 10 seconds before lowering your hands and opening your fists. Repeat this stretch up to ten times.
Figure Eight Pose is another great posture for strengthening your hands and wrists. To start the pose, place both hands in front of your body and interlace your fingers. Keeping your elbows touching your sides, begin to move your hands in a figure eight motion. For best results, ensure your wrists are rotating fully. You are in Figure Eight Pose. Continue with the motion for around 15 seconds before parting your hands. After resting for a couple of seconds, the pose can be repeated – providing that it feels comfortable to do so.
While you’re practising Figure Eight Pose, there is another stretch you can use to benefit the hands and wrists. Remaining seated, raise both arms above your head and interlace your fingers once again. Keeping your fingers interlaced, rotate the wrists so that your palms are facing the ceiling. If you’re a beginner, you may find it easier to keep your arms slightly bent rather than straightening them. Hold the stretch for around 20 seconds before parting your hands and bringing your arms down. Much like Figure Eight Pose, this stretch can be repeated after a short rest.
A variation of the renowned ‘Eagle Pose’, Eagle Arms Pose works to strengthen the hands and wrists. To begin, extend both arms forward, keeping them parallel to the ground. Next, gently place your right arm over your left. Bending at the elbows, place your right elbow in the crook of your left. Next, bring the backs of your hands together until they are touching. Gently press your right hand to the right and your left hand to the left, so that the thumb of your right-hand passes the little finger on your left. Your palms should now be facing each other. If possible, press your palms together as you lengthen your fingers towards the ceiling. You are in Eagle Arms Pose. Hold the posture for around 20 seconds whilst breathing deeply.
Ideal for both strengthening and stretching the hands and wrists, Cobra Pose is simple to practice. To begin, lie flat on your stomach upon your yoga mat. Keeping the tops of your feet touching the floor, stretch your legs back as much as possible. Next, place your palms on the floor underneath your shoulders. Pressing your feet, thighs, and pubis into the ground, slowly straighten your arms to lift your upper body off the floor. Finally, press your tailbone firmly into the floor and engage your buttocks. You are in Cobra Pose. For best results, draw your shoulder blades towards your back and distribute the stretch evenly throughout the spine. Hold the posture for around 30 seconds before releasing the backbend and lowering yourself back down to the floor.
One of the most renowned yoga poses of all time, Downward Facing Dog benefits many areas of the body – including the hands and wrists!
To begin, stand tall with your feet should-width apart. Bending at the waist, slowly lower your torso for-ward until your body forms a triangle. Your hands and feet should now be securely on the ground. If your shoulders or hamstrings feel too tight for the pose, try bending your knees slightly to make the posture easier. Spreading your fingers for additional balance, move your head forward until it is in-between your upper arms. You are in Downward Dog. For best results, breathe deeply whilst practising the pose and hang your head gently between your shoulders.
Whether you’re suffering from stiffness of the joints or niggling aches and pains, practising the postures above regularly can help prevent discomfort in your hands and wrists. For best results, it’s important to keep your muscles warm before practising these exercises – especially if you are experiencing joint discomfort. To keep you cosy, it may be worth picking up a good-quality yoga hoodie to wear before and after your new routine.