Wrist Stretching Exercises

Some wrist stretching exercises that can be performed as part of a rehabilitation programme after recovering from injury.

Active Supinator Elbow Stretch

This supinator stretch works to increase the amount of pronation (turning the palm down) by stretching tight supinator muscles which restrict this movement.

Teaching Points:

  • To increase pronation, where the palm of the hand faces downwards, the athlete uses the other hand to assist in increasing this motion.
  • With an overhand grip on the wrist, the athlete uses the fingers to pull upwards on the outer wrist, as the base of the hand pushes downwards on the inner wrist.
  • This position can be held for up to a minute, provided it is not painful.

Active Pronator Elbow Stretch

Pronator stretches work on increasing the flexibility of the pronator muscles in order to increase the range of supination available at the wrist / forearm.

Teaching Points:

  • To increase supination, where the palm faces upwards, the athlete uses the other hand to assist in increasing this motion.
  • With an underhand grip on the wrist, the athlete uses the fingers to pull the thumb side of the wrist downwards and pushes the other side upwards with the palm of the hand.
  • This can be held for 20-30 seconds and repeated several times.

Muscles Stretched:

  • Pronator Teres
  • Pronator Quadratus

Assisted Biceps Stretch

The assisted biceps stretch is used to increase elbow extension with the assistance of a therapist.

Teaching points:

  • The athlete is positioned lying on their back whilst the therapist supports the elbow.
  • The therapist then straightens the elbow and moves the shoulder into extension until a stretch is felt.

Muscles stretched: Biceps brachii

Assisted Forearm Stretches

This exercise can be used to increase the rotation at the wrist, also known as supination. The patient uses overpressure from the other hand to increase the stretch.

Teaching Points:

  • The elbow is bent and the patient grips the wrist with one hand.
  • The patient turns the palm of the hand upwards and then applies a rotation force on the wrist as far as possible.
  • Hold for 10 seconds, and then rotates the other way.