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Handstand Wrist Pain

Wrist pain is a common issue for those who are serious about training handstands. It can occur during, immediately after, or even long after training. Pain is not necessary and should not be a part of your training.

In my experience as a professional handstand artist, I have not encountered a single person who could not eliminate their wrist pain. To train pain-free and to know how to deal with injuries, we need to understand the reasons for wrist pain.

The most common causes of wrist pain include

  • poor handstand form,
  • overtraining without proper technique,
  • lack of warm-up,
  • insufficient recovery time,
  • mobile or stiff wrists,
  • weak wrists,
  • sore shoulder and forearm muscles,
  • and preexisting conditions.

Common advices

If you experience wrist pain while training handstands, you need to change your approach. Ignoring the problem and continuing as usual is not effective and will not make the issue go away. To address wrist pain while training handstands, consider the following suggestions:

Build up time under tension slowly

Your wrists are not used to supporting your body weight and need time to adjust. Start with short training sessions 2-3 times per week and gradually increase the time under tension and frequency of training over 4-6 weeks.

Train consistently

As you increase your training volume, aim to train 3 times per week for 30 minutes. Consistency is key in building up the strength and resilience of your wrists.

Remember that your hands and wrists are not designed for bearing weight, so it is important to be patient and allow them time to adapt to the demands of handstand training.

How push ups can help you

Push ups from the floor with different palm positions are a great exercise for wrist strengthening and can significantly benefit handstand training.

By changing the position of your palms, you can target different muscles in the wrists and forearms, which can help to improve overall stability and strength when performing handstands.

To perform this exercise, start in a plank position with your hands on the floor beneath your shoulders. From here, you can try different palm positions such as:

  • having your palms facing each other (neutral grip),
  • facing away from your body (reverse grip),
  • or having one hand in a neutral grip
  • and the other in a reverse grip (mixed grip).

As you lower your body towards the floor, be sure to keep your wrists straight and avoid letting them bend or buckle.

Incorporating push ups with different palm positions into your training routine can help to build the strength and stability needed for successful handstands. Additionally, it can also help to prevent wrist pain and injuries during handstand training.

Use handstand equipment

There are several types of handstand equipment that can be used to help reduce the load on the wrists during handstand training. These tools can be especially useful for those who are new to handstands or who have a history of wrist pain or injuries.

Handstand blocks

Sloped handstand blocks are a useful training tool for those looking to reduce the load on their wrists while practicing handstands. These blocks have a sloping surface that allows the wrists to be angled slightly, reducing the amount of weight that is placed on them.

Using sloped handstand blocks can be especially helpful for those who are new to handstand training or who have a history of wrist pain or injuries. It can also be useful for those who struggle to maintain proper wrist alignment or who find it difficult to hold a handstand for an extended period of time.

To use sloped handstand blocks, simply place them on the floor and position your hands on the sloping surface as you would with a traditional handstand. The slope of the blocks will allow your wrists to angle slightly, taking some of the weight off of them and helping to reduce strain. As you become more comfortable and confident in your handstands, you can gradually reduce the slope of the blocks or eventually transition to training on flat surfaces.

Overall, sloped handstand blocks are a valuable tool for anyone looking to improve their handstand skills while minimizing the risk of wrist pain or injury.

Wooden parallettes 

Parallettes are a type of portable training equipment that can be used to reduce the load on the wrists during handstands. They are similar to parallel bars, but smaller and more lightweight, making them easy to use at home or in a gym setting.

To use parallettes for handstand training, the person places their hands on the bars and kicks up into a handstand position. The parallettes allow the wrists to angle slightly, taking some of the weight off of them and reducing strain. This can be especially helpful for those who are new to handstand training or who have a history of wrist pain or injuries.

In addition to helping to reduce wrist strain, parallettes can also be used to improve handstand technique and build overall strength and stability. There are a variety of exercises that can be performed on parallettes, such as handstand push ups, handstand holds.

Handstand canes

Other handstand equipment that can help to reduce the load on the wrists includes wrist supports and handstand canes. Wrist supports are padded braces that can be worn during handstand training to help cushion and stabilize the wrists. Handstand canes are long, narrow bars that can be used to help support the body during handstands, reducing the weight on the wrists and allowing for easier balance and control.