Straight Wrists for Strength

Have you ever found yourself feeling pain in the wrists while doing pushups or pressing?  Do you feel like you are not as strong in those movements?  If you have nothing medically wrong with your wrists, it could just be how you position your wrist itself. 

A strong grip found with a straight wrist translates tension up into the shoulder creating a much more stable shoulder thus allowing more strength to be demonstrated.  If the wrist is bent, the weight starts to control your elbow and shoulder position.  If the wrist is straight, more tension can be created and your position now has a better chance to control the weight.  

In the kettlebell press and bench press, a bent wrist places the elbow in front of the weight's center of mass reducing the amount of strength that can be demonstrated.  This is due to the lever arm created between the load and the wrist. I understand why people do this with kettlebells because it reduces the pressure caused by the kettlebell off the forearm.  However, this over time will start to impact the elbow possibly causing medial epicondylitis or golfer's elbow.  Having a straight wrist with the kettlebell just takes some time desensitize the area.   Build up slowly, it will pay off. 

But what about pushups when your wrists are already extended? How can you perform them without putting all the pressure on the wrists and loosing your strength?  Spread and grip with your fingers.  In the first picture below, my fingers are touching each other with no tension in my palm.  No pain, but I feel as if I am just balancing on my wrists.  In the second picture, my fingers are spread and I'm trying to palm the floor like a basketball.   It feels as if my hands are cemented into the floor, strong and sturdy.

Try this out with your presses and pushups and find out how much sturdier it feels.  Until next time.