Wrist Mobility

Wrist Mobility

My friend Gavin emailed me. “I wanted to ask
if you could talk briefly about barbell wrist mobility. My wrists are incredibly stiff and
don’t bend back well at all.” And that is right there, my friend, maybe the issue. You
going on right here for more about kettlebells and front squats, arms crossed, which you
gotta stop doing. So, the wrist, if all you do is stretch this way, you’ve completely
missed wrist flexibility. The wrist has a band around it. And so one of the things you
learn when you break your wrist in 8 parts is that to get your wrist flexibility back,
you can’t just push this way. In fact, the problem is, is it’ll teach these muscles to
just relax, but it won’t be true flexibility. So one thing I’d recommend is learning to
stretch it this way. You’re going to drive the thumb down the sternum as hard as you
can. Then spend some quality time stretching this way and this way. We do an exercise called
vents in our training where you put your hands on the ground in those positions and you use
your bodyweight to stretch your hands back into place. Now, the other thing I want you
to think about is when you get into the rack for the front squat, don’t… Try a few sets
where you have your hands out straight like in like Frankenstein’s monster position okay?
With your hands completely horizontal like this. So that the weight sits back here. You
don’t want the weight down here, you want it back. Just try those ideas first. So I
would, oh another thing that might help is if you have a hot tub or you have a hot bath,
is stretching your wrists in the hot water. That was a game changer for me with my broken
left wrist. So just a few ideas. I would suggest the word in your head is coax. C O A X. Gently
coax your wrists into more flexibility. Don’t force them, nudge them towards more flexibility.

1 thought on “Wrist Mobility

  1. Hi John, I've really gotten into one arm dumbbell lifts over the last few years and after seeing some of the benefits I've not gone back to barbell lifts for my upper body since. Don't get me wrong occasionally I'll do a little stint of barbell work if I fancy a change but I really do mostly one arm dumbbell work. My main lift is the one arm standing shoulder press, I use the high tension techniques and use John McKeans constant training principle by which I do a series of singles 5-7 with my working weight which is tough but always doable, after a period of time I'll add a little weight whilst leaving just a little in the tank. I work my weak side first which is my left arm and that dictates my progression, in other words I'll only add weight to both arms at the rate my left arm is strong enough to lift. My lifts are very strict and upright, my best lift is 40.5kg for a strict single. I really want to get this lift up to 50kg for 5-7 strict singles on each arm, any tips on how I can achieve this? I seem to have hit a wall at an average of 37-38kgs with the method I'm using. I also do 1 arm 45degree angle inclines which really forces you tighten up but this is not my priority. I have been thinking of doing speed presses but can't figure out a way of adding a band to the dumbbell. My form is with the my hand in a parallel grip, I don't force this, I just let my hand dictate where it wants to go without losing any tightness. Thank you.

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