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Wednesday, July 2, 2003
Pre Game - Cyclist

By Content provided byProfessional Team Physicians



Strengthening Exercises

The following exercises are examples of the strengthening routines commonly prescribed by physicians and physical therapists to help active people recover from wrist injuries.

Depending on the specifics of your injury, some or all of these exercises may not apply. Always check with your physician before beginning a strengthening program.

SQUEEZING BALL

You need a soft foam ball for this exercise. Hold it in your hand, with palm upward. Squeeze the ball 15 to 20 times.

ROLLING BROOMSTICK

You need a three-foot rope, a one-pound weight, and a broomstick for this exercise. Tie one end of the rope to the weight, the other to the broomstick. Hold the broomstick straight in front of you, hands level with shoulders. With palms down, turn the handle to wind the rope up. Unwind the rope, and repeat with palms up.

STRETCH CORD PULLING

For this exercise, you need a stretch cord. You can purchase one at a pharmacy, sporting goods store, or medical supplies store.

Use a piece of cord that is roughly four feet long. Place the knot outside a door, and close the door securely. Grasp the cord with your hand, until you feel moderate resistance. Flex your wrist to pull the cord. Repeat 10 to 15 times.

LIFTING WEIGHTS

For the following exercises, you will need a small weight (one to four pounds, depending on your strength). You can purchase weights at sporting goods stores.

Sit in a chair, with your arm resting on a table and your hand over the table edge. Hold the weight in your hand, and slowly raise and lower it by flexing your wrist. Repeat 15 to 20 times, to make one set. Perform two or three sets alternating palm up and palm down.

Fix the weight at the end of a stick. Sit in a chair, with your arm resting on a table and your hand over the table edge. Hold the stick in your hand, and slowly turn your hand up and then down. Repeat 15 to 20 times, to make one set. Perform two or three sets.

DAILY PREVENTION

Along with stretching and strengthening your wrists, also think about how you use them on a daily basis. You can prevent RSIs if you take sensible preventive measures.

When sitting at a desk for prolonged periods, your posture is critically important. Keep your wrists straight, and your fingers dangling down (think of them as a spider). Your upper and lower arms should be at right angles, as should your upper and lower legs. Your feet should be flat on the floor, your back slightly arched.

Your neck should be straight, not bent at any angle. Do not push your head or shoulders forward (for example, to get closer to the computer screen).

Take regular breaks (optimally, every hour). When you rest, take a moment to do some stretching, particularly of your shoulders, arms, and hands.

Occasionally, drop your hands to your sides and shake them gently. This stimulates circulation and reduces tension.