5 wrist openers that counteract the demands of digital-first lifestyles

Typing isn’t the most strenuous activity you do during the day, but the repetitive motion can cause more damage than anything you do in the gym. It can lead to pain, tingling, numbness, tendinitis, carpal tunnel, and ligament damage.

“Excessive use of your computer or phone creates strain in the forearm muscle, wrist, and hand,” and weakens your grip strength because of increased tension in the stabilizing muscles, says Christopher Barbour, a group fitness instructor who teaches yoga and meditation at Equinox Marina Del Rey in California. 

That kind of overuse has implications for your workouts. “You need strong wrists to perform at your best, whether you’re holding planks, doing push-ups, or playing sports,” says Leora Kirshenblatt, a group fitness instructor at Equinox locations in Toronto.

Barbour teaches the five-move sequence below, demonstrated by Kirshenblatt, to protect wrists from the side effects of digital-first lives. “The routine reduces constriction through the wrist joints and aids better blood flow to the muscles, prompting the movement of Qi and oxygen,” he explains.

Complete these openers as often as every day in a cross-legged position or kneeling with your eyes closed to counteract the demands of typing and texting. Take a few deep, diaphragmatic breaths to relax your muscles, ligaments, and tendons, and then begin.