Take the 2-minute tour ×
Physical Fitness Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for physical fitness professionals, athletes, trainers, and those providing health-related needs. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I weight lifts daily and also do parkour and I tend to have problems with my wrists and forearms (edit: specifically it's my right wrist and my left forearm. my left wrist is completely OK and my right forearm is completely OK), especially when performing a back handspring my arms hurt a lot, but also when lifting weights, for example when exercising biceps, the wrist of my right arm is killing me.

The pain is present only during the activity itself and nothing hurts when not exercising. An elastic bandage tends to help a lot, so, my questions are:

  1. Should I use elastic bandages to tighten my wrist and hope that one day I won't need them, or will they cause me more trouble than they will help me?

  2. What else should I do to help my arms get used to heavy activities like this?

  3. What exercises should I do either before the training or during the training to exercise my wrists/arms to get stronger? Should I use bandages while doing so?

Disclaimer: I don't consider my life being in danger and I don't see this as a serious health issue. I know that I should see a doctor when in need of a medical attention. I just want the opinion of experienced people in the field. I am not replacing my doctor by this community. I hope all is OK and understood, as once on another stackexchange site, people refused to answer my question, not wanting to take the responsibility for my health. This is not the case.

EDIT: Current solution in the answers saying "try to give your body 48-72 hours of restitution between workouts" is not an acceptable solution (in my case). There are days when because of work I cannot do any physical activity at all - sometimes it's even up to 7 days of a complete rest for my body - and yet, when I get "back to working out", my wrist starts to hurt the same way again. Not immediately, but after for example doing a bridge or a back handspring.

share|improve this question
add comment

7 Answers

up vote 9 down vote accepted
+100

The first thing I would do is revisit proper form for your parkour workouts. You could be overusing your grip to compensate for weakness in your back or somewhere else.

As for lifting, make sure you're split is such that you only lift each muscle group once a week.

Before training you should stretch your forearms. There are 4 stretches. Extend one arm in front of you with your hand up and your palm facing away. Rotate your hand clockwise, and use the other hand to push it further around until you feel a stretch. Then, rotate your hand counter clockwise until you feel a stretch. Repeat on other side. Next, extend your arm out with your hand down and your palm facing you. Rotate your hand clockwise, and use the other hand to push it further around until you feel a stretch. Then, rotate your hand counter clockwise until you feel a stretch. Repeat on other side.

After training, you should stretch again and ice your wrists every time.

It sounds like you have a weakness more than an injury, so as for some type of wrist brace or support, there are pluses and minuses. The plus is obvious as you are taking some of the work away from your body which will alleviate some pain, and most importantly it will help protect you from possible injuries. The minus is that in supporting and taking some of the work away from your body, it also keeps it from opportunities to improve. This is the case with any support equipment like lifting belts and straps. You have to find a balance where you do not wear the support during easier movements that you know you do not have trouble with, but you do wear it at the most intense parts of your training. Maybe you don't really need a support during weight training except certain exercises, and maybe you want to wear a support during parkour where there may be impact or you may not have the opportunity to move in a slow and controlled manor all the time.

Lastly, any time you have muscle soreness that won't seem to go away, you need to consider every opportunity for recovery and see if you're shorting yourself somewhere. Do you eat enough protein? Do you eat enough carbs? Do you eat healthy fats? Do you drink enough water? Do you get enough sleep?

Oh...one more thought...in reference to it being your right wrist and left forearm. I think you might just have weak forearms, and you are allowing the extension of the range of motion in your right wrist to support your weakness to some degree which puts extra tension in the joint. Since you have several days when you cannot workout in a row, you should probably do forearm specific exercises on your non-workout days. That may allow your forearms to catch up.

share|improve this answer
add comment

It sounds like you either injured yourself or have exposed a "weak link" in your body, meaning your wrists/forearms are not strong enough to support your movements.

I would suggest going into a rehab "mode" where you focus on strengthening the injured parts of your body, approx 4-6 weeks. Note I would recommend that during this period, you avoid any "all-out" movements until you've completed your rehab mode. In other words, no full back-handsprings!

For your sport, parkour, I would start by looking up some wrist/forearm exercises related to gynmastics/tumbling.

Exercises

Food/Nutrition

Make sure you are providing your body with the proper foods (not pure junk food). Take multivitamins as necessary. You may try getting more Omega-3 fatty acid in your diet to help with pain/inflammation.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Here's a great article describing your symptoms, how to test and steps to take to correct: http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/drryan26.htm

I think the # 1 point is (from the article) Get the right diagnosis...without that, you don't really know what it is. I would have suggested against using any kind of wrist support, since long term it's not 'fixing' the problem and only building the surrounding muscles, tendons, etc. - which would result in the wrist/forearm being even that much of the weaker link in the chain. The old advice of - if it hurts don't do it - is spot on - with the complete advice I would give, stop doing it until you know how to correct the problem so you can continue building your entire body correctly. Bad technique, to much focus on some weak area, not fixing the root cause will results in not having long term enjoyment because you're potentially doing long term damage. I'm not sure how old you are, but I can tell you from direct experience - it all catches up to you.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Seriously, I had this issue when I used to work as a stock boy at KMart a long time ago. The doctor called it tennis elbow. This had occurred one summer when we had been receiving tons of bikes in boxes. All the boxes were the same size, shape and weight. And I picked them all up and carried them the same way from the truck to the conveyor belt going into the basement storage.

My forearms were hurting because I had to grab a strong grip by the top handles and lift them high to carry them. All this repetition led to my sore forearms. I think he suggested I use Absorbine Junior or some anti-inflammatory cream. He explained that it was because I was doing the same moves over and over and over...

When the summer sales season was over, my forearms stop hurting. Nothing more to it. It's a repetitive soreness which I think can lead to injury.

share|improve this answer
add comment

1 pinch of MSM in an ounce of water, rub on the joint or tendon that aches, put a little icy hot on top. You should be good. CMO, Dr Jeff's Joint Cream is expensive but good for what ails you. It regulates inflammation cycles that are already in progress. None of this is evaluated by the FDA, of course, and I can't say it is intended to treat anything. But I haven't needed it on my formerly paralyzed ankle for 12 years and can still do a front flip if needed. I prefer springy floors to grass now. My neighbor that was in a wheel chair for 3 months from gouty arthritis has been out since day 3 after I brought some by. She does watch her diet, too, of course. I have had decent results. For the intensity level you should maintain, feel within yourself. You have to know. I can't easily tell you that part. I think the MSM will strengthen the joints and let you push it a little harder with less stress injury.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Rotate your exercises. Don't do the same muscle group two days in a row. Your muscles need 48 to 72 hours rest time. "Stop doing the daily lifting?" is exactly right.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Stop with the daily weight lifting? Try to give your body 48-72 hours of restitution between workouts.

share|improve this answer
1  
Of course I do have pauses once in a while, sometimes it's more than 72 hours :) This is therefore irrelevant. –  Richard Rodriguez Apr 17 '11 at 11:53
    
I agree with @eevar. Maybe if you rested more often your forearm muscles would build out more and may solve your forearm problems. –  Salsero69 Apr 18 '11 at 1:02
    
I'm no MD, and your issues might of cause be caused by something other than overtraining. However, I don't think your responses and clarifications are relevant. Recovering from severe overtraining could take weeks or months, not occasional breaks from your daily lifting. If you want to prove me wrong, tell us what your split looks like, or how you mix up your workload to allow for sufficient recovery. –  eevar Apr 19 '11 at 9:40
    
Please add to your answer why this will 'solve' the problem, because that way we might actually learn something from it :-) –  Ivo Flipse Apr 19 '11 at 9:52
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.