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15 Forearm Stretches to Improve Your Wrist Mobility

As I type this, I can feel my forearms getting tight. If this sounds familiar, you probably need a daily dose of forearm stretches to counterbalance the typing, texting, and lack of self-care we give to our forearms. 


The truth is, improving your wrist mobility requires a variety of wrist and forearm stretches and exercises that need to be performed consistently in order to truly feel the difference in your forearms. 

Forearm Stretches for Mobility

As a muscle that connects your elbow to your wrist, this pathway can often get tight due to overuse. Plus, unless we have any specific aches and pains in our forearms, we often neglect this area when stretching. 


If you want to increase flexibility  you need to put in effort when performing forearm stretches. By doing so, you can help prevent wrist pain and elbow pain. 

Forearm Stretches for Wrist Pain

Since the forearm is stuck between two key joints, the elbow and the wrist,  the forearm is directly involved in a range of everyday arm or hand movements.


With the abundance of movements that require hand and arm motion, your forearm ends up being a primary driver of wrist health. Thus, it’s important to maintain integrity and mobility in our forearms to prevent chronic injuries such as tendonitis and carpal tunnel syndrome. 


As a result, injury or discomfort in the forearm can interfere with daily activity. For example, wrist or forearm pain can make it difficult to grip a steering wheel when driving. 


How to Stretch Your Forearms

When contemplating how to stretch your forearms, it is important to separate your forearm into two categories - 


  1. Anterior (front) side, known as the flexors
  2. Posterior (back) side, known as the extensors

In addition, the flexors have approximately twice the strength of the extensors, indicating a need to hit the flexors with more robustness. 

Forearm Stretches to Try Today

With this guide of the 15 top forearm pain stretches for wrist mobility, tight muscles, and general health, we’ll instruct you how to stretch your forearm safely so that you don’t get injured. 

15. Reverse Wrist Curls

Reverse wrist curls are one of the best stretches for the anterior flexors. The range of motion in this stretch can help work out any kinks in the wrist. 

How to Do

  1. Standing or sitting, extend your right arm out in front of you palm facing down
  2. Then, flex your wrist up, so your hand is perpendicular to your forearm.
  3. Hold for 2-3 seconds, then repeat 10x and switch sides.

14. Wrist Figure Eights

You may feel a few pops and cracks in your wrist with this stretch, as wrist figure eights can place your wrist and forearm in unfamiliar positions that need attention. 


How to Do

  1. Standing or sitting, extend your right arm in front of you and make a fist
  2. Holding tension in your hand and trying not to move your arm or shoulder, make small figure eight movements with your right hand.
  3. Trying to limit motion to strictly the wrists, repeat 10x then switch directions, then switch hands.

13. Overhead Reach

You are also able to target the forearm by attacking the kinetic chain. By loosening up the surrounding muscles in the arm, shoulder, and lat, you can give your forearm more movement capacity.  


On top of this, you will also stretch your lats and back whenever you perform this stretch.

How to Do

  1. Standing tall with feet shoulder width apart, raise both arms straight up to the sky
  2. Now, grab your right wrist with your left hand and try to pull your right side higher
  3. Also, if you want more stretch in your right lat and side body, bump your hips slightly to the right and lean towards the left. 

12. Extensor Stretch

The extensors are a common culprit of forearm pain because of the amount of time we spend in a flexed position

How to Do

  1. Stand in front of a table or bed about waist height
  2. Then, flex your wrists downward and place the back of your hands on the table/bed 
  3. Next, lean forward into your hands to create more tension in the forearm extensors
  4. If you feel discomfort, back off.

11. Downward Extensor Stretch

The downward extensor stretch has a similar mechanism as the extensor stretch for forearm pain. However, this stretch requires more active mobility, making this one of the best forearm stretches for serious injuries such as tennis elbow. 

If you play tennis, this is one of the most common stretches for tennis players to do to prevent injury. 

How to Do

  1. Standing or sitting, raise your right hand in front of you, palms facing down towards the ground
  2. Using your left hand, pull your right hand down to create tension in the forearm extensors. 
  3. Breathe, hold, and repeat 5x, and perform on both sides.

10. Flexor Stretch

In addition to stretching the wrist extensors, targeting the flexors with specific wrist and forearms stretches is beneficial for forearm pain. 

How to Do

  1. Standing or sitting, raise your right hand in front of you and flex your wrist so your fingers are pointing up
  2. Using your left hand, pull your right hand backwards to create tension in the forearm flexors. 
  3. Breathe, hold, and repeat 5x, and perform on both sides.

9. Fixed Wrist Flexion

The wrist flexion stretch helps improve flexibility and mobility in the wrist by allowing your wrist to undergo full range of motion. 

How to Do

  1. Start seated next to a table or desk so your right arm can be in a fixed position. 
  2. Then, with your right arm on the table next to you and your palm facing down, slide your hand and wrist off the edge of the table so there is no hand contact with the table.
  3. Next, flex your wrist and point your fingers up and hold. Try not to use any motion at the elbow or shoulder, only the wrist. 
  4. Repeat 10x and switch hands. 

8. Elbow Extension

We’ve been focusing on one end of the forearm, which is your wrist. But, it’s also important to take good care of the other end of the forearm, which is your elbow. 

How to Do

  1. Lay on a bend on your beck, close to the right edge., next to the edge. 
  2. Then, allow your right forearm and hand to hang off the bed relaxed, palm up, so there is no elbow contact with the bed.
  3. Next, make sure to keep your elbow straight so there is no bend and hold.

7. Wrist Rotations

Wrist rotations combine two movements of the wrist - pronation and supination.  Pronation means rotating the forearm into a palm up position, while supination means rotating the forearm into a palm down position.


How to Do

  1. Standing or sitting, raise your right hand out in front of you, palm up and open.
  2. Now, keeping the elbow in a fixed position, start to rotate at the wrist so the palm is down.
  3. Then, repeat back and forth, palm up and palm down, restricting movement at the elbow and shoulder.

6. Supinator Stretch

The supinator stretch focuses on one specific motion, supination, in order to gain movement capacity and increase your mobility threshold. 

How to Do

  1. Sitting in a relaxed position, start with your right palm facing down.
  2. Using your left hand, help turn the right forearm up so the palm is facing up by using the pressure of your left hand. 
  3. Then, once you reach your limit, hold the tension for 1 minute and switch hands. 

5. Two-Forearm Stretch

The two-forearm stretch is especially effective because it can also help relieve tightness in the biceps and triceps. Instead of doing bicep stretches or tricep stretches, you can try the two-forearm stretch to increase flexibility in the arms. 

How to Do

  1. Start by raising both arms out in front of you, elbows straight.
  2. Then, interlace your fingers together and rotate your arms so that the back of your hand is facing your chest.
  3. Using pressure from your opposite hand and fingers, press into your other side’s hand while keeping your arms fully straight to feel the stretch in your forearm.

4. Praying Forearm Stretch

If you feel moderately tight or sore in your forearms, praying forearm stretch is one of the least complex stretches for forearms.

How to Do

  • To start, place your palms together in front of you (about shoulder height) with your fingers pointing up.
  • Then, gently press the palms together to build tension, and slowly lower your hands down near your waist until you feel a stretch
  • Breathe, hold, and repeat 5x.

3. Forearm Pronation Stretch

We previously discussed the supinator stretch, but when you are dealing with forearm pain, the pronators are also a critical movement to address. 

How to Do

  1. Sitting in a relaxed position, start with your right palm facing up.
  2. Using your left hand, help turn the right forearm down so the palm is facing down by using the pressure of your left hand. 
  3. Then, once you reach your limit, hold the tension for 1 minute and switch hands. 
  4. Remember, all motion should come from the wrist and forearm, never the elbow or upper arm.

2. Sitting Forearm Stretch

Sitting forearm stretch encompasses both flexion and extension. By hitting both movements within the same stretch, you can prevent any muscular imbalances. 

How to Do

  1. Sitting in a chair, place your right arm on a table or armrest at your side.
  2. Next, make sure your right hand and wrist are hanging off the edge.
  3. WIth your left hand, gently pull the right hand up to its limit, then immediately push the right hand down to its flexibility limit.
  4. Then, keep repeating this motion until fatigue and switch hands. 

1. Weighted Wrist Curls

Unlike some of the other forearm stretches for pain, weighted wrist curls can help strengthen the forearm muscles with the overload mechanism of the weight. 

How to Do

  1. Sitting in a chair, let your right forearm rest on your right thigh with your right hand/wrist handing off the edge of your knee. Your palm should be facing up.
  2. Using a light weight, slowly let gravity drop your hand and wrist into extension, then use your strength to curl the weight up into maximum flexion.
  3. Repeat 10x and switch hands

Benefits of Forearm Stretches

As you learn how to stretch forearms, you will discover that daily activities have become much easier, such as opening a jar or carrying a heavy suitcase. 


Since using your forearms is inevitable, understanding the benefits is crucial to maintaining consistency. 

Why Flexible Forearms Are Important

The forearm is a channel that connects your hands to your upper arm, so it naturally holds a lot of tension. With the amount of work we consume with our hands, flexible forearms are important in order to keep this channel functioning properly. 


If your forearms are not functioning properly, there can be a cascade of negative effects that affect your health. 

Forearm Stretches for Wrist Pain

With the aforementioned 15 forearm pain stretches to improve your wrist mobility, you will be able to feel the benefits instantaneously. 

Improved Blood flow

When you stretch, you are building the capacity of blood to circulate through your system faster and more efficiently.


This is particularly significant because blood is the transport mechanism to supply oxygen and nutrients throughout your body. As a result, improved blood flow can deliver great health benefits through stretching. 

Extended Range of Motion

Your life habits often dictate a narrower range of motion that is less than ideal. But, in order to extend your range of motion, forearm stretches help keep the muscles and joints flexible, strong, and supple. 


A routine that includes holding controlled stretching, not bouncing in and out of stretches is key to extending range of motion. If you do not develop extended range of motion, you can be more susceptible to stiffness and tightness, which can eventually lead to pain or injury.

Better Posture

Poor posture is often a common result from high levels of tension. 


Although you can also achieve better posture through ab stretches, with forearm stretching, you are able to reduce tension and better equip your body to handle load and resistance, ultimately making you more capable of managing poor posture. 


Reduced Stress

Stretches for forearms not only help reduce physical tension, but also emotional/psychological tension as well. 


When you stretch, you are consequently eliminating toxins and releasing happy endorphins that can lead to reduced stress. 

Increased Strength

When it comes to lifting heavy objects and using your grip, the forearms take a dominant role. 


As with any muscle group, if you are performing repetitive motions consistently without varying the movement and practicing flexibility techniques, your ability to function and perform can suffer. So in order to increase your strength, flexible forearms are a must!

Stretch Your Forearms Today!

When it comes to wrist and forearm aches and pains, do not hesitate in taking immediate steps to find a remedy. No matter your level of pain or discomfort, wrist and forearm stretches should be part of your recovery or rehabilitation routine. 


References:


Creveling, Mallory. “12 Arm Stretches Trainers Swear By To Increase Upper-Body Flexibility.” 26 Nov, 2019. Women’s Health. www.womenshealthmag.com/fitness/g29800804/best-arm-stretches/


Vogel, Kaitlin. “So Long, Aches and Pains—Here Are the 15 Best Stretches for Your Arms, from Shoulder Openers to Wrist Stretches.” 22 Jan, 2022. Parade. www.parade.com/1319133/kaitlin-vogel/arm-stretches/