Wall Push Ups – Exercise Tip For Weak Wrists

Bodyweight Workout – Wall Push Ups

When someone is just starting out with body weight exercises, they may be surprised at just how heavy anyone body part actually is. Because of the beauty of our neurological system, we don’t have to focus on how much weight we actually move throughout the day.

One of the most recognized bodyweight exercises is the push up. It’s a staple in most exercise regimes. This may be due to the fact that the push up works many different body parts and is an extremely functional movement and exercise.

Ironically, this movement puts a lot of stress on one of our smallest body parts. Namely the wrist. Doing the traditional push up requires that the wrist be strong and flexible. This can be a challenge for beginners as well as those that aren’t used to lifting their own body weight.

Strengthen Wrists With Wall Push Ups

One solution to building up strength and flexibility is to do wall push ups. By doing push ups on the wall or in a doorway we effectively reduce the amount of resistance we are lifting and thereby reduce the amount of force that is put through the wrist. This means that we can concentrate on the exercise while at the same time conditioning our wrists to support more and more of our body weight.

The following videos will walk you through the movements that make up a good wall pushup. The first covers the push up in general, the second video will show you the subtle motion that takes place at the scapula/shoulder blade that makes push ups great for those interested in increasing their punching power.

Beginner Wall Push-Up

Beginner push-up from Number One Me. This is a great exercise for your upper-body either beginning or re-starting your regular exercise routiine. Get more at www.numberoneme.com

Serratus Wall Pushups

With hands placed on the wall in front of you, just above shoulder height, with elbows straight, and body oriented at 30-45º from vertical. Push into the wall so that your shoulder blades move forward (protraction) and your torso moves back. Hold thi…

Wall Push Up Progression

Some suggest that wall push ups should be done 3 times a week for a couple of weeks before progressing to a movement that puts more stress on your wrists. I totally agree with this because the first object of any bodyweight workout plan should be to avoid injury, then comes building strength, building muscle, and the rest. If you don’t take care to avoid injury, you will be setting your self up for long stretches of rehab and healing time if you do have the misfortune of straining a muscle or tweaking another body part.

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5 thoughts on “Wall Push Ups – Exercise Tip For Weak Wrists

    • Hey Raymond, you make a good point. Most everyone’s wrists are proportionally smaller than most every other body part. When we are doing push ups our wrists are forced into extreme extension and the wrist joint is more exposed and has to support the weight of your body against gravity. Imagine if you were one of the larger body builder types. This is a lot of weight for the wrist to carry.
      i recommend to all starting out on a body weight exercise program to ease into it. This way, you can train your body to support it’s own weight is various positions and movements.

  1. Bryan-

    Interesting post.

    The point you made about avoiding injury really hit home. I am embarrassed about how many times I have injured myself trying some move I just wasn’t ready for – handstand pushups, weird pullup variations, or even just lifting a heavy weight without warming up properly.

    I separated my shoulder last January and couldn’t do standard pushups without serious pain. Those wall pushups (I worked up to 3 sets of 50 – it might sound easy, but it was hard for me at the time!) were my first step (along with some good shoulder rehab exercises) towards shoulder health.

    Now, nearly a year later, my shoulders are stronger and healthier than ever.

    I like how you approach the exercises from the perspective of a physical therapist, focusing on how to properly perform these exercises, since you have seen just how much damage exercising the WRONG way can do!



    • Ian, thanks for stopping by and giving this great comment. I have a shoulder problem also in that my A-C joint is on the way out. Not quite as serious as yours was though. I am right there with you. Finding your way around a nagging obstacle is really something to celebrate.
      Please feel free to come back and share other comments.

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