A Push up is one of the most common workouts that strengthen the upper body and lower back region. It is, in fact, most people’s preference- as it is relatively easy, and usually does not need any equipment, and gives your arms, shoulders, abs, chest, and back incredible fitness in a simple push movement. Meanwhile, in some cases after doing push-ups for some time, you begin to feel wrist and shoulder pains during a few reps. It is possible to have aches in your shoulders or wrists during pushups. The question now arises; why does the pain occur?

Often, there are lots of complaints of the wrist and sometimes, shoulder pain during push-ups. Sometimes, this could mean an injury, but if it persists or goes on for a long time, it probably means there is a need to tweak your process. Ignoring simple efforts to evaluate your current approach and push up style can be responsible for these pains. For a start, it is best to determine the position of your hands, where your hands are about your shoulders, your contact with the ground beneath, the position of your elbows and shoulders, as well as your trunk, hips and upper back position. Clearly, a lot of evaluating has to be done before pushup. A wrist pain during push-up is a sign that you lack mobility, while shoulder pain could mean a bad form.

There is a high tendency that you experience strain on your wrist, which can, in turn, lead to pain if your hands are kept wide and far from your chest during a pushup. Beginners most likely approach push up this way. Some people even relax their hands and fingers, which inevitably causes pains in the wrists during the process. Instead, the better way is to ensure your hands are kept at about the same width apart from your shoulder and close to your chest. More so, your hands must always be directly under your shoulders. That way, the pressure on your wrists would be reduced.

Also, make sure your hands are facing forward- and not at any particular angle. At the same time, ensure all parts of your hand have contact with the ground. Specifically, the wrong ways to go about push up are:

  1. Keeping your hands above your shoulder line instead of flat on the ground
  2. Keeping your back in some downward dog position instead of flat
  3. Keeping the elbows flared out rather than tucked in.

Further, flared elbows can cause constant pain in the wrist, elbow, and shoulder. You must, therefore, keep the hands cupped, and your hands wide apart. The trunk position must also always be considered.

Push ups must be considered a total body exercise, rather than some chest or shoulder exercise. That is, it is important to make sure everything is kept in alignment during the motion since the pushing motion is primarily initiated by the triceps, the shoulders, chest and the entire body must be stable in an up and down movement.

The truth is, at one time or the other, a lot of sports enthusiasts experience wrist pain. In fact, if you suffer pain in your wrists during pushups, it may be due to some underlying medical conditions. There answer is not far-fetched-as your entire body weight is transferred to your feet and hands during pushups, which in turn puts a lot of pressure on the supportive tissues in your wrists. This is why we recommend that you visit a physician to ascertain the specific reason for your wrist pain. Some of the medical conditions that are probably responsible are: Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Wrist Tendinitis, Wrist Sprains, Arthritis.

When your position is not kept high plank, you will have pains in your wrist. Moreover, adopt hands-elevated push-up. Extending the wrist can also be more painful even if the moves are right when you lack wrist mobility.

That is, it is fine to know why you have pain in your wrists during push-ups, but it is even more interesting to understand how to deal with the pushup-induced wrist pain, and avoid it as best as you can.

Wrist pain from push-ups is one common complaint among people these days. In essence, there are some worthwhile ways to prevent this pain. If you have this experience, you might have to first of all check yourself and make sure you are not making any mistake- maybe through your body posture, or position, which could invariably subject your wrists to unnecessary pressure.

Having done this, if there are no errors in your style, or perhaps you still feel the pain in your wrist after trying to correct the errors, there are several approaches you can adopt to modify your style or form to alleviate or get rid of the pain. Meanwhile, while we list these methods- you may also want to see a doctor to make sure there are no wrist injuries responsible for the pain.

The following are some of the methods you can use to prevent wrist pain during pushups:

1 – Do wrists and hands warm up before pushups? A very easy way to do that is to hold out one hand and spread the fingers. Do some clockwise rotation of each digit for a few times and counterclockwise. With this, your wrists would enjoy some warmth, be loose and feel more invigorated than before the exercise.

2 – As earlier mentioned- keep your hands not too wide or too far out in front of you. That is, be mindful of your hand position. Be sure that you can adjust easily.

3 – Do not flare your elbow out, and always engage your core.

That is, you might consider redistributing the weight in your hands. This will let you relieve some of the discomforts with flexible changes in the way you use your hands. In another dimension, you can try the use of props or some drastic position changes such as placing a foam wedge under your hand heels or using straight-sided dumbbells.