We LOVE our planks and push-ups at The Dailey Method because they are incredibly effective at helping us engage almost every single muscle in our bodies – but over time, without proper hand foundation, the risk of wrist overuse and strain can occur. There are 35 different muscles that move and stabilize your hands and there are 27 bones!!! It takes a lot of awareness to align them all correctly. Through education, intention and focus you can learn how to align and engage properly to create a solid foundation and the strength and support that will help you with all the important tasks in life that utilize your hands and wrists. Like doing a push up, uncorking a bottle of wine or texting your boyfriend (ha!).
Here’s the 101 on hand foundation. I always recommend when you’re really working on perfecting your form in anything to use a mirror for feedback. Ideally observing your form from the front and in profile.
The placement of your hands should be:
· Middle of your wrist lined up with the outside of your shoulder – this is likely wider than you may think.
· Front of your wrist lined up with the front of your shoulder so that the wrist crease is at a 90 degree angle – often times people set up with their shoulders too far forward overloading the wrist joint.
· Fingers spread wide for the greatest surface area – with your pointer finger pointing straight forward.
· Weight equally distributed between the four corners of the palm of your hand (with an emphasis on the thumb, forefinger and pinky mound). This can be maintained by isometrically hugging your hands towards each other since the stronger more weight bearing bone of your forearm is on the thumb side of your hand.
· Ground down through your finger pads and your knuckles. This will over time increase the strength of the muscles of your hands and forearms and alleviate putting the load into the delicate bones of your wrists.
· Pretend you’re a gecko (bet you’ve never done that before!) and try to suction cup the palm of your hand off of the floor. This will create the arches in your hands, open up the carpal tunnel for freedom of the nerves and give you the support you need for optimal hand strength, support and health.
If you have any wrist discomfort you can work on your hands and your knees to take some of the weight off of the wrists and focus on creating alignment and engagement in your hands until you gradually build the strength to add more weight.
Here is a great visual for you on hand alignment:
Happy planking, uncorking and texting!
— Jill and Kerry