Hey Rob. I’m starting to get symptoms of what people are telling me is carpal tunnel. Is there any exercises, stretches, anything non surgery that can be done to correct it before it gets worse? Thanks, keep up the good work brother.
Carpel tunnel syndrome isn’t uncommon in office workers and sadly, those who train with weights. If you study CPS, there’s one tie that binds: Repetitive movements. While this may be unavoidable in the office, it for sure is avoidable in the gym. Any cursory glance at someone’s “routine” will reveal this fact. And that’s the key word, “routine” – they’re doing the same movements over and over, often in the same order and for the same sets and reps. Week after week, month after month and year after year. If you think about it, you’re always gripping a bar and contracting the muscles, tendons and ligaments when you lift weights. How often are your working the antagonists? Meaning the muscles that extend the fingers and work the forarm extensors? Exactly.
Here then, are the top 4 exercises for working your way out of carpal tunnel syndrome:
1- Bending your fingers back to contract the extensors. You do this with your palms up and gently pushing the tips of your fingers back with your opposite hand for just 2 seconds. Do this 10 times with each hand.
2- With your fingers pointing down, place the palm of your hand flat against a wall and try touching your ear to your opposite shoulder – away from the wall.. Hold this stretch for 30 seconds for each arm. Do this 3 times.
3- Place a towel over one shoulder and pull down on the towel with your hand in front of your body. Place your other hand on the towel behind your back, simultaneously pulling down while trying to touch your ear to the opposite shoulder. Hold for 30 seconds and perform 3 reps. Switch sides and repeat
4- Dumbell twists: This is my favorite exercise and I perform these prior to all upper body work. Grab two light DB’s (10’s or 15’s). Standing with them by your sides, slowly twist each forward and backward. Perform 15-20 reps for each arm for 2 sets. You’ll really come to appreciate how this loosens not only the muscles in the wrist and forearms, but also the elblows and shoulders. Those with tendonitis in the elbow will also find this exercise worthwhile.
Finally, Phoenix Kineticream applied to your wrists/forearms prior to performing these exercises is a wonderful idea. It doesn’t just mask the pain – it speeds healing of the underlying inflammation and injury. This product continues to win even the skeptics over, and I have every confidence you’ll find the same.
Carpel tunnel syndrome is no joke, and goes back to repetitive (mostly contractile) motions. In the weight room, this is usually the result of doing too many exercises that contract the fingers, wrists and forearms. In other words, too many curls, and forcefully gripping the barbell for presses and pulls. You must strive to balance this set for set and rep for rep, with exercises that stretch the antagonists of each. The 4 exercises I just gave you will do that.
Give those a shot Andreas. I’m confident you’ll find relief in short order…
From The BluePrint Power Hour (April 13, 2013)
Coach Rob Regish