It is the sad fate of our wrist flexors, that they never get a rest day. Every time you hold a dumbbell, barbell, kettlebell, plate etc. your wrist flexors are working - even if that's not the intention.
Even after the gym, your wrist flexors are working when you type, or ride your bike, or carry your bag, or hold a pen!
All this work with no rest means that forearms can get very tight and VERY sore. To prevent chronic elbow/arm pain,
you must release your tight forearms regularly. These are my tips for wrist flexor release:
1. Passive Stretching
The first step for muscle tightness is always passive stretching. Pull the muscle tight and hold for 15-20sec. If you're not sure how to stretch your wrist flexors, you can see this non-threatening man do it for you:
If passive stretching doesn't work, active stretching is the next best method to try. The best type of active stretch for the forearms (in my opinion) is contract-release:
Position your forearm as you would to do a passive stretch with your hand on the tight-side pushed into your not-tight-side hand (see non-threatening man above)
Gently stretch the arm, just to where you begin to feel in pull. Hold that stretch, and push your tight-side hand against your not-tight-side hand. This will contract the tight muscle. Hold that for 5-10sec.
As you relax the tight muscle, increase the stretch to it's full range of motion.
3. Aggravate Antagonist
If passive stretching and contract/release don't work, you have to dial-up the release method and contract the wrist flexors' antagonist muscles (the wrist extensors) against as much resistance as you can.
Grab the heaviest dumbbell you can stand, rest your forearms against your legs and try to hyperextend your wrist with all of your strength.
If you're muscles are tight enough to need antagonist release, you no longer need a non-threatening man to demonstrate, so this is Arnie.
If none of those techniques work, rest the forearms for 3-5 days and let them get better on their own.
5. Seek help
If self-release and rest don't work, speak to the professionals.
If you want more information on foreatm pain, email me directly via the contact page. If you want specific information about your own injury or if you're after treatment for an injury, contact one of my clinics directly to make an appointment. Details of those clinics can be found here.
Dr Mitch Clark