Push-ups: alternatives to avoid wrist pain

Push-ups: alternatives to avoid wrist pain

Slightly suffer from wrist pain, especially if you are used to training hard, it is quite common.

This condition sometimes it can result from serious problems such as arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, or injury, cases for which it is essential to consult a doctor for further investigations.

Ma if the discomfort is minor and it occurs only after doing certain exercises such as pushups, instead of eliminating these movements from your fitness routine, you can make some changes to the basic version or perform alternative exercises but which guarantee the same results.

To avoid worsening the situation, however, it is best to seek advice from a personal trainer and physiotherapist before continuing to train.

Pushups: the changes against the wrist hurt

One of the characteristics that makes pushups an extremely well-known and practiced exercise for training the upper body is that they are versatile, and easily modifiable.

To stay motivated, there is the 30-day challenge all about push-ups. 

Le alternative to the basic version, in fact, they are different, and none affect its validity and final results.

Here are some for those with wrist pain.

Push-ups with dumbbells or kettlebells

This variant eliminates the curvature of the wrists and keeps them straight while running, relieving pressure on them and on the hands.

  • Place a dumbbell or kettlebell on the floor under each shoulder, approximately the width of each shoulder.
  • Put your hands on the supports in the standard starting position.
  • Do a push-up with your core and buttocks.
  • Maintain the position for 5 seconds and return to the starting position.
  • Repeat 8 to 10 times.

Stand up against the wall

Standing push-ups are great for beginners and help eliminate pressure from the wrists and from the shoulders.

  • Stand facing a wall.
  • Place your palms on the wall, keeping them a little wider than shoulder width, and fully extend your arms.
  • Bend your elbows and lean towards the wall as much as possible.
  • Force your hands against the wall to return to the starting position.
  • Repeat 8 to 10 times.

Push-ups on an incline bench

Sometimes the pain can be relieved by moving off the floor and doing pushups by placing the hands on a bench. This alternative relieves pressure on the wrists because it avoids that all the weight is placed on them.

  • Stand in front of a bench.
  • Place your hands on the edge, slightly wider than shoulder width, and extend your arms.
  • Spread your feet slightly and extend your legs completely backwards.
  • Bend your arms and lower your chest towards the bench as much as possible.
  • Pause for a second in this position, then return to the initial position.
  • Repeat 8 to 10 times.

Alternative exercises to push-ups

In addition to the variations of push-ups, they also exist alternative exercises, with which exercise pectorals, shoulders and triceps equally satisfactorily.

If you have wrist pain, however, you need to do it carefully and stop if your health deteriorates.

Chest workout with dumbbells

  • Hold a dumbbell in each hand.
  • Lie on your back on a bench, with both feet flat on the floor.
  • Extend your arms upward until the dumbbells are above your chest.
  • Engage your core, and slowly lower both dumbbells to the sides of your chest.
  • Stop for a second and return to the starting position.
  • Repeat 8 to 10 times.

Throwing the medicine ball to the wall

This exercise is to be done standing and aims to develop the muscles of the chest, shoulders, triceps and core.

  • Hold a four to five-pound medicine ball in your hands, bringing it closer to your body by bending your arms.
  • Stand in front of a wall about 60 feet away.
  • Engage your core and throw the ball towards the wall hard enough for it to bounce and return to your hands.
  • While taking the shot, bend your legs slightly.
  • Return to the starting position and repeat the movement.
  • Perform 10 thrusts with the ball.

Forearm plank or low plank

In this exercise the wrists are not used, and not putting stress on them can relieve pain while allowing you to train your upper body muscles appropriately.

  • Place a yoga mat or exercise mat on the floor.
  • Lie in a prone position on it, leaning on the elbows, which must be placed under the shoulders.
  • Forearms should be flat on the floor and hands in fists facing each other or flat on the ground.
  • Extend your legs completely backwards, placing your feet so that your toes are positioned on the ground.
  • Push up until the body forms a straight line from the shoulders to the toes.
  • Tighten your core and glutes and stay in this position for 30 seconds, before returning to the starting position.


Before or after training it is useful to do the exercises for the carpal tunnel, to protect the wrist, and the exercises for the contracted shoulders, so as to relax the whole part. 

In these cases, is it better heat or cold therapy?

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