Constant texting, computer time, plus tons of planks, push-ups, and chaturanga's can make your wrists kinda cranky.

If you're dealing with overuse, carpal tunnel, tendonitis, or plain 'ol achy wrist syndrome, you don't have to give up on exercise all together.

Here are 4 variations to put less pressure on your wrists while you're working out:

1. The Mat Roll

  • Roll the front edge of your mat so it's about 2 inches thick
  • Place the edge of your palms on the roll and let your knuckles and fingers touch the floor
  • Press down evenly through your entire hand, just like you were doing this on the floor

PRO: This reduces the amount of extension in your wrist and will help to reduce achy-ness.

CON: Your mat may unroll during a yoga class if you're also doing standing poses, etc.

*Recommended for: Working on your hands for a longer period of time in plank, quadruped, push-up's, etc

2. On your Spider-Tips

  • Spread your fingers so that your hands look like spiders
  • Put just your fingertips on the mat
  • Keep lifting up through the center of your palms so that you're fingertips feel very light on the mat

PRO: This variation is very light, almost no pressure on your wrists, and increases the challenge for your legs.

CON: It's extremely difficult to give your entire body weight to your hands in this position.

*Recommended for: Flowing through high or low lunge, temporary support in transitions (and not recommended for holding up your body weight).

3. The Fist Bump

  • Make fists and place them down on your mat
  • Keep the back of your hand in line with the outside of your forearm
  • Do not bend your wrists

PRO: There's no bend in your wrist

CON: This is a challenging variation! It has the potential to hurt your knuckles and you if you're wearing rings you'll need to take them off or turn them to face your palm.

*Recommended for: Short amounts of time in plank + push-ups. 

4. The weight grab

  • Put dumbbells down on your mat, shoulder width apart
  • Wrap your hands around the center of your weights

PRO: It's less intense than the Fist Bump (variation #3), and still has minimal bend in your wrist.

CON: You might need larger weights to be able to fit your fingers underneath the weights. The weights can be wobbly! Make sure the weights are firmly grounded.

*Recommend for: Planks, push-ups, plank variations (like adding rows to planks), side plank variations, burpee's etc.

give these modifications a whirl!

Have any questions? Send me a note. I read and respond to each + every one.

Know someone who might like this? Send it to them!

With love and feel-good wrists, 

xoxo elyse


PS - Still having some aches? Make sure you try the 1st video in my FREE stretch break series - it's all about wrist stretches and strengthening! 


I'm a personal trainer, fitness coach, and yoga teacher who gets people moving with in-person training and my signature online 21 day workout program. I want to help people drop the guilt/shame game around exercise and start working out with ease and kindness. When I'm not doing squats and sun salutations, I'm dressed up in vintage lindy hop dancing or gathering other Lovely Lady Entrepreneurs to talk about their careers and living their most passionate lives. Start moving with me today with these FREE stretch breaks you can do to feel more energized and aligned during your day! -

1 Comment

Want to be more kind to yourself as you get fit?

Enter your name + email to get this 14 page printable Self-Kindness journal delivered to your inbox!