I love to exercise, but I have developed carpal tunnel syndrome since an auto accident. I’d like to build the muscles in my arms. What exercises can I do safely?
Before doing any arm exercises, check with your doctor to make sure that you don’t have a more serious problem. Also, ask her if it is safe for you to do exercises to strengthen the wrist area. If she gives you the okay, here are two exercises that may help:
Wrist flexion. Sitting with your feet wider than hip width, rest your right elbow on your right thigh with your palm facing the ceiling. Your right hand and forearm should be between your legs. Let your hand relax so it is hanging and make a loose fist. Slowly curl your fist up toward your arm, going only as far as comfortable. Hold for a second and then slowly release. Do 10 to 12 repetitions, and then repeat with the other hand.
Wrist extension. Sitting in the same position as above, place your right arm on your right leg so that your palm is facing the floor. Allow your hand to relax so it is hanging and make a loose fist. Slowly lift your hand so that the back of it is coming up toward your forearm. Only go as far as comfortable. Hold for a second, and then slowly release. Do 10 to 12 repetitions, and then repeat with the other hand.
When you can easily do these exercises, you can hold a one-pound dumbbell to further improve your strength. Increase the weight once you are able to do more than 12 repetitions easily. Do these exercises three times a week, allowing at least a day of rest in between workouts.