Climbers, musicians, phone junkies, humans, this ones for you!
We are talking about the muscles that live in your glorious forearms and control all the movement in your wrist, hands, and fingers.
These supportive muscles can help us hang on to a cliffs ledge or give someone the bird.. Not that we ever do that... I guess this post is for my road ragers as well.
When clients come in discussing pain in their arms it typically shows up in the wrist, near the base of the thumb, or near the elbow. These areas are the attachment points for the big juicy muscle bellies of your arm. Sometimes you'll notice your lower arm can feel tired and fatigued.. but rarely painful.
Well I'm here to tell you to pay attention to that space between your wrist and elbow.
Repetitive motion injury could be prevented by Spending a few minutes throughout the day with these self-care massage techniques.
These are the techniques I use to keep my arms poised to work on muscles all day!
Step 1. Whats going on.
Examine and familiarize yourself with your own muscles and the movement of your arm.
DO THIS: Hold your arms outstretched, there are muscles attached to bones under your skin and they move your wrists and fingers. Go ahead and move your hand around now. You will most likely be able to see your muscles in your forearm moving with each grip and release of your hand. Grab your forearm with your other hand and now move those fingers around again. Can you feel the muscles moving under your hand?
Step 2. Squeeze your Antagonists.
The muscles in your forearm that flex your wrist and fingers have directly opposing muscles that extend your wrist and fingers.
DO THIS: Take your opposite hand and grip your forearm right under your wrist. Squeeze and move your wrist slowly forward and backward. Hello! Can you feel this magical facial stretch? Do this movement all the way down to your elbow. Hold as long as you want as many times as you want.
Step 3. Wring it out.
All these muscles are bundled together in a relatively tight space, and I like to create more space by doing a little twist and shout.
DO THIS: Same as before when you grabbed your own forearm below the wrist, but instead of moving your hand back and forth you are going to rotate your forearm back and forth. You can feel those ropey bundles sliding around and thats good! If you find a spot that feel especially good, hang out there for awhile.
Step 4. Dig In
Another explorative tension excavation exercise. This is most effective in the meaty muscle on the top of your arm near your elbow.
DO THIS: Squeeze your forearm down by your elbow. Find the little ridges and bumps, and once you've found a good spot -you'll know when you're on one - start rotating your forearm back and forth, move your wrist forward and back. Feel the muscles move under your finger tips and explore the tender spots. This will loosen the tension and bring blood flow to the area and I am constantly doing this move throughout my day.
Step 5. Notice.
The biggest favor we can do for our bodies is just noticing whats going on.
Notice if you've been typing away for an hour on your phone or computer and how it feels. Notice if You keep your wrist at an awkward angle on the steering wheel of your car, or the angle of your wrists on your bikes handle bars and how it feels.
Taking time to check in with your muscles and bones before they require attention makes all the difference. DO THIS.