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Wrist Pain Bench Press – How To Protect Your Wrists (Guide)

Did you recently start experiencing wrist pain from bench press? Well, you’re not alone, as tons of lifters also experience wrist pain every now and again.

Without mincing words, bench press wrist pain is among the most common complaint among lifters. If not properly handled, this condition can worsen and may even prevent you from achieving your fitness goals.

Thankfully, bench press wrist injury isn’t the death of you as there are several things you can do to improve your wrist’s health and kick wrist pain to the backburner.

Whether you just want to make sure you’re benching correctly to prevent wrist injuries in the future, or you’re currently dealing with a pre-existing wrist condition, rest assured that today’s post will offer some exciting tips you’ll love.

Five common reasons why you feel wrist pain from bench pressing

Besides pre-existing wrist conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis, osteoarthritis, and more that can trigger pain in the wrist, there are many other reasons why your wrist hurts when bench pressing. For experienced lifters or amateur lifters just getting started, here are some common reasons why your wrist hurts badly when bench pressing:

  • Having the bar rest on your finger’s base instead of your palm: For weight lifters, form and technique are super important if you want to remain in this space for a long time, so you must take extra care to get your technique right. It’s a big no-no to have the bar at the base of your fingers when lifting. Doing so is a recipe for disaster. So instead of having the bar at the base of your finger, try to hold it lower down on the palm.
  • Gripping the bar with a handful of fingers: When bench pressing, everything you do is important. So there is no need to cut corners as doing so can cause your wrist to hurt badly. While benching, you must resist the urge to grip the bar using only a few fingers; that’s wrong on all fronts. More so, it would be best if you never used a thumbless grip while benching. To keep your wrist safe and protected from injuries, take extra care to grip correctly, and avoid using a thumbless grip.
  • Having your wrist bent back too far: This is very common among amateur lifters and people just starting out. The excitement that comes with lifting can lure you into having your wrist bent too backward when gripping the barbel. And since your wrist isn’t prepped to handle all that weight, it is only a matter of time before your wrist succumbs to all that pressure, eventually forcing you to take some time off the things you love doing the most.

But you can have all that sorted if you’re extra careful and take some time to build wrist strength while getting your form and technique right.

  • Having your grips a tad too wide: There is nothing wrong with having your grips wide when bench pressing. More so, wide grips allow you to execute more clean lifts. This is not to say that close grips aren’t as effective.

But guess what, when you have your grips too wide on the barbels, you’re inviting trouble as this puts your wrist on the firing line.

To this end, you must try to get your grips right. If you just started lifting, we would advise you to keep your feet on the breaks and take things one step at a time. Also, try to look at the best lifters around you and see how they grip; this should set you on the right part.

  • Using heavyweights too early: We all love to smash our records, so it’s okay to increase weights every now and then when we feel comfortable. But guess what, if you’re just starting out, you must resist the urge to go in heavy.

First off, using heavyweights too early will take a considerable toll on your wrist, leaving trails of pain, inflammation, or even swelling. Secondly, you have nothing to prove to anyone, so it’s okay to start slow and increase your weight as you feel comfortable. Also, take extra preventive measures to keep your wrist protected.

Who is at risk of wrist pain from bench press?

Anybody can suffer wrist pain. But you know what, you’re more at risk of suffering wrist pain if you bench often. And that’s because bench pressing puts your wrist on the firing line.

Also, people with pre-existing wrist conditions like osteoarthritis, tendonitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, ganglion cyst and more experience wrist pain from the bench press.

Top treatments for bench press wrist injury

Like we earlier stated, bench press wrist pain isn’t a death sentence, so there is no reason to freak out. And whether you’re experiencing mild or severe wrist pain, rest assured that some of the treatment options highlighted below will offer the much-needed relief you’re looking for. Here, check out some fantastic treatment options for wrist pain you can explore.

Medication: If you’re looking for fast relief from the pain you’re having in your wrist, you’ll not go wrong to give over the counter pain medications like ibuprofen a try. This incredible medicine acts fast and will provide the much-needed relief you’re searching for. The only caveat with pain relief medication is that it only offers temporary relief and doesn’t address the condition’s root cause.

Take some time to rest: For mild wrist pain, taking some time off to rest usually does the tricks. So instead of hitting the gym every other day, it will make a lot of sense to take some days off and allow your wrist to rest and recuperate. You can resume benching after a few days of rest, and we guarantee you’ll feel better.

Use protective gear: There has been a lot of debate regarding whether to use protective gloves and wrist wraps when benching, but for what its worth, keeping your wrist protected should be the most crucial thing when benching. Trust us when we say you don’t want to stay on the sidelines for many months or have to undergo surgery because you refused to keep your wrist protected.

Wrist gloves and wraps are your first line of defence against wrist injuries, so you must have them on every time you hit the gym.

Warm-up and exercise regularly: Not warming up adequately and exercising regularly before benching is a huge no-no. The truth is taking on the bench with a cold wrist is all shades of wrong and may cause severe damage you’re not just ready for. Some days it’s okay to ignore the bench and take some time off to warm-up and exercise.

During days when you work at full max, it’s important to spend some time warming up. This way, your wrists are well prepared for the pressure you’re bringing their way. Also, try not to go in heavy at once. You can start with lightweight and take things up a notch as you feel comfortable.

Surgery: This is most likely the last resort for severe wrist pain that won’t go away even after trying some of the treatment options mentioned above. Yes, nobody likes surgery, but guess what, sometimes surgery is your only chance of getting better.

Although surgery may put you on the sidelines for many weeks or months, its refreshing to know that you’ll feel better after the procedure, so it is worth giving a shot.

You should keep in mind that surgery addresses the root cause of the wrist pain you’re feeling.

To speed up healing, your wrist may be immobilized entirely to protect the site of the procedure.

3 top ways to prevent sore wrist while doing bench press

It can be super tricky to prevent wrist pain when benching, and that’s because some things are just beyond our control. That said, here are some things you can do to keep your wrist protected when benching:

Wearing protective gear: Using protective gear is a must if you’re serious about keeping your wrist safe at the gym. From wrist gloves to wrist wraps and more, try to invest in good protective wrist gears. Besides keeping your wrist protected, wrist gears also help improve your performance.

Get your form and technique right: When you first start benching, this excitement permeates all through your body. But don’t let all that fool you. Take things slow and ensure you get your form and technique correctly right from the get-go. Doing this will set you on the path of smashing your fitness goal.

Warm-up and exercise regularly: We can’t emphasize this enough. Always try to warm-up and exercise before you start benching. Truth is, benching on a cold wrist is like shooting yourself on the foot, and we doubt you’ll like that very much.

It’s okay to spend some days warming up and exercising. This prepares you for the days when you’ll be going at full max. The best part is that regular exercise and warm-ups help build wrist strength.

Best stretches/exercise for bench press

Hand rotations: This beautiful exercise is a must-do for lifters looking to build wrist strength and improve performance. Hand rotations help lubricate your wrist joints and prepare them for a blend of exercises.

To start, keep your arms in front of you, and try to make a loose fist with both your hands. Now rotate clockwise and repeat counterclockwise. Do this three times, and you’re good to go.

Arm rotation and supination

This incredible exercise is highly recommended because of its impact and ability to work on both the shoulder and the entire arm.

Facing forward, try to hold your arms straight out to your sides so that your body makes a T-shape. With your palms facing up, rotate your arms slowly until it is facing down. Continue up and down for 20-30 seconds.

Best wrist support for benching

IPOW 18.5 Professional wrist wraps

This unique wrap is a must-have for weight lifters who want to protect their wrist and improve their performance. Fitted with a nice thumb strap and adjustable straps, this wrist wrap for bench press will keep your wrist protected. Plus, it is breathable, lightweight, and comfortable to wear.

Pros

  • Designed for professionals and amateurs
  • Made from quality materials
  • Lightweight, breathable and comfortable

Cons

  • Some customers have complained of stiffness when wearing this wrap

BYKOTTOS wrist wraps

As your first line of defence against injuries, BYKOTTOS wrist wraps keep your wrist protected from common bench press injuries. Featuring adjustable straps along with a reliable thumb hook, this wrist wrap is prepped to deliver on its promise of keeping your wrist protected while improving performance.

Pros

  • Super comfortable
  • Reinforced stitching
  • Fitted with thumb strap and adjustable straps

Cons

  • No warranty

Kamileo lifting wraps

If what you want is the best wrist wrap for lifting, you’ll be hard picked to find any better than this incredible wrist support at the moment. Designed for comfort, style, and protection, this lifting wrap will improve your performance while keeping your wrist protected from injuries.

Pros

  • Delivers solid grip your wrist is missing
  • Superior quality
  • Lightweight and breathable

Cons

  • Some customers have complained that it is a little too tight

Contraband black label 1001 wrist wrap

If you like to go in heavy, then this is for you. This rugged wrap doesn’t only improve your performance; its adjustable wraps mean that you can have it nicely wrapped around your wrist, protecting it from common bench press injuries. Its economical price means you don’t have to rob the bank to invest in a wrap that works.

Pros

  • Delivers three levels of support, light-duty, medium-duty, and heavy-duty
  • Fitted with heavy-duty hook and loop.
  • 1-year warranty

Cons

  • Can be a little rough on the wrist

Frequently asked questions

Can I stay injury-free when benching?

Although it can be challenging to prevent injury when benching as you may not have control over some things, that said, you can stay protected by wearing protective gears and exercising regularly.

When should you see your doctor?

Wrist pain that won’t subside or worsen after a few days is a telltale sign that something is wrong. So try to visit your doctor if your condition worsens.

Are they home remedies for wrist pain?

If you feel mild wrist pain, you can use ice packs on the affected area to relieve the pain you’re feeling.

Conclusion

Wrist pain from bench press is a common complaint among weight lifters, but like other wrist problems, this condition can be effectively managed if it is promptly diagnosed and treated. So try not to ignore any weird pain in your wrist and try to visit your doctor if you aren’t feeling better after a few days of rest.