Young woman with hands clasped in Arms Overhead Pose or Urdhva Hastasana Pose.

5 Yoga Moves for Hands and Wrists

Barrie Risman E-RYT-500
Updated: 
October 08, 2022

Did you know that each hand has 27 bones, with 8 in the wrist and 17 in the hand and fingers? This means that out of the 206 bones in the human body, over 25 percent of them are in the fingers, hands, and wrists! Isn’t that amazing? Plus, there are 34 muscles and over 100 ligaments and tendons in each hand, which gives them an incredible range and precision of movement.

Why am I telling you this? Not only because I think it’s interesting to know but also because you can take a moment to recognize and appreciate the incredibly refined structure and architecture of this part of your body. Your hands enable you to do all things you do every day, including typing, texting, writing, cooking, driving, knitting, gardening, and, of course, much, much more.

There are few places in the body that could likely benefit more from some care and attention than our dear, and often overworked, fingers, hands, and wrists.
Here’s a sequence of simple stretches you can do any time to give your wrists, hands, and fingers some love:

Wrist RollsHow to do yoga wrist rolls to keep your wrists healthy and happy

  1. Sitting or standing, hold your hands at a comfortable height in front of you. Interlace your fingers. 

  2. Make fluid figure-8 movements with your wrists, moving at a comfortable speed with as little tension in your fingers as possible.

  3. Repeat 5 to 10 times, and then change directions and repeat.

Clasped Hands Overhead

  1. Sitting or standing, interlace your fingers, turn your palms 
    How to practice Arms Overhead Pose or Urdhva Hastasana for strong arms and hands.to face forward, and stretch your arms above your head.

  2. Make your palms as parallel to the ceiling as possible by drawing the pinky-finger sides of your wrists down and stretching the thumb sides of your wrists up.

  3. Keeping your shoulders relaxed, make your arms as straight as possible by drawing your elbows toward each other. Stay here for a few breaths.

  4. Release, change the interlacing of your fingers, and repeat on the second side.

Wrist CurlsImage depicts how to do wrist curls to keep you arms and hands healthy in yoga practice.

  1. Stand with your palms facing forward.

  2. Make fists with your thumbs on the outside, so they’re curled on top of your index fingers.

  3. Keeping your upper arms alongside your body, curl your fists toward the underside of your wrists. Repeat this movement a few times.

Popeye Arms

  1. Sitting or standing, make fists with your hands. This time, How to practice Popeye Arms to strengthen your arms.
    curl your thumbs under your fingers, so they’re touching your palms. 

  2. Raise your arms up out to the sides until your upper arms are in line with your shoulders and roughly parallel with the floor. Bend your elbows to 90 degrees with your palms facing your head.

  3. Tilt your fists in toward your head, bending at the wrists.

  4. Keeping that angle of the wrists, slowly straighten and bend your arms. Repeat a few times.

Wrist Stretches

Part 1:How to stretch your wrists forward and backward to increase wrist mobility for happy, healthy wrists.

  1. Stand facing a wall, far enough away so your arms can be straight when you have your hands on the wall.

  2. Place your palms on the wall in front of you at shoulder height and approximately shoulders-distance apart with your fingers pointing up and your wrists roughly parallel to the floor.

  3. Spread your fingers slightly so that there is roughly equal space between all of the fingers.

  4. Stretch up through the sides of your torso to lift your chest, draw the tops of your arms back, and gently firm your shoulder blades against your back.

  5. Keeping those actions, press your hands into the wall as fully and as evenly as possible. Pay particular attention to pressing the base of all of your fingers (where your fingers meet the palms) evenly into the wall, as well as the tips of your fingers and the inner and outer heels of your hands.

  6. Keeping your hands and fingers pressing against the wall like this, extend evenly out through all your fingers as if you were trying to make your fingers longer.

  7. Stay here for a few breaths.

Part 2:How to stretch your wrists forward and backward to increase wrist mobility for happy, healthy wrists.

  1. Still working with your palms at the wall, turn your fingers to face down (or out to the sides if they don’t turn down all the way).

  2. Keeping your shoulders in place, press through as much of the hands as possible, starting with the finger pads and knuckles, then then the base of the fingers, and finally gradually moving weight toward the heels of the hands. Stay here for several breaths.

 

 

 

 

Dr. Arielle Schwartz, Yoga Teacher, YogaU Presenter, The Vagus Nerve, Trauma-Informed Yoga

 
Reprinted with permission from YogaforTimesof Change.

Barrie Risman, E-RYT-500, yoga teacher, writer, author

 

Barrie Risman is an internationally recognized yoga teacher, teacher trainer, and best-selling authorDownload a free class from her new Yoga for Times of Change video companion classes and learn more about her book Evolving Your Yoga: Ten Principles for Enlightened Practice at www.barrierisman.com.