Planking Without Pain: Overcoming Wrist Discomfort During Your Workout

Planks and pushups are fundamental exercises in many fitness routines, celebrated for their effectiveness in strengthening multiple muscle groups. However, the benefits of these exercises can sometimes be overshadowed by wrist discomfort or pain, which can deter many from performing these exercises correctly or at all. Here’s a comprehensive guide to understanding the causes of wrist pain during planks and practical solutions to mitigate it.

Understanding Wrist Pain in Planks

Wrist pain during planks can often be attributed to several factors:

  1. Improper Form: Misalignment during exercises can increase stress on the wrists, leading to discomfort.
  2. Tight Wrists: Limited flexibility and mobility in the wrists can make weight-bearing exercises like planks painful.
  3. Underlying Conditions: Issues like carpal tunnel syndrome or arthritis can exacerbate wrist pain. Consulting with a healthcare provider is crucial to tailor exercises that won’t aggravate these conditions.

Benefits of Planks

Despite the potential for wrist discomfort, planks are a staple exercise for good reason:

  • Core Strength: Planks target the entire core, promoting muscular stability.
  • Full Body Workout: They engage not just the core but also the shoulders, back, and hips.
  • Enhanced Stability: Regularly performing planks increases overall stability, aiding in other strength training endeavors and daily activities.

Tips to Reduce Wrist Pain During Planks

Kehinde Anjorin, a functional strength coach, offers three effective strategies to help alleviate wrist pain during planks:

  1. Use Dumbbells: Holding dumbbells instead of placing your hands flat on the ground can help keep the wrists in a neutral and aligned position, reducing strain.
  2. Utilize a Yoga Block: Placing your palms on a yoga block decreases the pressure on your wrists by adjusting the angle of your hands.
  3. Warm-Up Your Wrists: Engaging in wrist and forearm stretches before starting your workout can enhance mobility and reduce stiffness during planks. This warm-up should include movements through various ranges of wrist flexion and extension.

Integrating These Tips into Your Routine

Incorporating Anjorin’s tips can transform your planking experience, making it more comfortable and sustainable. It’s important to integrate these adjustments gradually and to always listen to your body’s response to these changes.

Enhance Your Planking Experience with the Right App

For those looking to enhance their planking routine, consider using a specialized fitness app. The Planks Workout app, available on Google Play Store and Apple App Store, provides a variety of plank variations that can be tailored to any fitness level and include modifications to reduce wrist strain.


Planks are a powerful exercise for building strength and stability across the body, but they shouldn’t cause pain. By using the right techniques and tools, you can enjoy the full benefits of planking without discomfort. Remember, personal adjustments and proper form are key to a pain-free fitness journey. Whether you’re a fitness newbie or a seasoned athlete, these tips can help you maintain an effective and pain-free workout regimen.

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