The muscles that flex your forearms can adopt a shortened position after a long stretch of desk work, especially when it involves the computer and keyboard.
This assisted-stretching technique can relax your forearm muscles and bring more ease to your wrist movements (there are also video instructions below).
- Hold your left arm straight out in front and turn your left palm face up.
- Make a soft C-clamp with your right thumb and forefinger and grip the left wrist, just below thick part of the hand.
- Lay the middle, ring, and pinky fingers of your right hand in the palm of your left hand.
- Gently pull your left hand away from your body with your C-clamp grip. This movement will open up the wrist joint a bit to make the stretch more effective.
- As you exhale, pull the backs of the fingers on your left hand back toward your elbow, extending your fingers as far as they’ll go.
- After you have actively moved your fingers as far as they’ll go, gently assist the movement by pushing your right-hand fingers into the palm of your left hand.
- Repeat 3-5 times and then reverse the instructions to stretch your right forearm.
After you’ve stretched each forearm several times, shake out your hands and arms, roll your shoulders a few times, and enjoy your new flexible forearms.
I first learned this stretch from James Waslaski, a massage continuing-education teacher who educates and certifies massage therapists (including me) in orthopedic massage.