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The wrist and shoulders are common places for over-use injuries, especially in the sport of gymnastics. It’s important to strengthen these areas before injuries occur to help stay ahead of the game. It seems that too many athletes wait until an injury occurs to begin concentrating on these areas which begins a vicious snowball effect…the area becomes injured, the athlete tries to begin working on it again too soon, never gives the area a chance to fully heal, and then continues to injure the same area over and over. A little preventative strengthening before-hand can go along in helping avoid these potentially frustrating times.

Here are some great exercises that can be done every day in a short amount of time. Most athletes just incorporate these exercises into their daily warm-up routine.

Exercise 1

Step on a bungee cord or thera-band, keeping your elbow bent and forearm at 90 degrees. Adjust the tightness of the band appropriately and curl the band just using your wrist. Go up and down in as full a range of motion as possible, keeping tension in the band the entire time.

Exercise 2

This is the same as Exercise 1, but with the hand turned over. This concentrates on strengthening the muscles in the top of the forearm up to the wrist much more.

Exercise 3

The same two exercises as above can be done using a weight instead of a bungee cord or theraband. Try both to see which works best for you.

Exercise 4

These are pushups using only your wrists. In a pushup position, press up through the fingertips and then lower back down. In just starting out with this exercise, you may need to begin on your hands and knees until your wrists are strong enough to lift more of your body weight.

Shoulder Exercises

Exercise 1

Wrap a bungee cord around a pole, column, or similar item. You will need to “anchor” one end and hold the other end with your closest hand. With your elbow tucked in to your side and elbow bent at 90 degrees, pull the band away from the pole, pivoting your forearm around your elbow. Try and rotate your forearm along the same plane. This is will help to strengthen your rotator cuff area.Wrap a bungee cord around a pole, column, or similar item. You will need to “anchor” one end and hold the other end with your closest hand. With your elbow tucked in to your side and elbow bent at 90 degrees, pull the band away from the pole, pivoting your forearm around your elbow. Try and rotate your forearm along the same plane. This is will help to strengthen your rotator cuff area.

Exercise 2

A similar rotator cuff exercise to the previous, but this time hold the band with your outside hand. Again, try and rotate your forearm out along the same plane.

Exercise 3

Facing away from the pole, grap both ends of the bungee behind you. Pull the bungee down and forward, bringing your arms right by your legs. Keep tension in the bungee as you return to the starting position as well. This exercise works your biceps tendon, up through the shoulder and into your trap area.

Exercise 4

Similar to the previous exercise, but this time your arms will be higher, parallel to the floor. Pull the bungee straight forward until your hands meet in front of you. Then return your arms back the same way, maintaining tension in the bungee. This exercise uses more of your peck muscles.Similar to the previous exercise, but this time your arms will be higher, parallel to the floor. Pull the bungee straight forward until your hands meet in front of you. Then return your arms back the same way, maintaining tension in the bungee. This exercise uses more of your peck muscles.

Exercise 5

Stand on the center of the bungee, holding both ends in your hands. Raise your arms arms out to the side and all the way over your head until your hands are about shoulder width apart from each other. Return to the starting position through the same motion, keeping tension in the bungee the entire time.