3 Wrist and Forearm Exercises To Increase Bone Strength

Exercise / October 7, 2016

Weight bearing exercise for Osteoporosis
When it comes to osteoporosis exercises, you don’t usually see much in terms of wrist or forearm exercises. But I think that’s a shame, because grip strength and arm strength should also be focused on. Why? Because they’re good indicators of overall strength and play an important role when it comes to flexibility and range of motion. Plus, not only is it important to strengthen the muscles in your spine and lower body, which tend to be common bone density loss areas – your wrists and forearms are usually the ones bracing your fall and feeling the initial impact. So let’s get them prepped and ready for what may happen (but we hope not!).

3 Wrist and Forearm Exercises For Bone Strength

The following exercises not only increase muscle strength and range of motion, but if you are someone who suffers from tennis elbow, like my mom does, this is also an excellent routine to perform. Tennis elbow, or lateral epicondylitis, occurs when inflammation surrounds the outer side of the elbow. This is commonly caused by strain from playing tennis or other sports. ¹ To reduce the pain and inflammation caused by lateral epicondylitis, it’s recommended to rest, ice and take proven anti-inflammatories like Triple Power Omega 3 Fish Oil. Once any visible swelling and pain has gone away, you can add in the following exercises. From a bone health perspective, these exercises also offer:
  • Increased grip strength, which is an indicator of potential fracture risk and is associated with fragility and a propensity to fall. ²
  • Bone growth stimulation by stressing your bones (in a positive way) through weighted wrist curls.
  • Increased flexibility, in turn increases your range of motion and protects your joints. As we age, our joints can lose up to 50 percent of their range of motion! ³ So incorporating these exercises will help combat that loss.

Lateral Wrist Exercise

This is a lateral wrist flexion and extension that is a combination of a light warmup, stretching and exercise.
  1. Begin standing with your arms out in front of you, palms facing down.
  2. Then bend your wrists forwards and backwards until you feel a light, pain-free stretch
  3. Repeat 10 times on each.
  4. Do 3 sets of 10 repetitions.
Alternatively, you can also do this exercise seated with your forearm supported by a table. Your wrists and fingers should hang over the edge. Then bend your wrists forwards and backwards, just like the GIF above. Benefits: The lateral wrist exercise helps to restore movement to your wrist, while simultaneously improving flexibility of these muscles.

Seated Wrist Straight Curls

This seated wrist curl helps to develop your flexor muscles.
  1. In a seated position on a bosu ball or chair, place your forearm on your thigh with your palm facing upward.
  2. Using a 1- 5 lb hand weight (the weight should be just enough to where you feel fatigued at the end of your set) and flex your wrist upward.
  3. Focus on keeping your forearm well placed against your thigh for stability. You can also use your opposite hand and thigh as pictured.
  4. Do 3 sets of 10 repetitions.
While you’re in between sets for your seated wrist curl, you can also add in the seated wrist reverse curls. This will target your extensor muscles.
  1. You will start in the same seated position with your forearm on your thigh.
  2. But this time, your palm will face downward.
  3. Using your weight, extend your wrist upward fully.
  4. Do 3 sets of 10 repetitions.
*Try to not lift your elbow from the thigh when extending your wrist. Keep your palm down. Progression: Once these exercises are no longer a challenge, increase weight and sets by 1.

Tennis Ball Grip Strength

You will need: A tennis ball (you can also use something similar in size like a lacrosse ball or another ball with some ‘give’).
  1. Grasp the tennis ball in one hand while sitting or standing.
  2. Slowly squeeze it as hard as you can and hold for 2-3 seconds.
  3. Slowly release your squeeze.
  4. Rest for 3 seconds and then repeat 10 times.
  5. Switch hands.
  6. Repeat twice on each hand.
Progression: Once this exercise is no longer a challenge, increase sets by 1 and squeeze time by 1-2 seconds. This wrist and forearm exercise routine should be performed 3x per work, provided they do not cause or increase pain. Check with your physiotherapist prior to beginning this workout to see if these exercises are suitable for you. Source:
  1. http://www.webmd.com/osteoarthritis/guide/tennis-elbow#1
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3448988/
  3. http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00191

Also, do the lateral wrist exercise holding weights to add strength in addition to flexibility and range of motion.


Yes, great point Ann!

– Monica from AlgaeCal

M V Haynes
M V Haynes

Thank you! These are great for increasing strength.


Thanks of these… do them Daily?

You mention tennis elbow- are there exercises like this for shoulders ? and legs?

Add your voice to this discussion...

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *