The Fitness Fixer
The Fitness Fixer

Stronger Pain-Free Wrists When Biking

Reader Bill fixed his neck, shoulder, and upper and lower back pain, and went back to the bike riding he loves. He tells how he did it in Freed From Pain, He Rides Again and Inspirational Update from Bill.

Bill is now away on his current adventure, flying commercial cargo flights all over the world. He tells about it in Reader Successes Endure - Next Update From Bill. He took time to send some photos of how we changed simple wrist positioning to stop hand and wrist pain when biking:

Don't do this for too long. Hands may go numb and wrists may hurt.

The handshake grip, easy on elbows and wrists.


Alternate hand position, when sitting more upright.

Bill writes:

"I find it helpful to change hand position frequently. It minimizes discomfort and numbness. Ensure position does not put a lot of weight on your arms. Seat and feet should carry most of the weight.

"Labor day ride (September 2007) with a quick group of us old-timers (ages 55 to 66) rode 67 miles in 3hrs 30min. That's 19 mph! Best ride I've ever done. No pain or numbness. Your stuff sure helps."

You don't need to always keep wrists straight to stop pain and pressure. Healthy wrist bending is needed for pushups (Change Common Exercises to Get Better Ab Exercise and Stop Back Pain), holding a plank position (Abdominal Muscle Exercise - Better, Different, Not What You Think), handstands (Leg Stretch that Strengthens Arms), and other fun activities that weight your arms. The idea is to not shift all the weight to the bent wrist joint. When putting weight on a bent wrist:

  • Distribute weight over your entire hand and fingers.
  • Use forearm muscles to prevent the wrist from pinching back under all the weight.
  • The idea is to keep your weight up on your muscles, not just passively compressing the joints.

Use healthful positioning and muscle use to prevent wrist pain when cutting food, using a keyboard or data entry device, gardening, and all the fun exercises you can do. Future posts will give specifics for each, but you can apply the general concepts now to all you do. Confining the wrist to a splint does not stop the source of the problem and is not healthful in the long-run. Wrists need movement and loading to keep the joint healthy, the muscles strong, and bones dense. Just do it in a healthful way.

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About the Author


Dr. Bookspan is an award-winning scientist whose goal is to make exercise easier and healthier.