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Forearm Mobilizations, standing

Bend your wrist back and forth with a locked elbow. Not as satisfying as the seated version (see Forearm Mobilizations, seated) but often more convenient.

Description

This mobilization alternately stretches each side of your forearms, and is derived directly from the forearm and wrist stretches practiced in the Japanese martial art of Aikido. Do one arm at a time. The first stretch is easy: simply lock the elbow, turn the inside of the forearm face up (supinated), and then pull the fingers back to strongly extend the wrist. Stretching the back of the forearm is trickier: stick your arm straight out, and turn the palm face down and continue rotating it until it is facing out. Now, lay your other hand over top, grab it, and twist it even further. Add a little extra pressure to push the wrist into flexion. The final position is nearly impossible to describe, so the diagram of this exercise is especially useful! There are a couple of other interesting things to note about this mobilization: first of all, by my own rules, it’s not really a mobilization, because there is little or no muscle contraction involved, just passively stretching one way and then the other. A true mobilization is Wrist Circles, which actually uses the forearm muscles. However, the stretching sensations in this exercise are so typically pleasant that I recommend it anyway. Also, note that in the wrist-flexed position, you can get a very strong and pleasurable stretch by pushing the back of the wrist up against a wall — try it!


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