Wrist pain in the Front Squat: hints from Crossfit London

by Andrew Stemler on January 20, 2010

in Articles

If you give Pat an olympic bar to hold, it settles  in the right place (see above photo) The bar rests on his anterior deltoids, his chest is big, and his elbows point forward. His fingers act as  a type of  safety catch and make sure the bar stays where it is  supposed to. Well done. No pain, just hours of fun.

However, some people find the front squat is really painful and hurts their wrists. The best advise I can give is, continue to practise, and suck it up.

Possibly not helpful advise.

However here as some drills which may  help increase wrist range of motion

Pray behind your back,

Twyla demos "behind your back prayer"

Initially we found no correlation between those who could do this,and those who could hold the front squat position. We speculated that bicep size, shoulders, and back tightness could  also be part of the answer, but a useful drill nevertheless.It makes you feel as if you are fighting back.

But we tested some people who could not hold the position, and here is a good example of what it can look like

poor flexibility in the wrists looks like this

so we hunted for other drills

Waggle on all fours ( aka The Fluffy Rug drill)

Yes the drill  that out sexes all other drills. Get  on a fluffy rug, on all fours ( fingers facing forward, or away from you), and rock your shoulders forward.  Hold for time or gentle reps.( this is now known as the fluffy rug drill)

To make this more challenging and target the right bit of the wrist, put your fingers up on a higher surface and push down with your fingers.

tarek demos the fluffy rug drill with fingers on a higher surface

we also experimented with the Nisha Roll.
This is where you hold the bar under your chin with your elbows below the bar, then open your hands and drop the bar onto your shoulders.

Tarek shows the start position for the Nisha roll

tarek attempts the finishing position of the nisha roll

Sometimes  a bit of brute force can help, and you can push the bar down

push down

or, you can push the elbows up, to get that last bit of flexibility, and  a better front squat position

push up

push elbows up

In training we found a multi station circuit to get the best results,
so pray for 10 seconds
fluffy rug for 10 to 15 rocks
5 Nisha rolls
then a  10 second attempt at front squat position hold ( with someone lifting your elbows up)

Noticeable improvements within the session.

4 comments
andrew
andrew

i just like fluffy things.

Steven
Steven

When are we planning to deal with the more pressing issue of WHAT ARE YOU DOING WITH A FLUFFY RUG?

Steven
Steven

You just had to go there, Trevor...

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