Last Updated on April 4, 2020 by Jake
As a gamer, you may have noticed that after several hours or days of being on your computer, you’ll start to develop some wrist and arm discomfort. Gaming for long hours can affect the joint and muscle health of your wrist and fingers, so you should take adequate breaks at regular intervals. Regardless of how consistent you are with taking breaks though, doing wrist stretches for gamers will help with your long term health and gaming performance.
Also, gamers may have wrist pains that remain regardless of how often they take breaks. Repetitive stress and long-term use of the wrist tendons put a certain pressure on the median nerve which runs up the wrist.
That pressure may manifest in the form of swelling or inflammation and may result in severe pains, tingling, numbness, and weakness in the wrist and at the base of the thumb. This pain is not only uncomfortable but could also affect your performance or worse, prevent you from continuing to play if any long term damage is done.
Left untreated, the inflammation or swelling may go on to cause more serious and permanent problems resulting in tissue damage. The pain can actually start to move up the arm, affecting more than the wrist; you may start to feel the pain in your elbows or even all the way up at your shoulders.
In fact, you could actually develop carpal tunnel syndrome if you don’t pay close attention to your wrist health. This will cause severe inflammation in the carpal tunnel at the base of your wrist which will eventually irritate the median nerve. It’s very hard to cure carpal tunnel, so this post is going to take a look at some stretches and exercises for gamers that are in many ways preventative care for your wrists, hands, and fingers.
In this article, we’ve included 6 wrist stretches for gamers that will help you reduce swelling, relieve nerve congestion, strengthen weak wrists, and ultimately eliminate pain.
Finger Stretches for Gamers
Sit up straight and lengthen your spine all through the neck. Extend your arms in front of you and keep your shoulders pinned back to your chair. You want to keep your elbows straight here.
Open your hands wide with your palms facing towards the ground. Spread your fingers wide as you stretch them away from each other. You’ll start to feel the bases of your palms and the bases of your thumbs being relieved.
Next, you’ll want to curl your fingers back into your palm and ball your hands up into fists. Really try to squeeze your fists tight to stretch the upper side of your wrists.
To take this a little further, with your hands in fists, you can bend your wrists down and draw your fists in towards your chest.
From there, turn your fists up again and open your hands wide to repeat the stretch.
This stretch is a great warm up, and look to do around 20 repetitions to get your fingers and wrists activated.
Starting at the same seated position with your back straight and your shoulders pinned back, extend your right arm straight out in front of you. Your elbow should be straight and your palm should be facing the ground here too.
Point your fingers forward and then bend your hand at the wrist so that your palm faces the front and your fingers are pulled back towards your shoulders.
From here, reach forward with your left hand and gently grab the fingers of your right hand. Now slowly, start pulling your fingers back even further towards your shoulder.
You’re going to start to feel a deep stretch at the inner base of your wrist. Hold this position for 10 seconds or longer until you start to feel a slight relief.
Now release your right hand and repeat the whole exercise with your left hand. Do this stretch at regular intervals during the day or during your gaming session to elevate the tension being built-up.
This will help relieve the inner side of your forearm as well as the base of your wrist which may be worked up after a few hours of gaming. The wrist flexion technique is one of the best wrist stretches for gamers you can do.
Again, sitting up with your back straight as in the previous exercise. Extend your right hand in front of you and keep your elbow straight. Your palm should also face the ground and your fingers should point to the front.
This time, you’re going to bend your hand down at the wrist so that your palm faces your chest and your fingers point down. And again, you’re going to reach out with your left hand and grab the back of your right wrist.
Start to gently pull your wrist in further towards your chest to feel a deeper stretch at the upper side of your forearm. Hold this stretch for 10 seconds or longer until you start to feel a slight relief.
Like the previous exercise, release your right hand and switch arms to stretch the left hand. And similarly, perform this stretch at regular intervals during the day or whenever you feel pain starting to develop in your wrists or elbows.
This mainly works on stretching the muscles in your forearm, but will also work on elevating any pain resulting from nerve congestion. Wrist extension is probably one of the most important wrist stretches for gamers.
Nerve Flossing Using Flexion
Now, to focus on relieving nerve congestion and pain resulting from damaged nerve ends, again assume a seated position. Straighten your back and sit long with your shoulders relaxed down.
Rest your left arm down onto your lap or on the arms of the chair you’re sitting on. From here, reach your right arm out to the side so that it forms a 45-degree angle with the side of your torso. Keep your elbow straight and try to lengthen your reach till you feel a light stretch starting at your thumb and moving all the way up to your elbow.
Depending on how bad you need this stretch, when you lengthen your reach, you may feel that light stretch reach all the way up to your biceps or even your shoulder.
Keeping that reach, flex your wrist in the same way you did in the wrist flexion stretch; pull your fingers in towards your shoulder while your palm turns to face away from your body.
Right about now you may be feeling the deepest stretch you’ve ever felt run through the whole length of your arm. That’s your nerves being relieved.
Hold this position for two seconds and then straighten your wrist again to come back to your starting position. That’s one count. Do about 20 counts on your right side and then set your right arm down and repeat with your left arm.
Nerve Flossing Using Extension
Using the same wrist stretches for gamers as in the previous exercise, again sit up straight and relax your shoulders down.
This time, extend your right arm out to the side and keep it at a 45-degree angle away from your torso but instead of keeping your palm facing down, turn it to face the back so that your thumb points downwards. And from there turn your wrist a little further till your palm and your elbow are almost facing up.
Like in the previous exercise, try to lengthen your reach while your arm is rotated to feel all the muscles being stretched.
Again, right about here, you may start to feel the pain accompanied by this very deep stretch. And again, depending on how much tissue damage you’ve sustained, you might feel the stretch reaching higher up your arm and all the way at the shoulder.
Moving on from here, bend your arm at the wrist and pull your palm up and in towards your shoulder to relieve the upper side of the forearm. Hold this position for two seconds and then release.
You can take this exercise a little further by simultaneously tilting your head to the opposite side of your arm as you bend your wrist. So if your right arm is out, as you bend your wrist, tilt your head out to the left side to deepen the stretch.
Do about 20 counts and then repeat on your left side.
With this exercise, you get to train the muscles in your wrist to sustain more pressure without becoming damaged. It works on strengthening the muscles that hold your metacarpals together as well as the muscles responsible for moving your wrist as a whole.
Sitting on a chair, lay your right arm on a table or flat surface right in front of you. It’s okay if your elbow is bent here, just make sure that your forearm is lying flat and that your wrist is hanging free at the other end of the flat surface.
Your wrist should be hanging down so that your palm faces out and to the front. Holding a dumbbell or a lightweight in your right hand, start to curl your wrist up so that the dumbbell is being pulled up. Hold for one second here as you feel the muscles in your inner forearm contract and then release your wrist back down.
Repeat for 5 counts and then repeat the same exercise on the other side.
Wrist Stretches for Gamers – Conclusion
Regularly stretching and exercising your hands, wrists, and fingers is a good idea for anybody who uses a computer regularly, especially gamers. We hope you use the wrist stretches for gamers we listed above, and if we missed any good ones let us know in the comments section below!
Also, be sure to check out our post on the best gaming chairs along with our posture guide for gamers which will promote long term health (just like wrist stretches for gamers) coming from the ergonomic designs.