Plank, downward facing dog and even hands and knees tabletop are common positions that lead to wrist pain. 

If you’re in this boat, don’t assume that means yoga, Pilates or your favorite fitness classes just aren’t a good fit for you.  It’s possible to eliminate wrist pain in these positions by learning to shoulder your weight.

Crankiness in a joint means it’s time to fine-tune your Body Geometry, aka your best positioning.  When a joint in your extremity – your arm or leg – is bothering you, look to the joint closet to the center of your body. 

In this case, that’s your shoulder.  This is where stability needs to happen. 




To adjust your shoulders, think of this Body Geometry Shape: The Spiral.

Spiral your upper arms back, so that your elbows point behind you, not out to the sides.

  • Notice what happens to your shoulders when you Spiral.  They drop down and back, away from your ears.
  • Try the Spiral in these positions: hands & knees tabletop, plank, downward facing dog.  It may not feel natural at first, so take care to notice how your wrists feel when you’re in this position. 
  • Don’t overwork the Spiral, go for 75% effort.





What’s Happening Here

The Spiral sets your shoulder joint into its best weight-bearing position.  You have more muscle mass around your shoulder joint than around your wrist – it’s appropriate to ask this larger joint to carry the weight of your body.  When you set this joint up to do its job, it won’t pass the buck on to your wrist.

Need an exercise to help you practice the Spiral?  Try Dumbwaiter

Be sure to use the Spiral whenever you do these moves:

  • Pilates: cat/cow, pregnant cat, leg pull front, leg pull back, elephant, up stretch, down stretch
  • Yoga: cat/cow, stick, dolphin, downward dog, upward dog
  • Fitness: hands & knees reach, plank, push-ups, fore-arm plank