If Planks Are Killing Your Wrists, Consider This $20 Tool a Must-Have

Photo: Getty Images/AleksandarGeorgiev
The good news about planks: As your core gets stronger, the move becomes easier and easier. to hold (one woman even set the record for staying in the position for 4 hours). The bad news about planks: Even if your abdominal muscles can handle hanging out in the pose, you can still experience a whole lot of discomfort in your wrists. That's where the PBLX Resistance Wrist Trainer ($20) comes in.

We already know that strengthening your wrists is important to your overall fitness routine. “Having stronger and more stable wrists gives you the ability to focus on the areas that the work should actually be coming from versus the areas that it shouldn’t be,” Aaptiv trainer Mike Septh previously told Well+Good. It can improve your range of motion when lifting heavy weights, make the "push-pull" movements in your workouts come more easily, and—yes—help you hold your planks for longer. “Without developing strength in the wrists, overall body strength will be limited," Septh adds.

The PBLX Wrist Trainer is made up of a gyrating ball inside of a stable ball that's small enough to fit in your palm (it's about the size of a baseball). To use it, simply hold the device in your hand and use the muscles in your wrist to move it around, up and down, and from side to side. The goal is to build enough momentum to get the internal ball inside to spin. It lights up and changes colors based on how hard you're working—the white, blue, and green lights all equate to different levels of resistance, up to 35 pounds. The harder you spin, the more resistance you'll get.

It may look easy, but don't let it fool you: After 30 seconds, your wrists and forearms will be burning. There's a reason why athletes in wrist-heavy sports, like baseball and rock climbing, swear by these things (and we even have team members who swear that these make planks more comfortable). Wrist trainers are great for keeping by your desk to help you avoid typing-induced wrist pain—some reviewers have used it to stave off carpal tunnel—and are small enough to bring with you nearly anywhere you go. In addition to helping build strength, the gadget can also help with rehabbing injuries in your wrists, arms, and shoulders, and will aid in increasing your overall mobility and range of motion.

After a few weeks of regular use, you'll be well on your way to holding a four-hour plank (or at least, a 1-minute option) of your own.

Stretching your wrists is just as important as strengthening them, so be sure to follow along with the video below to give those oft-ignored muscles a little extra love. 

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