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Top 5 Chest Exercises You Can Do With Wrist Injury

Top 5 Chest Exercises You Can Do With Wrist Injury

Wrist injuries are common in gyms, especially if you do intense bodybuilding exercises or lift heavy weights. However, there are ways you can continue your chest workout while still suffering from a wrist injury.

This article discusses possible exercises you can do even with an injured wrist.

1. Pec Deck Machine

Pec Deck Machine

A pec deck machine is a type of workout equipment that can help build muscle mass and strength in the chest. The American Council on Exercise listed it as one of the most effective ways to develop chest muscles.

Because the pec deck machine targets the chest muscles, this is an excellent way to exercise without placing too much stress on your injured wrist.

  • Place your forearms against the machine's foam cushioning, making sure your injured wrist does not make contact
  • Hold this stance for one to two seconds while squeezing your forearms together
  • Gradually release pressure as you reposition your forearms

According to a certified personal trainer named Maple Holistics,

“The pec deck works both your chest and its supporting muscles, primarily your pectoralis major, which is the muscle that allows you to swing and bring your arms together.”

2. Resistance Bands

Resistance Bands

Resistance bands work the minor and major pectoralis muscles. With resistance bands, it is easy to maintain a neutral wrist position without flexing or stretching your wrist. You also do not need to worry about wearing out the delicate muscles in your wrist and hand.

  • Lean backward against a weight bench
  • Under the bench, thread the resistance band, and fasten both ends around your arms
  • Bring your hands together across your chest while keeping your arms at shoulder height
  • Be careful to keep your elbows straight
  • Slowly bring your arms back to your sides

3. Supine Punch-Outs

Supine Punch-Outs

Supine punch-outs work your serratus anterior, a muscle that runs along your ribs on the outside of your chest.


  • Lay on your back and place a wrist weight on each forearm.
  • Keeping your elbows straight, raise your arms above your head
  • Next, roll your shoulder blades forward while punching towards the ceiling.
  • Relax your shoulder blades and drop your hands again without bending your elbows after holding the position for one to two seconds.

4. Resistance Band Internal Rotation

Resistance Band Internal Rotation

A resistance band can help you work the pectoralis major, a muscle connected with other smaller muscles when internally rotating the shoulder.

  • Tie one end of the resistance band around your forearm and secure the other end to a fixed place
  • Bend your elbow at a 90-degree angle
  • Slowly rotate your forearm inwards towards your belly.
  • When your forearm reaches your belly, hold this position for a few seconds before releasing the tension in the band, twisting your forearm away from your body

5. Modified Push-Ups

5.1. Push-Up Plus

The serratus anterior is also engaged by performing a push-up plus, keeping the shoulders flexible and improving your posture. Rather than putting pressure on your wrists, instead, perform this exercise with your forearms.

  • Get into a plank position by balancing on your toes and forearms
  • Make sure not to put any weight on your injured wrist
  • To raise your injured wrist off the floor, lay a cushion or folded-up exercise mat beneath the forearm
  • Roll your shoulder blade forward
  • Your upper back will lift a few inches off the floor as a result
  • Hold this position for one to two seconds, then relax your shoulder blades while returning to the starting position

5.2. Push-Ups With Kettlebells or Dumbbells

Push-Ups With Kettlebells or Dumbbells

Push-Ups With Kettlebells or Dumbbells

Only use two kettlebells or dumbbells if you have a wrist injury. Your wrists will no longer bend and will remain straight, putting less pressure on your wrist and hands.

  • Under both shoulders, place a dumbbell or a kettlebell spaced apart roughly at shoulder-width
  • While holding the handles of the weights, get into a push-up position
  • Do a push-up
  • Repeat this exercise 8-10 times

5.3. Push-Ups Against the Wall

Standing push-ups are great for building upper body strength and help relieve stress on your shoulders and wrists.

  • Position yourself so that you are facing a wall
  • Place your hands apart on the wall at shoulder-width
  • Leave space between you and the wall by moving your feet back
  • Lean toward the wall by bending your elbows
  • Return to the starting position, keeping your hands pressed against the wall
  • Repeat 8-10 times

5.4. Push-Up Bars

Push-Up Bars

When using push-up bars, do a static hold rather than going through all the motions. This reduces stress on your wrists while putting more pressure on your chest.

  • Set the two push-up bars apart at shoulder width
  • Grab the bar and start doing pushups
  • As you lower yourself, engage your glutes and core. Hold this position for five seconds
  • Return to the starting position
  • Perform 8–10 times

5.5. Bench Incline Push-Ups

Bench Incline Push-Ups

By doing a modified bench push-up while standing up, you can reduce discomfort on your injured wrist since you are supporting less weight

  • Position yourself in front of a weight bench
  • Spread your hands apart at shoulder-width on the bench while keeping your arms straight
  • When your legs are fully stretched and slightly apart, step back with your feet
  • Bring your chest close to the bench as close as you can
  • While lowered, hold you position for a few seconds before returning to the initial poison
  • Repeat this exercise 8-10 times.

5.6. What Are Push-Up Alternatives If You Have a Wrist Injury?

It is possible to do other exercises that target the chest muscles if you don't feel comfortable doing push-ups. While doing exercises, stop and get advice from a physical therapist or personal trainer if you experience any pain or discomfort.

Low Plank

Low Plank

Pain can be reduced by entirely removing the wrists from the exercise, which will allow you to focus your attention on working for other muscle groups You can develop the same muscles as during a pushup while performing a low forearm plank without putting your wrists at risk.

  • Lay flat on top of an exercise or yoga mat on the floor
  • With your legs completely stretched and your elbows tucked under your shoulders, lie down on the mat
  • Your body should be in a straight line from your shoulders to your feet as you raise and lower yourself
  • Lay your hands flat on the floor with the forearms parallel to the ground
  • Hold for 30 seconds while contracting your glutes and core

TRX Chest Fly

TRX Chest Fly

To do a TRX chest fly, you need a TRX suspension system. Grabbing and stretching the TRX straps, you may go through a full range of motion by applying resistance with your own body weight.

  • Secure or anchor the TRX straps
  • Turn your back on the anchor
  • Standing with your feet apart at shoulder-width, grab the handles with an overhand hold
  • Raise your arms in front of you at shoulder height
  • Move forward with your body in a diagonal position, putting all your weight on your toes
  • Bending your elbows slightly, spread your arms out into a T-pose
  • As your arms stretch out, bend forward so your chest is facing the ground
  • Return to the starting position
  • Repeat 8-10 times

Wall Ball Push

Wall Ball Push

The wall ball push can help you strengthen the upper body, including the chest, triceps, shoulders, and core muscles while reducing stress on your wrists.

  • Stand in front of a wall with a 10-pound ball in your hands. The ball should be close to your chest with your hands and palms up
  • Maintain a slight stagger position by stepping forward with your right foot
  • Push the ball toward the wall while engaging your core. The push should be strong enough that it bounces back into your hands
  • Pull the ball towards you before repeating
  • Perform 8-10 reps

Dumbbell Chest Press

Dumbbell Chest Press

The dumbbell chest press is another upper body workout that targets the chest, triceps, and shoulders. Make sure to not put any stress on your injured wrist and do light exertion while performing this exercise.

  • Hold dumbbells in both hands
  • Lay on the bench with your feet flat on the ground 
  • Stretch your arms fully and hold the dumbbells above your chest
  • Slowly lower both dumbbells toward your chest by engaging your core while laying flat on your back
  • Rest for 2-3 seconds before returning to the starting position.
  • Repeat 8-10 times

6. Eat a Healthy Diet

Many people who are struggling with an injury worry about putting on weight during recovery. But it's important to be aware that by modifying your diet to meet your current exercise level, you can avoid gaining too much extra weight.

Since your body won't need as many calories if you move less, you might want to eat less. Pay attention to your protein intake relative to your level of activity.

To help speed up recovery, you should consume a lot of anti-inflammatory foods, including tomatoes, green vegetables, almonds, fatty fish, olives, and berries.

7. Last Words

A wrist injury can be detrimental to the strength of your chest muscles since most chest exercises require using your hands. Luckily, there are a lot of exercises or modified workouts that allow you to continue your chest muscle workout routine in the event of a wrist injury. However, before you start, seek a physician’s help and advice.

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