Weightlifting

The Road Less Traveled: Wrist Issues


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Over the past couple of weeks, I have been dealing with a lot of pain in my right wrist. It seems to be minimal when it is at rest. However, as soon as I start snatching above 65%, I am subdued by intense pain during the catch. The pain has slowly gotten worse over the last month and I have finally decided that I need to rest it and see a doctor. I am not sure what the severity of the injury is, but I definitely want to have it x-rayed and possibly get a MRI.

I have been icing my wrist at least once a day and taking Ibuprofen when it’s necessary. I have also been wrapping my wrist in a heating pad when I wake up in the morning because it gets stiff during the night. The heat helps to loosen the muscles and give my wrist increased range of motion. I recently purchased a brace that I wear when I am not lifting. This allows my wrist to rest. I have already noticed a decrease in pain since I began wearing it.

I am not confident I know what rehab exercises would be most beneficial for my wrist, but I have been doing lightly weighted wrist curls and banded finger separations. Hopefully once I figure out an exact diagnosis, I will be able to find more injury specific exercises.

Between the pain that I have been experiencing in my wrist and my recent trip to Colorado to visit family, my training has been all over the place. Last week I took a few days off and then tried to snatch on Friday. I worked up to 78kg and had to stop. I finished up that workout with some cleans, but not jerks. My coach and I have decided to take out over head movements this week, to see if there is any improvement with my wrist. This leaves my training sessions focused on a lot of pulls, cleans and squats.

Being 7 weeks out from Nationals, I am trying to stay positive about the outcome. I can only control what I can control. I am continuously telling myself that I can’t stress about my wrist and that I need to focus on the things that I CAN do. It’s definitely a struggle, but one that’s only temporary.

Ariel Stephens is a fast rising Olympic weightlifter based in Moss Landing, Ca and competes for Monterey Bay Barbell Club, where she is coached by Jacob Tsypkin. Ariel currently coaches CrossFit and Weightlifting classes to support her athletic lifestyle. Ariel competed in swimming for the University of Hawaii-Manoa, before she started weightlifting in March 2012. Although Ariel has been weightlifting for a short period of time, her PRs of 102 kg in the Clean and Jerk and 76kg in the Snatch make her a very formidable competitor in the 69kg weight class. Watch for Ariel as she continue to improve, hopefully qualifying to compete for Team USA at an international competition, within the next couple years.

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