Aerial yoga comes with numerous benefits. It can help to release tension in the body, enhance your core strength, release endorphins, alleviate joint pressure, improve breath awareness, improve body balance and boost your flexibility.
But, just like other physical activities, yoga swing workouts can also lead to certain injuries such as wrist injuries. And such injuries can lead to wrist pain and discomfort.
Fortunately, there are some easy tips, which can help to prevent aerial yoga wrist injury and wrist pain during your yoga swing workouts.
In this guide, we will explore some of the leading causes of wrist issues during yoga swing workouts, wrist pain prevention tips as well as some home remedies for wrist pain.
With that said, let’s jump straight in!
Causes of Aerial Yoga Wrist Injury
So, what can cause wrist pain during yoga hammock workouts?
Well, wrist pain can occur due to various reasons. One of the leading causes of aerial yoga wrist injury and pain is due to lack of strength around the wrists.
If your wrists are weak and you do poses like the downward-facing dog that put pressure on the wrists, you may end up with wrist injuries and wrist pain.
Another cause of wrist issues is improper alignment. Failing to align your body properly when doing certain yoga swing poses can also cause wrist problems. And this will consequently lead to wrist pain.
Also, weak shoulders and a weak core can force you to shift your weight to your wrists during aerial yoga workouts. As a result, you will end up putting excessive pressure on the wrists than you should, leading to wrist breaks, tears, sprains and other related issues.
Prevention Tips for Wrist Pain
Wrist issues are quite common. And they can happen to any aerial yogi, at any point.
But as earlier mentioned, there are a couple of strategies that you can implement to prevent aerial yoga wrist injury and wrist pain.
In this section, we will walk you through some effective tips for preventing wrist issues during your aerial yoga workout sessions.
So, if you have been experiencing wrist pain whenever you execute certain aerial yoga poses, these tips will come in handy.
Modify Your Poses
One of the most effective ways of preventing aerial yoga wrist injury is by modifying certain poses. For instance, some weight-bearing poses like the downward-facing dog can place an undue amount of pressure on your wrists, causing sprains or tears.
To prevent such issues, you can modify this pose in such a way that you will reduce the amount of weight or pressure being exerted on your wrists. And one way of modifying this pose is by placing yoga wedges or blocks under your hands.
By doing so, you will raise the floor slightly and some of your weight will move to your legs. Consequently, the amount of weight exerted on your wrists will reduce, thus lessening wrist strain and pain.
While using yoga blocks to modify your poses may feel like its cheating, however it will help prevent aerial yoga wrist injury, thus preventing being sidelined. And as you can see, it will enhance your yoga swing practice and skills in the end.
Strengthen Your Wrists
As noted earlier, weak wrists can contribute to wrist strains, sprains, tears and other wrist-related injuries, leading to wrist pain. And enhancing wrist strength can help to counter this issue.
So, how can you strengthen your wrists to minimize the risk of injuries? Well, there are several wrist-strengthening exercises, which can help with this.
They include palm stretch, wrist rotation, elbow rotations, band press, wrist curls, and wrist flexor stretches.
Also, some aerial yoga swing poses can help to strengthen your wrists. Some of the poses that can help to strengthen your wrists include the four-limbed staff aerial and the downward-facing dog.
Another effective method of strengthening your wrists is by doing the hand lock or hasta bandha as part of your yoga swing workouts.
While it may appear simplistic, the hand lock is extremely powerful when it comes to helping with wrist alignment.
The hand lock entails spreading your fingers wide when you’ve placed them on the ground and drawing upwards via your palms’ center.
This yoga swing movement will help draw energy up your arms and engage your arms, thus alleviating some of the force exerted on your wrists.
By doing these poses frequently, you will gradually strengthen your wrists, thus helping to minimize wrist-related injuries. And with time, you will experience lesser wrist pain even during demanding workouts.
Master Your Alignment
Proper alignment when exercising can help to reduce or prevent injuries. And wrist injuries are no exception. Hence, it’s important to understand your anatomy well and ensure proper alignment, especially during those antigravity yoga swings poses that exert pressure on your wrists.
For instance, if you are doing the upward-facing dog hands aerial pose, plank pose and the four-limbed staff aerial pose, you should make sure that your shoulders are in line with your outer wrists.
By doing so, you will shift your weight to your arm bones, thus helping to prevent you from putting excessive pressure on your wrists. Ensuring proper alignment whenever you are doing various yoga swing poses will help to prevent wrist injuries.
Warm Up Before Your Workout Session
Warming up before an exercise session will not only increase blood flow to various muscles in your body but it will also help to reduce muscle tightness and soreness. And this will help to reduce the risk of injury.
Unfortunately, most yogis tend to forget the wrists when warming up. And as a result, you will begin your workout sessions with sore and tight wrist muscles, thus causing tears, sprains and breaks.
So, whenever you are warming up for your aerial yoga swing workout session, make sure you also include a couple of exercises that will help to warm up the wrists. And something as simple as doing the wrist circle can go a long way in helping to warm up your wrists.
Practice on Stable Surface
As much as most aerial yoga poses are done on the yoga swings, you will still need to rely on the ground to support yourself when getting into various positions. To this end, if the floor is slippery, shaky or unstable, you may end up injuring your wrists.
So, always make sure that you check the floor before you start doing the yoga swing poses.
If you normally use a mat as part of your aerial yoga home setup, you should ensure it’s positioned in such a way that it doesn’t move around.
If you are using blocks or other props, you also need to ensure they are properly placed on the floor, so that they don’t slip or move in the middle of a pose.
In case you don’t use a mat, you should check the floor for any form of slipperiness. You also need to ensure the floor has a firm foundation. Practicing on a stable surface will help to ensure proper wrist alignment and wrist support. And this will in turn prevent issues that may cause painful wrists.
Distribute Your Weight Uniformly
As we mentioned earlier, the main cause of aerial yoga wrist injury and pain is putting an excessive amount of pressure on this part of the body. To prevent this, you should make sure that your body weight is uniformly distributed during aerial yoga swing poses.
For example, if you are doing the downward-facing dog pose, you should shift some of the weight to the heels, to get some pressure off your wrists. And if you are doing the arm-balance poses like the crow pose aerial, you should lift your body weight through your core as opposed to over-relying on the arms and wrists.
Whenever you are doing poses that entail placing your hands on the floor, you should try as much as possible to distribute the weight and pressure uniformly throughout the years, instead of leaving the wrists to do all the heavy lifting.
For example, you can shift some of the weight to the fingertips and knuckles.
Generally, the more you ease the pressure off your wrists, the lesser the amount of strain and stress there will be. Consequently, the chances of suffering from aerial yoga wrist injury and pain will be minimal.
Strengthen Your Core
Your core serves an important role in helping to maintain uniform weight distribution around the body. So, if you have weak core muscles, there’s a high chance you will be forced to compensate by shifting some of that weight to other areas of the body.
And this will also be the case when you are doing antigravity yoga swing poses.
Hence, if you have tried various strategies for preventing wrist pain during yoga swing poses but the methods you’ve tried aren’t working as you may expect, you should turn your attention to your core.
To this end, you need to incorporate various core strengthening yoga swing poses into your session. Some aerial yoga poses that can help to strengthen your core include bridge pose, boat pose, planks, chair pose and the wheel pose, just to name a few.
Home Remedies for Wrist Pain
Regardless of how cautious you may be during your aerial yoga workouts, you may still end up with wrist pain or injury after your sessions.
The good news is that there are several home remedies that you can use to alleviate wrist pain.
So, if you happen to experience wrist pain after your yoga swing workouts, the following home remedies can help to ease the pain.
Mustard is a highly powerful herb, which can help to boost blood flow in the body when you apply it topically.
And with the increased blood flow, your body will be able to tend to your sprained or injured wrists more efficiently, thus promoting faster recovery.
This may explain why athletes use mustard plasters to treat strains and sprains at home.
So, how does this method work? Well, you simply need to mix dry mustard with baking flour in warm water, then create a paste.
From there, you will apply this paste around the painful wrists and leave it for around 20 minutes.
Besides its flavors, turmeric also comes with natural anti-inflammatory properties.
And this makes it highly effective when it comes to reducing swelling and inflammation. Also, turmeric can help to relax muscles and reduce spasms.
You simply need to prepare a turmeric plaster just as you would with the mustard plaster and then apply it around the painful wrist.
Epsom salt has been used for centuries in numerous parts across the globe, thanks to its great healing capabilities. And, you can also leverage its healing capabilities to alleviate pain in your wrists.
You just need to mix your bath water with Epsom salts, and then take an hour-long bath in this water. Once it comes into contact with your skin, the Epsom salt will boost blood circulation, thus promoting faster recovery.
Epsom salt has also been shown to have anti-inflammation capabilities. So, it may help to reduce inflammation, pain and swelling on your wrists.
For the best results possible, you should soak in Epsom salt at least twice per day.
Cold Therapy and Massage
Another effective means of alleviating wrist pain is by combining icing and massage therapy, an approach known as ice massage.
Ice massage therapy works in two main ways.
First, applying around the painful wrist will help to alleviate swelling and pain.
At the same time, massaging the affected area will help to promote blood flow. And the increased blood flow will help to promote faster recovery.
For this therapy, you will first need to fill a paper cup with water and then place it in your freezer. Once the paper cup with water has been frozen, you will then use it to massage the wrist slowly.
Wrapping It Up (So to speak :)
Painful wrists can prevent you from having a productive and enjoyable aerial yoga workout session with your yoga swing.
But, if you implement the above tips, you should no longer have to contend with painful wrists.
In case you have a wrist injury or a pre-existing wrist condition, you should ensure your physician has given you permission to do some of the poses recommended in this guide.