Shawn fights for lap 2 with the prowler.

Sore wrists are a commonly heard complaint from CrossFit beginners. Front squats, cleans, overhead squats, and snatches all place a lot of strain on the wrists, and if you are new to CrossFit lifting, it can be painful. Some wrist stress is inevitable, especially when snatching or overhead squatting. Take a look at the wrists of lifters in the Olympics. Their wrists will often be buttressed by tape, elastic, cloth, and even leather wrist wraps and supports.

But a lot of wrist pain is preventable. There are a couple ways to combat wrist strain. Simply taking care of your wrists is a big one. This can be accomplished by regularly stretching them, icing them when they are hot, massage, and strengthening them through a variety of exercises such as special pushups, wrist rolling, etc.

The best way to protect against wrist stress, however, is good technique in the catch of the clean and the front squat. High elbows are all important for wrist health.  Vertical forearms in the catch or in a front squat are literally a wrist injury waiting to happen, either from repetitive wear or a particularly bad lift. High elbows become even more important the stronger the athlete gets, as the weight gets heavier and heavier.

Low elbows are often caused by overly tight traps and rhomboids, and to a lesser extent, shoulders. (Un)fortunately massive biceps are very rarely the problem (sorry Golden). Stretching is the key here. There are some great stretches that really hit these areas and some specific to a high elbow rack position. Ask a trainer for a demo.

Wrist injuries and general strains are very preventable. Just a few minutes of work a day can really help, and focusing on high elbows is the best prevention possible.

Good luck.

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Slovenian hammer Olympic and World Champion Primoz Kozmus shares the moment of power with 374 pounds.

Happy Birthday to Johnny V and Happy Mother’s Day to all the CF West moms.


Back Squat

10×1 @ 80-85% 1RM


AMRAP in 12 minutes

60yd Prowler Push 90/50#

5 Hang Power Cleans 155/100#

3 Muscle Ups