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Ninja Wrist Secret for Desk Jockeys and Keyboard Warriors

Written by Ryan Murdock

You’ve asked for more secret ninja exercises, and I’m here to deliver.

“But I didn’t ask you yet,” you might say. “My wrists hurt, but I haven’t even started typing an email. How did you know?”

Ninjas just know things like that.

This time we’ll going deeper into the wrists and forearms with a couple closed chain exercises I developed in my ninjutsu days. I even filmed the clip in black and white, just for the sake of nostalgia…

We did a lot of wrist locks back then,  so I spent an awful lot of time stretching and mobilizing those specific ranges. It made my training sessions safer of course, but that mobility also gave me a bit of extra room when I wanted to slip out of a hold.

How did I open those ranges?

By wrist locking myself.

I first started limbering up the area by applying wrist locks to my own joints in gradually increasing ranges of motion. And then I closed the chain, using a coffee table or desk to go deeper.

Try it. I bet you’ll feel amazing after. Especially if you have tight wrists.

Just place your hand on a desk and walk around your arm until you build enough tension that you’re reaching the edge of your comfort zone. Exhale, relax into it, and wait for that tension to melt away. Keep your palm flat and your shoulder packed. And remember: don’t jam into it. Just go to your edge.

Use this great pair of drills to release the soft tissue of your forearms after spending too much time at your desk.

It’s also really good for people like tool and die makers, pipe fitters, or folks who do heavy work that requires a lot of grip strength.

I hope you find it helpful.

Join me here for more shadow warrior secret moves that have surprising real world applications: Ninja Fitness Secrets

About the author

Ryan Murdock


  • Hey Ryan,

    Smooshed my radius a couple years ago so the ROM isn’t great. During the first exercise with elbow pits out I find I can’t get my hand flat on the table unless I let my fingers come over the edge. Also it’s doable with my fingers flat on the table if I lifted my wrist up about 1/2 an inch or lean forward a bit. Is one way or the other a better choice without losing the essence of the exercise?

    Thanks! <3

    • Glad you liked it. I’ve got all kinds of cool exercises in my old ninjutsu archives. I hadn’t looked through that stuff in years, forgot just how much great stuff we did back then.

  • This is just what I needed. A lot of keyboard and VDU operators like me get RSI in wrists and hands. My hands feel better already from just one round after a morning of inputting.

    thanks for this.

  • Good stuff, Ryan. I do these by spinning my office chair to rotate my arm. I’ve also done something similar for the ankle on the floor – flat-footed, feet gripping the ground while externally and interally rotating the leg with the ankle planted in place.

  • Very nice, Ryan. Inventive, practical, straightforward and eminently do-able…and yet most people would never think of something like this. I was a bodyworker for 5 years, and I can say that drills like this are vital for career longevity for anyone who uses their hands in that way.

    Keep up the great work.

    And when, oh when, is “Greatest Hits 2010” going to ship? I ordered it as my Christmas present to myself…

    • Thanks James, glad ya liked it. My Greatest Hits package arrived in just under two weeks. Same for Adam. Might be faster for those in the US as ours had to come over the border.

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