Q: I have clients who complain of wrist pain when they are in positions such as Swimming on All Fours, Side Bend Prep and Cat Stretch. Can you suggest some modifications for these?
A: This is a very common complaint from clients and general weakness in the forearm and/or shoulder girdle can be contributing factors. Focus on exercises that will strengthen these areas. Also, try adding a thin cushion under the palm or roll up the mat (fingers off and lower) to slightly decrease the extension at the wrist.
For four point kneeling positions, place the hands slightly forward of the center of an Arc Barrel (be sure the shoulders are still over the hands) to slightly flex the wrists and distribute more of the weight into their feet. If small pads and props are not available, try teaching some of these exercises (side bend prep, leg pull) on the forearms rather than the hands. The overall ROM will be decreased but it may help achieve the essence of the exercise.