This happened the other week on my leg and shoulder day (Wednesday). Presently, Monday is for Back and Biceps, and Friday is Chest and Triceps, lifting only three times a week.
No, I didn't accidentally fall on my right hand and then twist the wrist. The sprain was due to overexertion on the wrist as I lifted a barbell from a low position to a higher position.
How I Sprained the Wrist
Although I have a set routine for exercises for every lifting day, I would sometimes mix the exercise sequence a bit.
For example, two of the exercises I do on Wednesday in my routine are shoulder presses for the shoulders and back squats for legs. But in that particular day, I opted to start with the back squats on my homemade safety squat racks.
Back squats are performed with comparatively heavier weights. The last rep of the last set of back squats was close to failure.
So I simply squatted all the way down and then rested the barbell on the squat rack's safety bars. No problem there as that's what safety bars are for.
In the shoulder press exercise, the barbell needs to start at the barbell catch of the safety squat racks. The barbell catches are higher than the safety bars. So I needed to transfer the barbell bar from the safety bars to the barbell catches.
The prudent thing to do was to unload some of the heavy plates on the barbell bar before lifting the bar to a higher level. Now I've no problems doing shrugs with the squat weight.
I decided I could heave the weight with a good shrug and then somehow lift it all the way to the catches in an motion that roughly resembled a modified upright row.
That was the big mistake.
Disadvantage of Lifting Solo at Home
There was no pain whatsoever during the entire lifting session. But the day after, I felt pain in my right wrist. It was the right wrist only, presumably because the right arm was stronger and took the brunt of the heavy weight.
I've always been an advocate of working out at home and pretty much aware of potential danger. In this case, unfortunately, laziness took over.
Tired from the back squats, I wanted to finish my exercises as quickly as possible.
Maybe if I was in a gym, I would've just moved to another exercise equipment with another barbell. Or maybe, if I had a workout partner, I could've asked help to lift the barbell to the higher barbell catches.
Symptoms and Treatment of the Sprained Wrist
Last week, I was having trouble turning door knobs clockwise. Any twisting of the wrist internally would result in pain along the bony part. There was no visible swelling and I didn't need to put ice on it.
In the first couple of days, I had to immobilize the wrist by wrapping a long bandage so it wouldn't move as I slept. If I didn't, the pain from an awkward wrist position would keep me awake.
The wrist has slowly recovered and the pain has somewhat faded now. My right wrist does feel a bit of discomfort as I type on the keyboard.
The wrist sprain will go away on its own, however. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines have helped.
But the continued rest and avoidance from lifting weights will facilitate the healing process. So for now, home workouts will only be cardio sessions like stationary running and the balance stepper.