Another good wrist and elbow exercise that I practice, from Joe Manley, is called Yin-Yang Circles. This is a more complex pattern than the Figure 8, and involves moving the hand along the lines of an imaginary “yin-yang” picture.
If you’re working this with the left hand, the motion starts with a downward “chop” (hand is open, fingers point away from you, thumb is up). The left hand then slides down the right side of the Yin-Yang, up the middle, and then down the left side. You have to use your elbow to make this work.
Note that the Yin-Yang circles different for each hand – the shape done with the left hand is the mirror image of the shape followed by the right hand.
If using the right hand, it starts with the same downwards “chop”, but then the right hand slides down the left side of the symbol, up the middle, and then down the right side.
You may need to keep the image of the Yin Yang symbols in front of you until you get the motion. Once it’s somewhat easy to do, Joe shared a simple way to remember how to initiate the movement:
When the left hand chops, start moving right. When the right hand chops, start moving left.
A nice variation of this is to start by “chopping” down, but then make the motions of the Yin-Yang circle horizontal relative to the ground. Give it a try!