As an athlete or active individual, you know how to power your game and keep your body at its fighting best. Workouts and cardio work keep your arms, legs, and torso ready for action – but have you thought about your hands?
Specific hand exercises and routines can help keep your hands strong and healthy. Hand exercise can also benefit people who find that stiffness, pain, or swelling of the hands prevents them from performing daily tasks and enjoying a full life.
How Can I Make My Hands Stronger?
Today, orthopedists and physical therapists have a battery of exercises for the hands and wrists that have proven effective for everyone, whether you’re an athlete or a retiree or somewhere in between. Many of these exercises were first developed for rehabilitation following hand injuries and surgeries.
Below are some of the exercises that can help you strengthen your hands and keep them healthy:
Finger stretches are helpful exercises that can help maintain and improve the range of motion of your hands and also help to relieve pain and swelling.
1. Place your hands palm-down on a flat surface.
2. Straighten your fingers slowly, while slightly pressing against the flat surface (without applying excessive force).
3. Once they’re fully straightened, hold this position for 15 seconds.
4. Release, and repeat three times for each hand.
Claw stretches maintain and improve the range of motion of your fingers.
1. Hold your hands out in front of you with palms facing you.
2. Bend your fingertips downward within the hand, so each fingertip is touching the base of the finger.
3. While keeping them bent in this position, pull the fingers back to open the palm. (Now you see why this is called a “claw stretch.”)
4. Hold this position for 15-30 seconds.
5. Release, and repeat three times for each hand.
The joints of your thumbs are vulnerable to injury. This exercise helps strengthen these joints and the four major tendons that control your thumb.
1. Hold your hands out, palms facing you.
2. Slowly bend the tip of your thumb down toward the base of your little finger.
3. Hold this position for 30 seconds.
4. Release, and repeat three times for each thumb.
This exercise is designed to strengthen your grip. You can use a tennis ball, rubber ball, or foam ball.
1. Hold the ball in your palm, and slowly squeeze it as hard as you can.
2. Hold this position for five seconds.
3. Release, and repeat five times for each hand.
You can repeat these hand workouts two or three times a week, and add more exercises as you go. Stop if you feel pain during or after the exercises; never force the tendons or joints beyond their range of motion.
Contact an Orthopedic Doctor in Colorado Springs
Our medical team at the Colorado Center of Orthopaedic Excellence are experts in sports injuries – and in keeping the body strong to prevent injury in the first place. We offer a full range of therapy, minimally invasive treatments, and bone and joint surgery.