Exercises to Strengthen the Hand & Wrist
Most of the activities you do each day require the use of your hands and wrists. Hand and wrist strength allows you to perform many daily activities, including playing sports, playing instruments, cooking, and cleaning. When performing hand and wrist exercises, you can use inexpensive objects around your house, like a soup can, a sock filled with beans, or a full milk jug, advises the National Institute of Aging.
Ball squeezes help you to build your grip strength. Grip strength will help you open jars, pick things up and hold things, according to the NIA. To perform ball squeezes you need a tennis ball, small rubber ball, or other squeezable object about the size of a tennis ball. Hold the ball in one hand and slowly squeeze it as hard as you can for three to five seconds. Slowly relax your hand. Repeat 10 to 15 times with each hand.
Thumb opposition exercises help to strengthen the fingers in your hand. Start this exercise by bringing the thumb and index finger of your left hand together. Squeeze them together as hard as you can, without causing yourself pain. Hold for five seconds. Continue this pattern for your middle finger, ring finger, and pinky. Repeat the exercise for three repetitions on each finger, on each hand, advises PhysioAdvisor.com.
Finger adduction also works to strengthen the muscles of your hand and fingers. Start by holding your hand out flat. Keeping your fingers and thumb straight, and your hand flat. Squeeze your fingers and thumb together as hard as possible. Hold for five seconds and relax. PhysioAdvisor.com suggests doing this exercise 10 times for each hand.
Wrist Flexion and Extension
Performing wrist flexion and extension using some kind of weight for resistance helps build the muscles in the wrist, allowing you to lift heavier objects without straining your wrist, according to the NIA. Sit in a chair with arms. Rest your forearm on the arm of the chair with your hand completely over the end. Hold a weight (can of soup, sock filled with beans, full milk jug or other homemade weight) with your palm facing upward. Slowly extend your wrist as far as comfortable. Slowly flex your wrist as far as comfortable. Repeat 10 to 15 times for each wrist.
Wrist Pronation and Supination
Wrist pronation and supination help prevent sprains of the wrist when maneuvering objects. Sit or stand with your arms at your side, elbows bent to a 90-degree angle. Holding a weight rotate your wrist to turn your palm up and then turn your palm down. The University Sports Medicine advises that you keep your elbow still throughout the movement. Repeat this motion for three sets of 10 for each wrist.
- PhysioAdvisor.com: Wrist Strengthening Exercises
- PhysioAdvisor: Hand Strengthening Exercises
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Kimberly Wonderly has a Bachelor of Science degree in exercise science and has worked as a personal trainer for six years. Wonderly has also taken many child development classes, while running a daycare out of her home for three years. She wrote for the "Rocket" at Slippery Rock University for two years while attending college.