Exercises for Finger Extension

Man holding hand out, close-up

You use your fingers everyday to grasp and carry things, which relies heavily on finger flexion. The muscles used for finger flexion are often stronger and more developed than those responsible for finger extension. But extension muscles are just as important as flexion muscles; without them it would be impossible to open your hand to grasp something in the first place. Several exercises will help strengthen these muscles and improve finger extension.

Number Five

This exercise is great for warming up your finger extension muscles while promoting full range of motion. Begin with your fingers bent and relaxed in a loose fist. As quickly and as powerful as you can, extend your fingers as much as possible. Pretend you are flicking water at someone; that's the movement you should mimic in this exercise. Perform the exercise five to 10 times with each hand.

Finger Lift

The finger lift exercise strengthens your finger extensors while improving coordination. Place your hand flat on a table. Beginning with your index finger, raise and lower your fingers one by one. Lift each finger as high as possible while keeping the others stuck to the table. To work on your coordination, do the finger lift with both hands at once. Repeat the exercise two to three times.

Extension Resitance

Extending your fingers against resistance will develop the muscles responsible for the movement. With your fingers straight and together, flex them toward your thumb. Keep them in this position and wrap a thick rubber band around them. Work against the resistance of the band to extend your fingers. Repeat the extension 10 times with each hand.

Reverse Farmer's Walk

This exercise will improve strength and endurance in your extensor muscles. Find a large jar with a tapered top and fill it with water or sand. Place your hand inside the jar and press your fingers against the sides to keep the jar on your hand. Walk or stand in place for as long as you can while keeping the jar on your hand. When your muscles are fatigued, remove the jar and rest. Repeat the exercise two to three times, each time trying to go longer than the previous time.