Hand and Finger Stretches
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Unless you are a juggler or pianist, you probably don't consider stretching your hands and fingers. But their muscles can become tense and lose range of motion like any other muscles, especially after an injury. Hand and finger stretches require no equipment and little time commitment, so next time you're in front of the TV or the computer, take a moment to stretch.
The clutching stretch works your fingers in the same motion as when you clutch an object. This stretch reduces the chances of your fingers getting sore from typing or holding a pen or pencil. To perform this stretch, spread your fingers wide and then bend the first and second knuckles of your fingers and thumb. Do not bend the third knuckle that meets the palm. Hold the stretch for 10 seconds. Your wrist should remain in a neutral, straight position.
The prayer press stretch is a simple stretch for the hands and wrists. This exercise begins with the hands in pressed against each other in the prayer position commonly done in yoga. Yoga practitioners also know this as the Namaste position. Lower your hands and arms down the midline of your body until you feel a stretch in the backs of your hands and wrists. Do not separate your hands. Hold for 10 seconds.
Finger pulling helps prevent repetitive strain injuries from typing and other situations in which you use your fingers for the same motions over and over. Massage therapists often do this for clients. To do this exercise, spread the fingers of your hand and hold the tip of one finger with your other hand. Give each finger and the thumb a gentle tug forward, backward and to each side.
Hand Open and Close
The hand open and close exercise is done exactly how it sounds: close your hand into a fist and then open your hand wide. Do 10 to 20 reps. This exercise aides in recovering hand mobility and flexibility post-injury, but anyone can do it.
Finger Adduction to Abduction
Adduction and abduction refer to body movements that bring a joint toward or away from the center position in a sideways motion. For finger adduction, this means bringing fingers together. Abduction is the opposite. To do this exercise, hold your wrist straight with your fingers together. Open the fingers wide to the sides and then bring them back together.
Thumb Adduction to Abduction
Thumb adduction to abduction mimics the finger adduction to abduction stretching exercise. Bring the thumb in toward the index finger. Then, extend the thumb out to the side and away from the fingers.
Sarka-Jonae Miller has been a freelance writer and editor since 2003. She was a personal trainer for four years with certifications from AFAA and NASM. Miller also worked at 24 Hour Fitness, LA Fitness and as a mobile trainer. Her career in the fitness industry begin in 2000 as a martial arts, yoga and group exercise instructor. She graduated cum laude from Syracuse University.