Hand exercises are necessary to increase the strength and mobility of the hand. Therefore, increase functional ability. Hand exercises may include:
Mobilizing workouts helps to maintain or increase the range of motion.
Strengthening helps to exercise to use resistance from putty, elastic band, or gel ball to strengthen wrist and hand muscles.
Different conditions may affect the hand and need workout as an intervention to help patients to perform their ADL activities independently and promote the strength of handgrip.
Example of conditions:
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Osteoarthritis is the prevalent joint disorder and most directly influences the hand. This condition causes pain in and around affected joints and stiffness, swelling, damage, and slow function loss.
As a result, the capacity to perform everyday jobs may become lost or impaired. An aimless controlled trial conducted in 2015 determined that hand exercises were well undergone and significantly improved activity performance, pain, grip strength, and fatigue in women with HOA.
Rheumatoid joint inflammation is the most well-known polyarthritis and influencing 1% of the populace. The vast majority of RA patients experience the ill effects of regular issues for the hand and wrist like irritation, disfigurement (swan neck deformation), agony, shortcoming, and confined versatility, bringing about loss of capacity.
Exercises For Active Hands
Hand exercises can be classified into two categories, such as grip strength and range of motion workouts.
Range Of Motion – Exercises
These exercises help to increase the range of motion of wrists, and fingers and decrease pain. These exercises can be performed anytime and everywhere while sitting in the office, reading a book, watching TV, and traveling by bus.
Hand Tendon Glide
Begin with your fingers stretched straight outwards as you feel comfortable. Now, first, form a hook fist. Hold for five seconds and then unfold.
Next, form a full fist and hold for five seconds and go back to straight hand position.
Next, form a straight fist, hold, and go back.
Repeat the whole workout 10-times with each hand.
Keep the fingers of one hand on the palm of the other hand. Presently tenderly put pressure twisting the fingers as much as possible without harming those.
Begin with your fingers and thumb expanded straight outwards. Presently, move your thumb across the palm and re-visitation the first position. Repeat multiple times for best outcomes.
Turn your wrists forming little golf circles with hands in a clockwise and anti-clockwise direction. Do 10-times in each direction for both hands.
Wrist Flexion and Extension
Begin with the elbow flexed at the side, let palm face downwards. Now move your palm upwards till you feel a nice stretch. Go back to the original pose.
Then move id down and got back original pose. Hold each position for 3-5 seconds and repeat 10-times.
Wrist Radial and Ulnar Deviation:
Begin with the elbow flexed at the side and palm facing sideways and thumb upward. Now, move the wrist upward and downward from its full range of motion.
Grip Strength Exercises:
These are a workout that helps to develop a strong grip. You will need some equipment for these workouts like a tennis ball, dumbbells, hand gripper, and resistance band.
Ball Squeeze Exercise:
Take a tennis ball in hand and press it with all strength.
Hold the ball for 5-seconds and relax. Do it 10-times. On the last squeeze, begin 10-15 pulsing little press without relaxing hold. Then relax and repeat with another hand.
Hand Gripper Pulses:
For a hand gripper workout, choose a good quality hand gripper. Now take the gripper in one hand and press it as long as possible.
Relax your grip for one second. After speed up repetitions and press as many times as you can do in 30-seconds. But avoid compromise with grip to raise the numbers.
Do it again with the other hand and keep track of your time and numbers to make sure you are progressing.
Grip Ascending Pyramid:
Hold the gripper in on hand and perform one repetition.
Then take the gripper in another hand for one more repetition.
Now change hand again and perform 2-reps each.
Perform three reps each in the next round and move up to 6-reps with each hand. Then stop it if you feel exhausted.
If not, perform the descending.
Take a dumbbell in each hand using arms stretched at sides level to the ground. Now turn your wrists clock, then anti-clockwise.
Make sure you choose a dumbbell with comfort and not the heavy one. Perform 8-reps in each direction and to work on strength grip and range of motion simultaneously.
If turning with a dumbbell is somewhat too much for you, start with bending your wrist up and down while holding the dumbbell.
Resistance Band Exercise:
Keep a foot in the middle of the resistance band and hold both ends, one in each hand. Now begin pulling the ends near you as high as possible, hold this for 5-seconds, and then relax. Repeat it 10-times.
Another version of this workout is holding one end of the band in one hand and keep the foot on the other end on the floor. Now pull the end in hand toward the ceiling and then get back to the floor. Do this 10-times and repeat with another hand.
Most of the most people do hang to increase height. Yes, hanging helps to grow height, but also make grip stronger. Take a pull up bar and hold it as if you are pulling up. Now take feet off the ground and hang supporting all bodyweight with grip on the other. Hold for as much as possible. This workout also good for other arm muscle and help with pull-ups.
Get anything heavyweight enough to provide sweat-buckets of water, heavy bags, and heavy barbells with weight. Raise them off the floor with both hands hanging at the sides. Walk around carrying some weight, or perform some calf raises for 3-5 minutes. Now keep it down.
Take some relaxing time to cool down after these workout like Namaste and reverse namaste and sit in Sukhasana sustaining Gyan Mudra.
Benefits Of Hand Exercises:
Hand grips are portable and compact type devices that make you squeeze your hand and develop muscle strength. Athletes primarily use hand grips to increase their ability in sport. Most sports have the concept of moving weights or moving the power of the body from hands. Hand grips make you develop lower arms and it works to make better athlete whether you use martial arts, baseball, weightlifting, golf, or football. Many of these sports depend on the high strength of the lower arm. Here are the benefits of hand exercises.
More Forearm Muscularity
If you want to have effective and bigger forearms like other peoples, you should work out with hand grips. This principle works in this fashion. The forearms muscles are the ones to manage fingers. Your forearm flexors help to manage the closing hand, while forearms extensors manage the opening. These muscles will be the initial beneficiaries of using hand exercises.
The hand endurance is automatically boosted when you do hand exercise because you are raising the quantity of force that hands can apply. Another way that hand endurance. The time length also is another way to increase hand endurance. As you perform hand exercises, you can train yourself to use pressure for a longer time. A practical part for which this offer instant benefit is, for example, when you are holding things like heavy bags or suitcases. After developing hand endurance for a while, you will see how you not as easily succumb to stress from holding them around.
High Hand Strength
High hand strength is another benefit to hand strength, where you get the training to increase the power of both fingers and wrists. It will make you hold more weight for more time. In other parts such as tennis, you will be able to swing the racquet with more power. Activities such as gymnastics and climbing are the part where getting high hand strength will particularly important for balancing body weight with strength.
Hand grips will work to develop your fingers independently, thus increase dexterity. Musicians sometimes work their fingers by using spring-loaded hand grips to make sure they can deftly develop enough strength in each finger to apply just the correct quantity of pressure on their instruments. Typists can also help to improve dexterity.
Reduces the Risk of Injuries
Doing hand exercises makes your handwork, and you can use your hands more efficiently and faster. And these will also make bones of hand denser. It will lower the risk of injuries and make the skin stronger, and strengthen grips.
We primarily do not workout fingers directly. However, we do several sports, and some of you might have an expert that requires dexterity. According to the University-of-Southern-California, hand workouts help to improve hand dexterity. Also, it can help to show a better way for training performing in martial arts such as Brazilian jiu-jitsu, MMA. These workouts help them to be a better fighter.
Tones the Muscles
Hand exercises should not be your first choice for toning muscles. There are other better ways including punching bag, jumping rope, speed bag, etc. However, hand exercise challenge muscles in different ways. When that happens, various muscle fibers will get activated and the arm and forearm will get tones.
According to different studies, hand exercises also help to become calmer and reduce blood pressure. It can be done with a stress toy to strengthen the hand and relieve stress.
When To Avoid Hand Exercises?
Avoid doing hand exercises in certain conditions such as hand injury, ongoing pain, or any other condition. It may be anything that provides a repetitive nature, like using a painting, lifting, screwdriver, or heavy objects. You might be able to change the way of holding or doing something with your hand and wrist. Try to stop things causing pain.
Medicine To Decrease Pain
These include painkiller drugs such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and paracetamol, like ibuprofen. There are NSAID gels you can use on hand. Make sure to get your doctor’s opinion before anything for hand pain.
Ice and Heat
Keeping an ice pack on hand and wrists can lower swelling and lower pain. You could use a frozen peas packet in a damp towel. Never keep the ice pack directly on the skin, as this can irritate or burn it. You can use ice for up to 20-minutes many times a day.
If your hands feel stiff and painful, applying heat could help to lower them. There are products like wheat bags you can take from chemists that you heat in a microwave.
You might even need to keep a tea towel or cloth on the skin to skip burning it.
You can also keep a hand on a hot water bottle with a cover or have a warm bath or shower to get relief. Moving hand around in a bowl of warm water can help to soothe the condition. If your hands are swollen or injured, then avoid heat to skip getting the worse condition.
Wax bath is another type of heat therapy that can help to reduce stiffness and pain. Exercise your hands and get this bath. Make sure to ask a pharmacist or physical therapist where you can buy. Follow the instructions and make sure not to overheat the wax. Avoid using wax if you have open sores or cuts. Switching between ice and heat therapy can help. Ice lowers the blood flow, which can help with swelling and pain. Heat raises the blood flow and increases muscle stiffness.
Wearing splints can offer support to the wrist and hand. Some can use when you carry out daily activities, and some while resting or sleeping. A hand therapist, occupational therapist, or physiotherapist can advise using splint type for better rest.
Keeping Your Hands Moving
Moving hands and fingers as much as possible can help to reduce stiffness and pain. It will also balance a range of function, movement, and strength. If you are experiencing carpal tunnel syndrome, take your physiotherapist, hand therapist, or GP advice on specific exercises.
When To See A Doctor?
Hand pain often gets healed with preventions and necessary steps. However, you will need to get GP surgery if:
- Pain gets worse
- Pain not going with a home remedy
- The pain keeps coming back
- The pain limiting daily activities
- Hand get swelling and stiff in the morning and do not feel better
- You will feel ongoing numbness, tingling, and weakness in your hand and fingers.
Get urgent medical help, if:
- You feel extreme pain
- Broken bone
- Lost feeling on some part of the hand
- You feel unable to move your hand
Hand exercises are important to increase strength, which helps everyday life activities.