When people think of exercising, they usually focus on legs, arms, and abs. However, not many people consider that their hands require just as much exercise as the rest of their bodies. Despite being one of the most important and most valuable body parts, we take our hands for granted, thus explaining why conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome are common. The best thing about hand exercises is that you can do them in the safety and comfort of your home, so give these five exercises a try.
Improving and maintaining grip strength is essential for daily tasks like opening doorknobs and picking up heavy objects. Using a stress ball, squeeze as hard as you can for eight seconds before releasing. If you can’t hold the post for eight seconds, just maintain it for as long as you can. Repeat this step 10 to 15 times for each hand. You can also use a hand exercise ball, to exercise your wrist, elbow, and shoulder and increase your range of motion.
You may think that only people who play instruments like the piano and guitar need flexible fingers, but flexibility and mobility are helpful in daily life. For example, reaching objects from high shelves or under the bed requires a certain degree of flexibility. Start by placing your hand on a table, palm facing down. Next, lift one finger off the table, hold the highest position possible for five seconds before lowering it back onto the table. Keep all other fingers flat on the table as you do this. Repeat this for all five fingers, then move on to the other hand. Do this exercise eight to twelve times for each hand.
The thumb is the most important finger on your hand, as it allows you to hold objects. Improving thumb strength and mobility can make opening jars easier and reducing aches when writing for extended periods. Wrap a rubber band around halfway down your palm, a little above your thumb’s joint. Ensure the rubber band isn’t too tight that it cuts off your circulation. Put this hand palm down on a table and slowly stretch your thumb away from your hand as far as you can. Hold this for at least thirty seconds before relaxing. For maximum effect, ensure that the rubber band is exerting some degree of resistance as you stretch. Do this ten times before moving on to your other hand.
Remember that each person has different strengths. If anyone you know can do thirty reps of each exercise with ease, it doesn’t mean you should pressure yourself to do the same. Straining yourself will only lead to injury, which is precisely what these exercises seek to prevent. Some aches are expected the first time you do these exercises as your body makes your muscles and joints stronger. Allow yourself to take a break from these exercises to allow your body to recuperate.