Finger strengthening exercises are prescribed in order to strengthen hands and fingers, increase the range of motion and provide pain relief. These exercises improve the grip, strength, mobility and the ability to grasp items of daily use.
Benefits of Finger Strengthening Exercises
A weak grip might be a precursor to future disability and premature death. So, the next time someone asks after your health, think twice before showing-off your triceps!
If you are one of those who spare very little thought to daily activities and disdainfully label the acts of opening a medicine bottle, turning the car key in the ignition, buttoning a shirt or even combing your hair as “conditioned reflexes”, think again.
Hand strength is measured to determine the extent of damage caused to your body by diseases that are responsible for the loss of muscle strength. Physicians use these tests to assess and decide on further rehabilitation measures.
The hand strength of an average person generally peaks in the 30s. The average grip strength is 120 pounds for men and 75 pounds for women. It declines rapidly due to aging.
Generally, this decrease isn’t a cause of real worry because you barely require 20 pounds of grip strength to perform most of the above functions. But, if you fail the grip test, you might need to be examined for nutritional deficiencies, injuries or osteoarthritis.
A rehabilitative program consisting of hand strengthening exercises would also help develop strength and dexterity in your fingers and hands.
Let’s dig deeper into the causes of weak fingers:
Weak hand strength can translate into the loss of independence for an older person. Changes in the muscles, joints and bones affect the movement and grip of a person and lead to general weakness and sluggish movements.
#b. Diet and nutrition:
Inconsistencies in diet and nutrition also lead to impairment of hand movement and finger coordination. In some cases, muscular atrophy is also responsible for the loss of hand strength.
#c. Joint issues:
Joints in our fingers can become rigid and less supple. The fluid present in the joints may decrease, and the cartilage may begin to rub together and erode. Calcification may also occur in the joints. These changes affect our finger strength.
Find some of the best finger strengthening exercises here:
1. Mallet finger (Baseball finger) exercises:
Finger passive range of motion:
#a. Fist making:
Gently try and bend fingers to form a fist. If affected fingers do not bend, use the better hand to bend them. Hold for five to 10 seconds and repeat 10 times.
#b. Object pick-up:
Begin by trying to pick up small and lightweight objects such as pins, marbles, buttons or coins with thumb and the injured finger.
#c. Finger extension:
Press flat side of the palm on table. Keep fingers outstretched. Slowly try to lift up fingers one at a time and keep as straight as possible. Hold each finger up for five seconds and then put down. Repeat 10 times.
#d. Grip strengthening:
Hold a soft rubber ball in your fist and squeeze. Hold the squeeze for five seconds. Repeat 10 to 15 times.
2. Hand and digit thera-putty exercises:
- Finger hook: Press into putty with your injured hand and make a hook with fingers.
- Full grip: Try to make a fist and squeeze fingers into putty.
- Finger extension: Make a loop with putty over the end of finger while still bent. Straighten finger gently.
- Finger spread: After spreading putty over fingers and thumb, try to pull apart.
- Finger scissor: Try to squeeze fingers together after placing a piece of putty (one inch in size) between each pair of fingers.
- Finger pinch: Roll putty into a ball and pinch between thumb and index finger. Repeat pinch with each finger separately.
- Scissor spread: Loop putty around two fingers and try to spread them apart.
- Thumb extension: Loop putty at the end of thumb while it is bent. Try to straighten your thumb by pulling it upward.
- Thumb press: Push thumb into putty while moving it towards the small finger.
- Thumb adduction: Press putty with thumb against side of index finger. Keep fingers and thumb straight.
- Thumb pinch strengthening: Squeeze putty between thumb and side of index finger.
Three jaw chuck pinch: Pull putty using thumb, index and middle fingers
3. Trigger finger exercises:
#a. Finger abduction one:
This Trigger finger exercise can be done as follows: Place the injured finger beside a normal finger. Press both fingers gently with thumb and index finger of normal hand. Press them further and try to pull apart.
#b. Finger abduction two:
Separate injured finger as far as possible from the closest normal finger, until the two fingers form a “V”. Push the two fingers against the other fingers with the index finger and thumb of other hand. Press both fingers slightly and bring them closer.
#c. Finger extension stretch:
Place palm with injured finger on solid surface. Hold the injured finger with the other hand. Raise injured finger leaving the rest of the fingers flat on the surface. Continue to lift until the finger is slightly stretched. Hold for five seconds and allow to rest. Repeat as required.
Place palm with injured finger on a flat surface and spread fingers as far as possible. Hold for five seconds. Join fingers together. Bend backwards, and then forward, hold for five seconds. Positions thumb upright and push thumb back to stretch joint. Hold for five seconds. Repeat stretching till your hand is fully relaxed.
#e. Tendon gliding:
Spread fingers and slowly bend them to touch the palm. Begin by touching top of palm; spread and move down to middle; then spread and move to bottom. Repeat exercise, pause if you feel pain. Immerse hand in warm water to relieve rigidity.
4. Guitar finger exercises:
Most guitarists have immense faith in their talent. The truth is that no matter how well you play, it is essential to warm up and perform a few guitar finger exercises before every performance. These finger exercises take up just five minutes but play a major role in enhancing the performance of a guitar player.
# Finger strengthening exercises without the guitar:
- Use edge of table/desk to stretch each finger.
- Place the tip of each finger on the edge of the table/desk.
- Keep finger straight and in line with top surface.
- Slowly push down to bend finger back and feel it stretch.
- Repeat the process on surface of wall.
- Stretch all the fingers together; push them back with the palm of the other hand.
- Clench hand into a tight fist, increase pressure. Ensure gradual tightening.
- Avoid sudden movements. Clench and un-clench fist 10 times.
# Finger strengthening exercises with guitar:
- Create “V” shape between two fingers, lodge the neck of a guitar between them and push fingers wide apart.
- Push gently against neck to stretch fingers.
- Repeat with each finger pairing for two minutes.
How do these exercises help in strengthening fingers?
No matter what profession you belong to, in order to excel in any activity you need your hands and fingers. Finger strengthening exercises that are designed to work on the hand and finger strengthening enhance strength, adroitness and suppleness of hands and fingers. These also help to relax the hand and finger muscles. These exercises improve circulation and mobility of the joints. In case of an injury, these hand strength exercises speed up the healing process and help a person to regain lost muscle strength.
Our hands and fingers are the most abused parts of our body and our daily activities can often cause injury or fatigue, not just to our hands, but to our entire body. The good news is that the correct hand strengthening exercises can easily help to sort this problem.
Essentially, a firm hand-shake is not just a symbol of strength and determination; it helps in determining both physical as well as psychological strength. So keep your fingers strong to live a long, healthy, pain-free life!