Hand therapy is a viable option for ensuring proper health in the hand, wrist or arm. It’s also a great way to help with recovery from a recent hand surgery. In addition to working with a specialized hand therapist, you can try out these hand strengthening exercises at home to strengthen the muscles and joints in your fingers, hands, wrists or thumbs.
To warm up your hands before exercise, try soaking them in warm water or use a heated pad for about five minutes.
Easy, gentle exercising of your hand starts at your fingertips. Three basic exercises include making and holding a fist, claw, or splayed out fingers for 10-30 seconds on each hand. This can be repeated at least four times to increase range of motion. Make sure your thumb wraps around your fingers, not inside them, while making a fist.
A lot of hand exercises involve grip strength. If you have a soft ball or object in your home, you can strengthen your hand by squeezing it for 10-15 repetitions. Similar exercises include pinching a soft object. This can be done 2-3 times a week. Do not attempt these exercises if it causes pain in your thumb.
Basic wrist exercises involve using a light dumbbell or an object around your house to do wrist curls. Starting with nothing and then adding weight over time, try 10-15 repetitions of wrist curls with your palms facing upward, downward, thumb’s up and thumb’s down. You may need to lower the repetitions if you attempt to do all four, and allow room for rest between sessions. It’s best to talk to your doctor to learn the right amount of exercise.
You can create a resistance band for your thumbs using a rubber band from home. Wrap the band around your hand, then use it to create resistance as you extend your thumb out and hold for 10-30 second periods. This can be done 10-15 times per hand.
After each round of exercise, it’s recommended that you let your hands rest for 48 hours between sessions. These exercises can easily help strengthen your hand in conjunction with working with a trained hand therapist. At our Hand Center, you can meet our staff and discover the best route for your recovery.