The Importance of Hand Exercises

Exercise is important to your mind, body, and overall health. And, while many people take time to schedule a walk over the lunch hour, attend a yoga class before work, or hit the gym on the way home, they don’t always consider the importance of hand health. As with other types of exercise, exercising your hands improves blood flow, warms up the ligaments and muscles, and increases the circulation of synovial fluid to keep your joints lubricated and cushioned. Let’s look at how to perform hand exercises to improve your overall hand health.

The Importance of Performing Hand Exercises

Image via Flickr by nate steiner

You use your hands almost constantly, so you might think they get plenty of exercise just by the number of actions you perform daily. However, it’s helpful to do activities with your hands and wrists to offset the movements you make with them daily. For many people, their daily hand movements may be repetitive, leading to long-term hand and wrist problems. Doing hand exercises can offset some of the harmful effects of repeated actions, which may be performed at your job, working around your home, playing a sport, or simply using your smartphone.

Many people understand the importance of purposeful bodily movement, stretching, and strengthening exercises for other parts of their body but neglect to give the same care to their hands. If you think about how many tasks we perform with our hands, it becomes clear that keeping them strong and healthy is vital. We need to effectively hold, grip, and squeeze to perform a wide variety of tasks daily. Prioritizing hand health is also increasingly important as we age, as it’s common for hand function to decrease after the age of 65 without some early intervention.

Common Hand Conditions

Overuse of your hands and wrists can cause injuries due to repetitive strain, including:

There are other reasons for hand pain, such as types of arthritis, which affect one in five American adults, causing persistent joint pain and inflammation. Arthritis can’t be eliminated through exercise, but even arthritic hands can benefit from stretching and strengthening exercises. However, it’s essential to consult your doctor about exercises to make sure you don’t cause further damage. This is also important if you have any current hand, wrist, or finger injury, no matter how minor, as your doctor may recommend physical therapy so you can be guided through appropriate exercise procedures.

Start by Stretching Your Hands

Stretching aims to help lengthen the muscles and tendons in the hand and wrist. Repetitive tasks, such as typing, using gardening tools, or working on an assembly line, can affect the muscles by shortening them and making them feel tight and painful. The following stretching exercises help loosen up the muscles, relieve pain, and benefit your hands’ range of motion.

Common Hand Stretching Exercises To Get You Started

Perform the following hand exercises gently until you feel the stretch, but not to the point that you experience any pain. This series of exercises can be especially beneficial for tight forearm muscles and tendonitis, both of which are common for people who work on computers. To get the most benefit, you should hold the positions for a count of fifteen to thirty seconds. If you experience pain, stop immediately, and rest your hands.

Prayer Wrist Stretch

Begin with this exercise to stretch your wrists.

Palm Down Wrist Stretch

Perform the palm down wrist stretch one wrist at a time, remembering to repeat for both wrists.

Palm Up Wrist Stretch

This exercise is the reverse of the palm down wrist stretch.

Carpal Tunnel Tendon Glides

This exercise helps address current symptoms and prevent the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome from developing. It stimulates the tendons in the carpal tunnel passageway to keep them moving properly.

These are just a few critical hand, wrist, and finger exercises you should perform regularly.

If you’re experiencing pain in your fingers, hands, or wrists, make an appointment with Dr. Knight of The Hand and Wrist Institute. Our team will conduct a thorough examination to provide you with a diagnosis and set up a suitable treatment plan. You can reach us at 855-558-4263 or schedule an appointment online. We’re here to answer any questions you may have and get you on the path to healing.


Dr. John Knight
Dr. John Knight

Dr. Knight is a renowned hand, wrist and upper extremity surgeon with over 25 years of experience. Dr. Knight is a Board Certified Orthopedic Surgeon and Fellowship trained. Dr Knight has appeared on CNN, The Doctors TV, Good Morning America, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Forbes, The Huffington Post, Entrepreneur, Oxygen network and more.