The following hand strengthening exercises are designed to improve strength of the muscles of the wrist and hand. Hand strengthening exercises should be performed approximately 10 times, thrice a day. As your hand strength improves, the exercises can be progressed by gradually increasing the repetitions and strength of contraction provided they do not cause or increase pain.
- Flex and extend all fingers, while making a complete fist for 30 second. Next, open and close your fingers do 2 sets of each for a total of a minute.
- Flex your wrist and hold in maximum flex for 30 seconds with the elbow straight but not locked.
- Extend your wrist with the elbow straight for 30 seconds. Do 2 sets for a total of 2 minutes. These initial three stretching exercises will prepare you for the more complex and more intense weight-bearing exercises to optimize muscular development and the strength of the forearm.
- Seated Wrist Hammer Curls - In a seated position with your back straight, place your forearm on your thighs with your thumbs pointed upward. Use a 5-, 10-, or 20lb weight in a hammer position and lift it back and forth slowly for 3 sets of 20 repetitions. This will develop your brachioradialis muscle, which inserts at the distal aspect of the forearm at the wrist. Greater hypertrophy of this muscle will give more definition and balance of the forearm.
- Seated Wrist Straight Curls - This is to develop your flexor muscles. In a seated position, with your forearms on your thighs and palms facing upward, with a 5-, 10-, or even 20lb weight in hand, flex your wrist upward. Keep the forearms well placed against your thighs for greater stability and isolation of the wrist and forearm musculature. Be careful to place the wrist three to four inches away from the knee to allow the full range of motion. Do 3 sets of 20 repetitions.
- Seated Reverse Wrist Curls - This is to develop your extensor muscles and is also done in a seated position with your forearms on your thigh, palms facing downward, with the wrist three to four inches away from the knees. Grasp the weight and extend the wrist fully. Do this for 3 sets of 20 and be sure to not lift the elbows from the thighs when extending the wrists. Keep the palms down.
- Finger Curls - This is an easy exercise to perform and will develop finger and hand strength. Simply sit and hold a 5-, 10-, or 15lb in weight your hand. Turn your hand with the palm upward with the back of your wrist on your thigh. Allow the weight to roll down your fingers, and now curl your fingers back holding the weight securely. Remember to keep the back of your wrist against your thigh throughout the execution of the exercise. Use weight which you can effectively control and execute the exercises properly.
- Tennis Ball Squeeze- Begin this exercise holding a tennis ball . Squeeze the tennis ball as hard as possible and comfortable without pain. Hold for 5 seconds and repeat 10 times.
- Resistance Band Wrist Flexion- Begin this exercise with a resistance band around your fingers, your hand palm up as demonstrated . Your elbow should be at your side and bent to 90 degrees, your forearm supported by your other hand. Slowly curl your wrist and fingers up against the resistance band tightening your hand and forearm muscles. Perform 3 sets of 10 repetitions as far as possible and comfortable without pain.