The following hand exercises are designed to improve strength of the muscles of the wrist and hand. You should discuss the suitability of these hand exercises with your physiotherapist prior to beginning them. Generally, they should only be performed provided they do not cause or increase pain.
Begin with the basic hand exercises. Once these are too easy, add the intermediate hand exercises. As your strength improves, the advanced hand exercises can then be added to the intermediate program.
Hand Strengthening – Basic Hand Exercises
To begin with, the following basic hand exercises should be performed approximately 10 times, 3 times daily. As your hand strength improves, the hand exercises can be progressed by gradually increasing the repetitions and strength of contraction provided they do not cause or increase pain.
Tennis Ball Squeeze
Begin this exercise holding a tennis ball (figure 1). Squeeze the tennis ball as hard as possible and comfortable without pain. Hold for 5 seconds and repeat 10 times.
Begin this exercise taking your thumb to your index finger (figure 2). Squeeze your thumb and index finger together as hard as possible and comfortable without pain for 5 seconds, then move your thumb onto the next finger. Squeeze your thumb and middle finger together for 5 seconds and so on. Repeat 3 times on each finger.
Begin this exercise with your fingers and thumb in the position shown (figure 3). Keeping your fingers straight, squeeze your fingers and thumb together in this position as hard as possible and comfortable without pain. Hold for 5 seconds and repeat 10 times.