The hand is part of the body which is frequently neglected when it comes to exercise, but there are many good reasons why you should pay attention to the muscular development of this portion of your physique, too. Though other exercises may have a slight effect in building the sinews of the hand, fingers, and wrist – for example, grasping barbells while doing presses will increase your grip strength, as well – specifically targeted exercises are even better, especially for those at risk of carpal tunnel.
You may have several different reasons for giving your hands a workout, and the specific motive that you have will naturally determine the exercises best suited to your needs. A dedicated rock climber has a stronger need for a tough, tenacious grip than someone who sits all day typing in a cubicle, while the cubicle typist needs light, quick, effective exercises to head off carpal tunnel syndrome far more than does the athletic specimen scaling cliffs and mountains.
Fortunately, this is an era when the possibilities of human bodily development have been fully explored, and more is known about exercise than at any other time in the past. Regardless of the exact need that drives you to exercise your fingers, hands, and wrists, there are many good exercise programs available to give you a daily or weekly regimen that will produce the results you seek.
Hand-Exercises.com is a guide to all of these exercise varieties, and can be used as a guide to develop your own program or as the starting point for even more detailed research. Our articles cover many different aspects of hand exercise, from basic exercises meant to keep your wrists limber while typing to serious muscle-building for the hands that will give you the grip of a professional wrestler.
Exercising your Hands for General Physical Health
If you are engaged in toning your body and building a set of muscles for the sake of general health and attractiveness, then there is no reason to leave your hands as the only undeveloped portion of your frame. Though you may not go to the lengths to build hand strength that wrestlers or mountain climbers will, you can still benefit from the heavier exercises described on our site.
The goal with health-related toning of the body is to develop all muscles proportionally, so that there are no weak points in your muscular system. Just as you would not think it proper to build your arms and legs up yet leave your back muscles weak and flabby, so you should also view the strengthening of your wrists, hands, and fingers as being part of a well-rounded exercise program.
When you are working at this type of exercise, the best methods are to boost your crushing grip with a “strength tester”, and also make sure the extensor muscles – which open your hands – are properly toned by exercising them with heavy duty, athletic rubber bands. Pinch grip exercises are less necessary with this goal, though you should develop your pinch grip to some extent, too.
Exercising Your Hands Specifically for a Powerful Grip
There are both sports and professions where a truly powerful, rock-like grip can mean the difference between success and failure in some important endeavor. In the sports field, mountain climbers and rock climbers need a firm grip to keep themselves safe – at times, your life may literally depend on being able to hold on tight, but even in less dramatic circumstances, your efforts will be made quicker and easier if you can exert a very strong hold when necessary. Wrestling involves a lot of gripping, and this in turn means that strong hands will be a faithful ally to you.
There are many types of physical labor where a strong pair of hands attached to muscular wrists are a major asset. Farm work, construction, plumbing, logging and other types of forestry, and even heavy manufacturing all involve types of effort where part of your success will depend on being able to hold on tight.
In all these cases, you should work to build up your pinch grip, crushing grip, extensor muscles, and wrists as much as possible, making use of the full range of exercises which our site describes.
Preventing or Easing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Even in the less immediately rigorous surroundings of the office, there is a need for hand exercises. Preventing future carpal tunnel syndrome is best done by carrying out a selection of brief, but carefully chosen, exercises on an hourly basis while you are working. If you already have carpal tunnel, we also describe exercises which can help to alleviate the symptoms or at least prevent them from worsening.