Finger Strengthening Exercises

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A young woman is biting her finger. (Image: David De Lossy/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

Finger-strengthening exercises help with everything from preventing sports injuries to easing of arthritis pain. Guitar players and rock climbers need to develop strong fingers as do typists who are trying to avoid carpal tunnel syndrome. Fitness enthusiasts often forget to include finger-strengthening exercises in their routines, trainers at Indoor Climbing report. Perform finger exercises daily toward the end of your regular workout, but be careful not to overstrain. Exercises should not be done to the point that you feel pain.

Holding

Hold on to a gallon of milk or hold a dumbbell in each hand with your fingertips hanging loosely at your sides so your fingers do all the work. Walk for 100 feet holding the items, then set them down to rest. Count to 10 or 20 and pick up the items again. Repeat the action three times every other day to strengthen fingers.

Squeezing

Squeeze different squeeze balls, stress balls or pinch grips by picking up the ball and holding the squeeze for 10 to 20 seconds. Release and rest for a count to 10. Make your own squeezing equipment by using a rubber ball or partially inflated medicine ball; the more inflated the ball, the stronger the grip needed to hold it. A tennis ball also provides a good amount of pressure to work the fingers. Hold the pliable item by your fingers and keep your wrist and arm out of the equation. Repeat 10 times.

Thumb Opposition

Increase your flexibility and strength with an easy exercise called a thumb opposition in which you hold one hand up straight with your fingers pointing upward, then take your thumb and apply it firmly to the fingertip of your little finger. Press as hard as you can without creating pain and hold it for five seconds. Move your thumb to the next fingertip and repeat. Perform this exercise on all four fingers three times, then repeat on the other hand.

Bend and Fold

Perform the bend-and-fold finger exercises on both hands at the same time by first holding both hands up with palms facing away from you. Start at the little fingers and bend each outside finger at the second knuckle, careful to hold the other fingers still. Next bend the ring fingers, the middle fingers and pointing fingers. Imagine each finger is doing a little push-up. Rotate through all four fingers 10 times. This exercise also helps develop finger independence.

Tap and Push

Hold both hands together as if in prayer with fingers slightly splayed. Keeping your palms together, pull your fingers away from each other and tap twice. After tapping, hold your fingers together and push first to one side and then the other. The exercise should consist of tap, tap, then push, push. Repeat the exercise 10 times.

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