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Hand Exercises to Improve Strength

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From texting to cooking, we use our hands often. There are many exercises that can strengthen your hands and fingers, increase your range of motion and provide relief.

It mentions five exercises to improve flexibility, dexterity and strength:

Squeeze a soft ball in your palm as hard as you can for a few seconds. Repeat ten times.

Make a gentle fist and wrap your thumb across your fingers. Hold for one minute, release and repeat.

Warm up before exercise. Use a heating pad or soak hands in warm water for five-to-10 minutes.

Place your hand flat on a table. Gently lift each finger at a time off the table. Hold for a few seconds and lower the finger.

Stretch your wrists for 15-to-30 seconds. Repeat two-to-four times.


Weightlifting and Arthritis

Experts have discovered a cheap, powerful tool that can relieve pain, improve motion, and generally make life a little easier for people with arthritis.

At any age, people should be aware that there’s a right way and a wrong way to lift weights, Resnick says. Here are some tips for a safe, productive weight-lifting routine.

Get your doctor’s go-ahead. He or she will probably be thrilled to hear about your plan to start strength training. If you have high blood pressure, your doctor may want to run a few tests to make sure lifting weights won’t cause a dangerous rise in your pressure.

Get professional advice. A personal trainer or physical therapist can teach you proper weight-lifting techniques. An expert can also help tailor a program that matches your needs and abilities.

Before grabbing your weights, always warm up your muscles with a good stretch. Resnick recommends slowly stretching a joint until it feels a little uncomfortable. Hold the stretch for 10 to 30 seconds and repeat three to five times.

Start with a weight that allows you to do three sets of eight to 10 repetitions with moderate effort. (Some people start with no weight at all.) When these repetitions became easy, move up to a slightly larger weight.

Lift weights slowly and evenly. Sudden jerks or bounces can damage cartilage.

Expect a little discomfort. Your joints may complain at first, but they’ll thank you in the long run.

Try to go through your joint’s entire range of motion. If bending the joint in a certain way causes too much pain, stick with movements that are more comfortable. Over time, you should try to gradually push your joint until you regain its full range.

If you have rheumatoid arthritis, give your joint a rest during a flare-up. As soon as the pain subsides, you can go back to lifting.

Consider isometric exercises, workouts that involve pushing or pulling against walls or other immovable objects. Such exercises strengthen muscles without putting any stress on joints. Isometric exercises can be a good alternative if regular weightlifting causes too much pain.

Listen to your body. If you start pushing yourself too hard, your body will let you know loud and clear. According to the National Institutes of Health, arthritis patients should stop an exercise program if they notice unusual or long-lasting fatigue, increased weakness, decreased flexibility, increased swelling, or pain that lasts for more than an hour after exercising.

With any exercise program, the first step is always the hardest. If you have trouble getting motivated, keep this in mind: Your sore joints won’t get better on their own. A good exercise program that includes weightlifting can give you the strength and flexibility you need to keep up with life. The alternative is too painful to consider.