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5 Hand Stretches You Should Try

5 Hand Stretches You Should Try

Whether you spend too much time on your phone or laptop or overdid it with the weights, you may feel some tension in your hands from time to time. We often overlook our hands and wrists. (Your hand calluses are proof of that!) However, we should stretch them as often as we do the rest of our bodies!

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After all, they do important work. Adding some hand stretches to your recovery and cool down routines can help if you want to avoid tight tendons, pain, and wrist stiffness.

Try these five hand stretches to release tension and increase range of motion:

1. Open and Close Fist

hand stretches - clenched fist

  • Curl your hand into a fist and hold for 30 seconds, then release suddenly and spread your fingers as wide as possible.
  • Repeat four to five times for each hand.
  • Loosen up tendons in your arms by reducing the hold time. Just open and close your hands as quickly as possible for 30 seconds.

 

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2. Bucket of Rice

This is a favorite trick for athletes like rock climbers and baseball players who want to get their hands and wrists stronger but also more flexible.

  • Fill up a bowl or bucket with rice, and put your hands in.
  • Start “mashing” the grains by opening and closing your hands, moving your wrists, and spreading out your fingers.

Consider doing hand stretches a few times a day — and especially before and after long typing sessions or strength training — to keep those hands healthy. You can work these in during long conference calls or even while sitting in traffic.

 

3. Little Bear Claw

hand stretches - little bear claww

  • Get your fingers more limber by flattening your palm while holding your hand up, and then bending fingertips and thumb down to touch the base of the fingers.
  • Keeping your palm flat, open and close the fingers 10 times.

 

4. One by One

Even though you use them all the time, your hands can develop limits when it comes to your range of motion. Try this to increase flexibility:

  • Place a palm down on a level surface like a desk or table.
  • Lift one finger at a time while the others stay down.
  • Then lift all your fingers and thumb at once.
  • Repeat five times on each hand.

 

5. Thumb to Fingers

hand stretches - thumb to pinky

  • Holding your palm up and toward you, begin touching each of your fingers to the thumb, one by one, holding each stretch for 20 to 30 seconds.
  • Try to keep your wrist straight and your palm flat.

 

Elizabeth Millard

About

Elizabeth Millard has written for Men's Health, SELF, Prevention, Runner's World, and several other health and wellness publications. Based in Northern Minnesota (yes, it's just as cold as you've heard), she's also a rock climber, obstacle course enthusiast, and registered yoga teacher. Follow her on Twitter.

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