We’re so excited that the Big Game is happening right here in Houston this weekend! As the two teams prepare to play, they’ll be sure to get plenty of rest, eat a nutritious meal beforehand, stay hydrated, and stretch out their muscles—including those in their hands.
Hands play a major role in our daily lives. We use them to cook a delicious dinner, to type up a quick text to a friend, and to play a game of pickup football. From bank tellers to construction workers to professional athletes, taking proper care of hands, wrists, and fingers is important for everyone. Carving out time to stretch your hands each day can help you improve flexibility and mobility, and promote strong and healthy hands. Here are three basic hand stretches that you can do to help strengthen your hands and prevent pain and injury in the future.
Stress Ball Squeeze
Hold a stress ball in the palm of your hand and squeeze as hard as you can. Hold this position for several seconds. Alternate between hands, completing 10–15 sets for each. This is a great exercise to help strengthen your hands and fingers; however, it’s important to practice good judgment. Allow a period of 48 hours between repeats of this exercise to avoid overuse injuries. If you have an existing wrist, finger, or joint injury, it’s probably best to save this exercise until you receive the go-ahead from your physician.
Finger Abduction and Adduction
For this stretch, think of the Vulcan salute from Star Trek. Hold your wrist and fingers straight. One at a time, slowly move your fingers sideways, away from their centered position. You can also stretch your thumb in this fashion by moving it toward and away from your index finger.
This one is technically a wrist stretch, but caring for your wrists is just as important as caring for your hands. Shake out your hands as if they’re wet and you’re trying to dry them off. Do this for one to two minutes frequently throughout the day to prevent your hands from becoming stiff.
Here’s a bonus hand health tip for you. One thing you might notice during the Big Game is that some players apply tape to their fingers. Some tape their fingers individually (leaving the joints exposed so the fingers can still bend), while others employ the “buddy taping” method. The buddy taping method involves taping two adjacent fingers together. This offers support for the fingers and is a good way to help prevent injury, like a broken or sprained finger. Some athletes choose to tape because of the added grip the tape provides, while others use it as a way to prevent the risk of injuries. If you participate in high-impact sports, taping your fingers might be worth a try to help you avoid fractures and sprains.
Please make it a priority to stretch your hands daily. Many conditions affecting the hands, wrists, and elbows develop over time, like carpal tunnel or tennis elbow. If you’re experiencing any pain or discomfort in your hands, wrists, or elbows, set up an appointment with the Hand Surgery Specialists of Texas. We’re here for you!
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