Last month, for the first part in this series, I shared a few simple exercises for increasing grip strength with items you may have at home. Melanie DeVaugh, a licensed and registered occupational therapist who helped me with this series, suggested some hand strengthening tools she uses in her practice. Of course, I had to order these tools and see how well they worked for myself.
Sponsored by Springfield Armory
The following information is just suggestions to get you started. As with any new strength training regime, consult with your physician first. Note: if you have arthritis, these exercises should NOT be done when you are in the inflammation stage.
This set is super portable and allowed me to work on my crushing grip with the rings and then the opposite movement with the extension bands.
Grip Rings and Finger Extension Bands are available in a set for about $13.99.
This kit contains a light, medium and heavy tool. Finger exercises with these tools help increase the strength in your hands, fingers, wrists and forearms. The ergonomic design is self-explanatory and super easy to use.
Finger Strengthener Workout Kits are available here for only $9.99.
I liked using these hand therapy balls because they have four different resistance levels. I used the softer ball for some of the exercises, especially when I first started the program. Eventually, I increased the resistance as my hand strength increased.
Below, I’ve included some exercises to increase grip strength using hand exercise balls. Make sure to choose a ball with enough resistance to challenge your strength.
Squeeze the ball with the pads of your fingers and thumb. (This is similar to your support hand grip on a handgun.)
With your fingers and thumb extended, press down on the top of the ball and upward on the bottom in a pinching motion.
While holding the ball in the palm of your hand, press your fingers into the ball, straight into your palm. (This grip is similar to your strong hand grip on a pistol.)
Hand Exercise Balls may be purchased here for about $9.99.
I have to admit this is my favorite hand-strengthening tool. Yes, I loved Play-Doh as a child and then enjoyed it with my sons. This is the perfect excuse to play with a similar product. I’m also amazed that I am able to do every exercise I’ve discussed above with this putty. It’s also a bit of a stress reliever.
Finger Press: With the putty in the palm of your hand, press your fingers through the putty until they reach your palm. Then, release your fingers, roll the putty in your hands to reshape and repeat.
Individual Finger Extension: Bend one finger so that the fingertip is close to the palm of your hand. With the other hand, wrap a strip of putty over the tip of the bent finger and grasp both ends. Straighten the finger. Repeat exercise with each finger.
“Rooftop” Exercise: Form the putty into a ball and place it between your fingers and thumb. Using straight fingers and keeping your thumb underneath, form a “rooftop” shape. Keep your fingers straight and together while pressing.
Finger Squeeze: Roll the putty into a ball and place it between two spread fingers. Using a scissor-like motion, try bringing your two fingers together. Repeat until all your fingers have been exercised.
Finger Pinch: Using putty shaped into a ball, pinch it between the thumb, index and middle fingertips until the fingers press through the putty.
Wrist Extension: Rest your forearm on a table or chair arm with your palm down and hand hanging over the edge. Grip the putty with your fingertips. With your other hand, hold the putty steady below. Then, straighten and extend the wrist upward while keeping your arm on the table.
Wrist Flexion: Rest your forearm on a table or chair arm with your palm up and hand hanging over the edge. Grip the putty with your fingertips. Straighten and bend your wrist up while holding the putty steady with the other hand.
Melanie suggested FlintRehab’s Premium Quality Therapy Putty, which is currently available for $14.95.
The best part of all these hand-strengthening tools is they are small enough to carry in a purse or backpack. You can take them anywhere. Plus, the exercises are so simple, you can work on increasing your grip strength when you’re watching television or riding in a car. How easy is that?
Michelle Cerino, aka Princess Gunslinger, entered the firearms industry in 2011 when Cerino Training Group was established. She immediately began competing in both 3-Gun and NRA Action Pistol, becoming a sponsored shooter. Michelle is currently a columnist and Managing Editor of Women’s Outdoor News, as well as Pro-Staff for CZ-USA Field Sports. She also manages social media for CZ-USA Field Sports, Vera Koo and GTM Original. Michelle encourages others to step out of the comforts of home and explore. View all posts by Michelle Cerino
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