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How to Strengthen Hands and Fingers

How to Strengthen Hands and Fingers
by Bryan Nealy, Exclusively for Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®

How many times have you been working on a beading project, only to have your fingers and hands seize from cramping and fatigue, which force you to take a break? Why let physical limitations slow you down in your beading endeavors? Try out these hand and finger exercises, and you'll notice an improvement in strength and stamina in your fingers and hands. If any of these exercises causes pain, do not continue doing them. Please talk with your doctor before beginning any exercise program.

Exercise 1

Rubber Band Finger Exercise For the first exercise, you'll need a rubber band and your fingers. Find a rubber band that's on the smallish size in diameter, and preferably thick (the thicker the better). Place the rubber band around your thumb and index finger, stretch out the rubber band as far as you can and hold for 5-10 seconds. Repeat the exercise with the band wrapped around your thumb and each of your other fingers, then do the same with your other hand.

Exercise 2

Hand Extension Exercise For this exercise, you don't need anything except your hands. Simply make a fist as tight as you can (without pain), wrapping your thumb across your fingers. Hold the fist for 30-60 seconds, release and spread your fingers wide. Hold your fingers spread for 10 seconds and then repeat the entire process on both hands at least 4 times.

Exercise 3

Squeeze a Tennis/Racquet Ball Exercise For the third exercise, you'll need to find a tennis ball or a racquet ball. Place the ball in the palm of your hand, and squeeze the ball as hard as you can without causing pain. Hold the squeeze for 5 seconds and release. Repeat the process 10 times and repeat with your other hand.

Exercise 4

Finger Lift Exercise In this exercise, start with the palm of your hand flat on a table surface. Lift one finger at a time, hold it for a quick pause at the top, and lower it down to the table. Do this for each finger on your hand, on both hands and repeat 8-12 times.

Complete at least two of these exercises per day, and it won't be long until you notice a big difference in your strength and ability to bead longer without cramping up or getting tired.

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