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Developing Hand Strength

Your maximum handgrip strength is more than an indication of muscular strength. It can segment people at risk for limited mobility, bone fracture, frailty, sarcopenia (aging loss of muscle), and risk to falling.

Here are handgrip strengthening and stretching exercises:

  1. Make a gentle fist, wrapping your thumb across your fingers. Hold for 30 to 60 seconds. Release and spread your fingers wide. Repeat with both hands at least four times.
  2. Place your hand palm-down on a table or other flat surface. Gently straighten your fingers as flat as you can against the surface without forcing your joints. Hold for 30 to 60 seconds and then release. Repeat at least four times with each hand.
  3. Hold your hand out in front of you, palm facing you. Bend your fingertips down to touch the base of each finger joint. Your hand should look a little like a claw. Hold for 30 to 60 seconds and release. Repeat at least four times on each hand.
  4. Place your hand flat, palm down, on a table or other surface. Gently lift one finger at a time off of the table and then lower it. You can also lift all your fingers and thumb at once, and then lower. Repeat eight to 12 times on each hand.

Remember, you should always consult your physician before beginning any exercise, diet, or nutritional supplementation program.

Mackie and April share exercises every Wednesday on WWL-TV