Exercises for the fingers, hands and wrists

Introduction

These exercises are helpful for problems and pain affecting the fingers, hands and wrists.

It's a good idea to start slowly and build up gradually if you're new to exercise. For more information and tips on getting started, see our About exercise page.

Get advice and support from a healthcare professional or fitness instructor if you have any concerns about starting a new exercise plan.

Finger strengthening

Begin with the palm of your hand on a tissue or towel on a table, fingers apart. Pull your fingers together by pressing your hand down into the table and bunching up the towel between your fingers. Repeat. You can also do this without using a towel or tissue, and simply by pressing down on the table and squeezing your fingers together and then stretching them apart.

 

 

Finger tendon glide stretch

Start with the fingers extended straight out. Make a hook fist, return to a straight hand. Make a full fist, return to a straight hand. Make a straight fist, return to a straight hand.

Thumb stretch

Hold your hand out in front of you, as if you're saying stop. Begin with your thumb positioned outward. Move the thumb across your palm and then back to the starting position.

Hand lift

Place your forearm on a flat surface, like a table, with your hand hanging over the edge, palm facing down. A rolled-up towel under your wrist might provide comfort. Keeping your fingers relaxed, move your hand upward until you feel a gentle stretch, then return to the starting position.

Wrist turn

Bend your elbow to 90 degrees with your palm facing down. Rotate your forearm, so that your palm faces up and then down. You can stand or sit to do this.

Hand wave

Support your forearm on a table on a rolled-up towel for padding or on your knee, thumb facing upward. Move the wrist up and down through its full range of motion, as if you are waving.