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Flexibility Exercises for Hands & Fingers

Our hands and fingers are the chief organs of our body which are maximally used. They are functional since birth. Immediately after birth the fingers of the child start functioning and within six months the hand grip becomes stronger. From birth to death generally the fingers move for twenty five million times. The hands get rest only during sleep. Our hands are useful in various ways. We use them right from brushing of the teeth, morning rituals, writing, eating, computer operating, car driving etc. The fingers and hands have lots of capacity. There is no surprise about the fingers typing 120 words in a minute, holding heavy bags by fingers only and its capacity is to lift the weight of 45 to 60 kilograms. The average capacity of the fingers of the female is half than that of the male.


The major area in the brain is occupied by hand area. It is known as motor cortex which controls all movement in the body. One thousand messages are passed in the brain while there is movement of the thumbs towards and away from the fingers. While rotating the thumb innumerable afferent (message going from peripheral part of the body to the brain) and efferent messages (from brain to the peripheral part) are sent to ensure coordinated movement of the muscles of the thumb. During that time the nervous system works thousand times the movement of the fingers. Like other paired organs (eyes, ears, legs), each hand is dominantly controlled by the opposing brain hemisphere, and thus handedness or preferred hand choice for single-handed activities such as writing with a pen reflects a significant individual trait.

The hands give us very essential and important messages also. The fingers can’t function properly without thumb. The same way thumb alone can’t work without fingers. The thumb can touch all the fingers but all the fingers can’t do it. If the thumb remains isolated nothing can be achieved. The thumb should have coordination with the fingers. None of them should be neglected. The fingertips contain some of the densest areas of nerve endings on the body, are the richest source of tactile feedback and have the greatest positioning capability of the body. Thus the sense of touch is intimately associated with hands. The tips of the fingers have sensation to know cool, hot, soft, and hard. The blind people can read by having touch sensation.


Many people complain about pain in their fingers, ligaments related with those joints due to working on computers and handling the mouse for many hours. At the time of handling the mouse, the forearm rests on the table, palm of the hand remains on the mouse and the fingers are on the buttons of the mouse. Because of this working position for many hours the cartilage and the tendon sheath may get degenerated. It may cause tenosinovitis (inflammation of the tendon and tendon sheath). There are eight bones in the wrist, five in the hand and fourteen in the fingers. So there are a total 27 bones. In both the hands there are 54 bones. We have to take care of them by keeping them active. The solution for all these is to do exercises as follows.


Sit in Vajrasana on the mat or sit in a chair.

Throw and Draw Movements of the Hands
• Exhale and throw both the hands forcefully, parallel to the ground, in front of the chest. Keep the arms from shoulders to fingers straight.
• Inhale and gently draw the hands back towards the chest by bending the fingers partially on inner side as if you are scratching something.
• Move the hand away rapidly and bring the hand near slowly.
• The muscles of the arms and forearms (triceps, flexors, carpi, ulnaris, inter muscular septum) get stretched by doing this exercise.
• Do it for eight to ten times.

Exercise of the Wrist
• Bend the elbows and keep them away from the chest. Make half closed fist.
• Now rotate the wrists clockwise for eight to ten times and then anticlockwise for eight to ten times with normal breathing.

Pressing the Fingers In and Out
• Bend the elbows and keep them away from the chest.
• Now inhale and close the fingers over the thumbs to make a tight fist.
• Then exhale and open the fist.
• Inhale and close the fists again by keeping the thumbs out side. Exhale and then open it.
• Do this process eight to ten times.

Stiffening the Muscles of the Hands
• Keep the palms of the hands facing in front of each other at a distance of 6 to 8 inches.
• Now inhale, stiffen the muscles of the hands and stretch the fingers on back side.
• Then exhale and relax them by moving them away from each other.
• Do this process eight to ten times.

Exercise of the Finger Joints
• Inhale and bend the fingers at the finger joints towards the palms.
• Then exhale and relax by moving the fingers straight.
• Do this process eight to ten times.

Relaxing the Hands
• First just hang the hands from the wrist by relaxing it.
• Then rotate clockwise eight to ten times and anti clockwise eight to ten times with normal breathing.

All the above exercises will give enough exercise to your elbow, palm and fingers and will be beneficial to prevent the feeling of exhaustion in the tendons and muscles.

Courtesy: Dr. Rita Khanna
Aum Shanti