Exercises to Improve Hand Mobility

Anti-stress balls in hand, according to the window with bright sunlightIf daily tasks are difficult because you suffer from stiffness, swelling, or pain in your hands, it is possible the right exercises can help you get back to normal.

Therapists typically suggest specific hand exercises depending on the cause of the trouble. Some movements help increase a joint’s range of motion or loosen tight muscles and tendons via stretching. Other exercises strengthen muscles around a joint to generate more power or build greater endurance.


Here are a few exercises that may help improve range of motion and reduce pain, fatigue, swelling, and stiffness in your hands.

Wrist Extension and Flexion:

  • Place your forearm on a table on a rolled-up towel for padding with your hand hanging off the edge, palm down
  • Move the hand upward until you feel a gentle stretch
  • Return to the starting position
  • Repeat the same motions with the elbow bend at your side, palm facing up

Wrist Supination/Pronation:

  • Stand or sit with your arm at your side, the elbow bent at 90 degrees, palm facing down.
  • Rotate your forearm so that your palms face up and then down.

Wrist Ulnar/Radial Deviation:

  • Support your forearm on a table on a rolled-up towel for padding or on your knee, thumb upwards
  • Move the wrist up and down through its full range of motion

Thumb Flexion/Extension:

  • Begin with your thumb positioned outward
  • Move thumb across the palm and back to the starting position

Hand/Finger Tendon Glide:

  • Start with your 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

Hold each position for 5-10 seconds and do one set of 10 repetitions three times per day.

All of these exercises should be done slowly and deliberately to avoid potential pain and injury. If you feel numbness or pain during or after exercising, stop and contact your doctor.

Author Bio

About eight years ago, Mat Lecompte had an epiphany. He’d been ignoring his health and suddenly realized he needed to do something about it. Since then, through hard work, determination and plenty of education, he has transformed his life. He’s changed his body composition by learning the ins and outs of nutrition, exercise, and fitness and wants to share his knowledge with you. Starting as a journalist over 10 years ago, Mat has not only honed his belief system and approach with practical experience, but he has also worked closely with nutritionists, dieticians, athletes, and fitness professionals. He embraces natural healing methods and believes that diet, exercise and willpower are the foundation of a healthy, happy, and drug-free existence.