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Exercises for Finger Extension

By Karen Carter

Finger extension is the process of opening your hand and stretching your fingers. Closing your hand is called finger flexion. Finger extension is something we do without thinking. Extension exercises help strengthen the muscles that pull the fingers straight. Finger extension exercises will prevent the permanent contraction of muscles in the fingers after a stroke. After hand surgery, finger extension exercises help rebuild the strength in your hand.

Sand Extensions

Fill a bucket with soft fine sand. Make a fist and push your hand into the sand. Open your hand by spreading your fingers under the sand. Pull your hand out. Do this five more times and then switch hands. Do not use concrete or playground sand. The grit is too coarse and you might damage the skin on your hands.

Coordination Training

Open your hands wide. Bend your index finger down and touch the tip of your thumb. Open your hand again. Bend your middle finger downward to touch the tip of your thumb and return your hand to an open position again. Do this with your ring finger and little finger. Cycle through each of your fingers a total of 10 times or until your fingers are tired. Remember to do both hands.

Resistance Training

Place a thick rubber band around all your fingers, including your thumb. Force your fingers to push at the rubber band until your hand is mostly open. Close your hand. Open your fingers against this pressure four more times, then switch hands. Be careful that you do not overstretch the rubber band and snap yourself with it. If one rubber band is too easy for you, then add a second rubber band.

Finger Angels

Sprinkle a light dusting of baby powder on a tabletop. Place your right hand on the powder with all of your fingers together. Spread your fingers open as far as you can. Return them back to the starting position. Do this five to 10 times, then switch hands.

Tabletop Lifts

Place your hand flat on a tabletop. Lift your thumb up as far as you can and return back to the tabletop. Lift your next finger upward as far as you can without loosing contact with the tabletop with the other fingers. Return your finger back to the tabletop. Do this with the rest of your fingers. Do this exercise for a total of 10 repetitions on each hand.

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