How to Strengthen the Hand & Wrist

by Julia Michelle

About Julia Michelle

Julia Michelle has been writing professionally since January 2009. Her specialties include massage therapy, computer tech support, land and aquatic personal training, aquatic group fitness and Reiki. She has an Associate in Applied Science from Cincinnati State Technical and Community College in integrative medical massage therapy.

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Strengthening your hands and wrists allows you to perform activities of daily living, such as opening jars and turning door knobs. Maintaining your hand and wrist strength also helps with manual dexterity, such as buttoning your clothing or using a pen. The muscles in your forearms control your wrists and your fingers. There are several exercises that isolate movement at the wrist joint to strengthen these muscles.

Hand Rolls

Step 1

Sit or stand in a comfortable position with a 2-lb. dumbbell in each hand. Start with the lightest weight, and gradually increase the resistance as you become stronger.

Step 2

Bend your elbows 90 degrees with your palms facing upward and your wrists straight.

Step 3

Slowly open both hands so that the weight rolls from your palms to your fingers. Keep your fingers wrapped loosely around the weight to prevent it from falling to the floor. Open your hand as far as possible without dropping the weight.

Step 4

Hold this for one second then slowly close both hands, so that the weights roll back onto your palms. Repeat 10 times, rest and repeat two more sets.

Wrist Flexion

Step 1

Sit or stand in a comfortable position with a 2-lb. dumbbell in each hand. Start with the lightest weight and gradually increase the resistance and you become stronger.

Step 2

Bend your elbows 90 degrees with your palms facing upward and your wrists straight.

Step 3

Relax your wrists so that your hands bend backwards and your knuckles point toward the floor. Slowly bend your hands forward until your knuckles point toward the ceiling. Keep your elbows bent 90 degrees.

Step 4

Hold for one second then bend your hands backward toward the floor. Repeat 10 times, rest and do two more sets.

Wrist Extension

Step 1

Sit or stand in a comfortable position with a 2-lb. dumbbell in each hand. Start with the lightest weight, and gradually increase the resistance and you become stronger.

Step 2

Bend your elbows 90 degrees with your palms facing downward and your wrists straight.

Step 3

Relax your wrists so that your hands bend forward and your knuckles point toward the floor. Slowly bend your hands backward until your knuckles point toward the ceiling. Keep your elbows bent 90 degrees.

Step 4

Hold for one second then bend your hands backward toward the floor. Repeat 10 times, rest and do two more sets.

Items you will need

  • 2-lb. to 10-lb. dumbbells

Tip

  • As you graduate to higher weights, exercise one arm at a time and support your forearm with your opposite hand, or rest your forearms on a flat surface and let your hands extend over the edge.

Warning

  • Consult a doctor before performing hand- and wrist-strengthening exercises, especially if you have an injury or health condition.

References (2)

  • "Personal Trainer Manual"; American Council on Exercise; 1996
  • “Physiology of Sport and Exercise” Dr. Jack H. Wilmore, et al.; 2007

Photo Credits:

  • George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images

This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.