Strengthening for the Forearm, Wrist & Hand

Give these strengthening exercises a try!
These will improve your hand, wrist and forearm strength and function, and help prevent injury.

All exercises are for injury prevention only. If you have pain or injury, please consult your physician.

Wrist Flexion Curls

You can do this exercise sitting or standing. Be sure that your forearms are supported across your lap, or on a firm surface. Use light weights or something around the house, like a soup can.

Hold weights in each hand, with palms up, in neutral position. Bend wrists up to lift weights up. Be sure to keep your forearms down, so that only your wrists/hands are moving. Slowly lower back to neutral position. Perform 2-3 sets of 10 repetitions.

Wrist Extension Curls

You can do this exercise sitting or standing. Be sure that your forearms are supported across your lap, or on a firm surface. Use light weights or something around the house, like a soup can.

Hold weights in each hand, with palms down, in neutral position. Bend wrists up to lift weights up. Be sure to keep your forearms down, so that only your wrists/hands are moving. Slowly lower back to neutral position. Perform 2-3 sets of 10 repetitions.

Wrist Radial Deviation

You can do this exercise sitting or standing, with your arm straight down at your side. Hold one end of a light dumbbell, or use a lightweight hammer.

Hold one end of the weight or hammer straight down at your side as shown. Keep palm facing in toward your body. Bend wrist up and forward, toward your thumb, to raise the weight. Slowly lower back to start. Be sure that motion comes from your wrist and your elbow remains straight. Perform 2-3 sets of 10 repetitions.

Wrist Ulnar Deviation

You can do this exercise sitting or standing. Be sure that your forearms are supported across your lap, or on a firm surface. Use light weights or something around the house, like a soup can.

Hold one end of the weight or hammer straight down at your side, hammer head turned away. Keep palm facing in toward your body. Bend wrist up and backward, toward your pinky finger, to raise the weight. Slowly lower back to start. Be sure that motion comes from your wrist and your elbow remains straight. Perform 2-3 sets of 10 repetitions.

Pronation/Supination

Do this exercise sitting or standing. Support your forearms, or on a firm surface. Use light weights or something around the house, like a soup can. For this exercise, even a light hammer is appropriate.

Holding weights on one end, start in neutral with the weight straight up and down. Slowly rotate hands into supination, turning palms up. Pause. Next, rotate hands into pronation, turning palms down. Pause. Rotate back and forth for 10 repetitions. Perform 2-3 sets.

Grip Strengthening

Work your grip strength with traditional resistance putty, playdough, a stress ball, a tennis ball or even a washcloth.

Squeeze the object firmly, release and re-grip.  Turn it in your hand as needed to get the maximum grip pressure. Grip for 30 repetition or for 30-60 seconds in each hand. 

Towel Wringing

Roll up a hand towel, lengthwise. With your arms extended in front of you, grip each end of the towel. Twist the towel in a wringing motion, extending the right wrist, and flexing the left. Do 20-30 repetitions.

Then, change directions and wring the towel by flexing the left wrist and extending the right. Do another 20-30 repetitions.

Active Finger Extensions

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Try this active range of motion exercise for your fingers!

Place hand down flat on a table. Individually raise each finger as high as you can. Be sure not to let your other fingers lift off of the table.

Perform 5-10 times and move on to the next finger in this order:

1) Thumb, 2) Index Finger, 3) Middle/Long Finger, 4) Ring Finger, and 5) Pinky Finger

Helpful Hint

If you are having a hard time isolating each finger, use your other hand to hold fingers down.

Wrist Flexion Curls

Place rubber band around fingers and thumb.
Create a loop for the thumb to help prevent band from shooting off.

Slowly spread fingers and thumb. Pause but do not hold. Bring fingers and thumb back to starting position. Do not let the band pull fingers and thumb back together quickly, but maintain slow control. Perform 20-30 repetitions with each hand.