Sleight of Hand and Tricks – 4 – Hand and Finger Dexterity Exercises

Hand and Finger Dexterity Exercises

For performing tricks, it is important to amp up speed and dexterity, practice fluid motion techniques, and agility. These exercises will tone your hands, making them strong, agile and swift. Your tricks should come off more smoothly after practicing these daily.

Exercises to Extend Reach

There are a variety of reasons to keep your fingers stretched and flexible. Finger strengthening exercises help you reach further and grip items more tightly. Building finger strength, dexterity and extending your reach are the main goals of these exercises. Be sure to do an even number of exercises on each hand and do at east one set each day for best results.

Making Fists

Close your fingers to make a tight fist. Hold the fist for one second, then open and extend the fingers straight for one second. Be sure to spread the fingers and reach them out completely. Repeat the motion on the other hand and keep going until you have reached 20 repetitions per side. To make your fingers even stronger, squeeze a foam or sponge ball using the same method.

Bending the Fingers

Sit at a desk with your left forearm on the table. Let your left hand hang over the edge. Use your right hand to grab the fingers of your left hand and bend back the hand at the wrist. You should not feel pain, but you should experience a stretch in both your fingers and wrist. As you become more flexible, increase the motion up to 10 times per side.

Using Chinese Health Balls

Chinese health balls come in materials such as bronze, glass, steel or marble. Hold two balls in your left hand and move the balls in a circle slowly. This should be relaxing and meditative. Continue to spin the balls for one to two minutes. Switch to the right hand and repeat the exercise. Using the health balls on a regular basis can help with your dexterity and reach.

Crossing the Fingers

Uncross and cross your fingers — not just the first two fingers on each hand but all of the fingers. This is more difficult than it seems. Try to cross the fingers on each hand with the adjacent finger, and do this without using the other hand.

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Finger Agility Exercises

Your fingers provide fine motor movement that enables you to pick up and hold things. The fingers must be exercised every day to help promote strength, flexibility and joint health. Exercising the fingers and hands encourages dexterity and agility, strength and coordination. A few minutes a day is all it takes, but it offers long-lasting benefits.

Isolation and Strength

Place your right hand palm-side down on a flat surface, suggests Ohio State Medical Center University. Raise only your thumb, keeping your remaining fingers firmly on the table. Now place your thumb down on the table and repeat the move with your index finger. Hold the finger as high as you can without pain or discomfort, and then lower it. Repeat the same lifting process with the middle finger, the ring finger and the pinkie or little finger. This exercise helps strengthen individual muscles found in the finger, as well as the ligaments and tendons that join them to the hand. It also increases agility, especially in those diagnosed with arthritis. Perform the same set of exercises on the left hand. You can repeat this exercise set several times a day to help build strength, relieve tension and improve coordination.

Squeezing and Holding

Crumple a piece of paper and wad it into a ball in the palm of your hand. You can reuse the paper several times by smoothing it out after you’re finished. Use all of your fingers to crumple the paper. This exercises each of your fingers, improves coordination, and stretches and extends your finger muscles. You may repeat this exercise two to three times for each hand. Now repeat the exercise as quickly as you can, trying to make your fingers curl in faster and faster. This increases speed, agility, strength and coordination at the same time. Don’t be surprised if you find this exercise easier for your dominant hand than the other.

Making Rings

Place your right hand palm-side up or allow it to hang comfortably. Touch the tip of your thumb to your index finger, then the middle finger, the ring finger, the pinkie and then back again. Try to increase your speed and coordination. Start slowly so your fingertips touch each other and aren’t merely slipping off the surface. You can perform this exercise repeatedly throughout the day to improve manual dexterity and agility, as well as coordination.

Thumb and Finger Presses

Hold your hand palm-side facing inward, fingers tucked gently together. Bring your thumb across the surface of the palm, as if you’re trying to touch your thumb to your pinkie finger. Then extend the thumb away from the hand, opposite the index finger, feeling the stretch in the thumb and the base of the thumb where it meets the top of the wrist joint. Repeat the exercise 10 times and then repeat the process with your other hand. Do this exercise with each of the fingers of both hands.

Hand and Finger Dexterity

Picking Up Large and Small Objects

Although picking up objects may seem like a strange way to exercise your hands and fingers, you can improve dexterity by gradually picking up smaller and smaller objects. You also employ hand or grip strength to pick up and hold objects. Throughout the day, pick up an object of approximately the same size a few times. As objects get easier to hold, try smaller ones and increase the time you hold them and how many times you pick them up.

Wrist Flexion to Extension

The wrist flexion-to-extension exercise is a short series of hand movements for carpal tunnel, and even if you do not have it, this exercise still stretches and strengthens the hands, fingers and forearms. Start by standing up with your arms held in front of you like a mummy. Pull your wrists back as if to gesture “stop” with both hands. After five seconds, bend your wrists so that your hands are parallel to the floor and then make a tight fist. Hold the fist position for five seconds. Bend your wrists down as if revving a motorcycle engine and hold for five seconds. End by straightening your wrists.

Baby Powder Finger Spreading

This exercise has a funny name but works to increase flexibility in the fingers. The baby powder lets your fingers slide easily. Since this is not a strength-training exercise, ease of movement is helpful. Spread a thin layer of baby powder on a flat surface. Place your palm flat on the powder with the fingers together. Next, open your hand to spread your fingers as far away from each other as you can. Bring the fingers back together. Try to make your movements smooth and controlled.

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