Falling down due to poor grip strength is the number one cause of accidental death for seniors. This article lists different exercises that can help with strengthening your hands and wrists, including the most effective home workout.
Falls are the leading cause of accidental death in the elderly. Most falls in seniors occur when they lose their grip on stairs or grab bars. To prevent this type of injury, seniors need to practice home exercises that improve grip strength.
The exercises listed in this article are designed to help seniors strengthen their hands and wrists. Some of these exercises can be completed at any time you have free time, while others are best done at the end of the day. Each exercise is designed to maximize grip strength by strengthening all four fingers.
Table of Contents
- Reasons Seniors Should Care about Their Grip Strength
- 9 Best Hand-Strengthening Exercises for Improving Grip
Reasons Seniors Should Care about Their Grip Strength
Seniors usually don’t think grip strength is important for their personal health, but it’s vital. This article explains that seniors should care about their grip strength since they are likely to experience falls.
- Prevents falls: Falling down due to poor grip strength is the number one cause of accidental death for seniors. This is because they are more likely to fall on hard surfaces, which are more likely to cause serious injury. Falls are the leading cause of accidental death for adults over age 65, so it is especially important for seniors to practice home exercises that increase grip strength.
- Helps prevent arthritis and other conditions that affect the hands and fingers: Arthritis and other conditions that affect the hands and fingers can be uncomfortable. For most seniors, this is not a serious issue if they don’t do things that aggravate their condition. However, for seniors who perform manual labor or do hobby activities such as gardening, practicing home exercises to increase grip strength is essential.
- Helps seniors handle day-to-day activities: Seniors with weak grips have trouble turning doorknobs, using tools, or holding items, which makes it difficult to handle basic day-to-day tasks.
In general, seniors should practice home exercises that improve grip strength to avoid falls and prevent related injuries. They should also practice home exercises that improve grip strength to strengthen their fingers, hands, and wrists to help perform day-to-day activities.
9 Best Hand-Strengthening Exercises for Improving Grip
The increased life expectancy in modern society has increased the demand for grip strength in older adults. Grip strength is an important factor in keeping your muscles operating at their best, and these exercises will help strengthen your hands and fingers.
With these types of small exercises, you’ll be able to improve your grip to perform daily tasks like opening jars or holding onto a slippery pole when walking on wet pavement.
Wrist Flexion Stretch
This exercise will help improve the mobility of your wrist and stretch the forearm muscles.
To perform this exercise, hold the palm of your hand, and push your hand downwards to create a stretch in the top of your wrist. Hold at the top of the stretch for about 20 seconds. Repeat this exercise 10 to 20 times. You can also use a rubber band or towel to assist the stretch if necessary.
Wrist Extensor Stretch
This exercise will help improve the mobility of your fingers and wrist.
To perform this exercise, put your arm straight out in front of you with your elbow straight. Make a fist with your palm down. Bending only at your wrist, bring your fist down towards the ground. You can use your other hand to add pressure. Hold the stretch.
Forearm Flexor Stretch
This exercise helps stretch the forearm flexor muscles and can help with repetitive strain injuries to the wrist and elbow.
To perform this exercise, straighten your arm out in front of you, and pull your fingers back (using your other hand). The crease of your elbow should be facing towards the ceiling and fingers pointing down.
This exercise will help stretch the muscles at the base of your fingers and help you to improve your grip strength.
To perform this exercise, rest your elbow on a table, bend your fingers at the joint closest to your wrist, then straighten them back out. Then repeat with the next joint away from the body, curling your fingers in towards your hand, and straighten them back out. Finally, do the same for the last joint. You might need to use your other hand to keep the rest of the fingers straight.
Sore Finger Extension
This exercise will help stretch your fingers and improve your mobility.
To perform this exercise, bend your whole finger backward and hold the stretch. You can do this on any one or all of your fingers. Remember to keep your fingers straight.
Thumb Extension Stretch
This exercise will help to stretch the thumb muscles which are often very stiff in seniors.
To perform this exercise, use your finger to bend your thumb backward to feel a stretch at the base of your thumb. You should feel some pressure on the soft area just below the thumb. Hold at the top of the stretch for about 5 seconds.
Ulnar nerve glides can help encourage trapped or injured ulnar nerves to glide normally.
To perform this exercise, make an okay sign with your fingers with the tip of the thumb and index finger touching and the rest of the fingers pointed upwards. With your elbow bent and out to the side, rotate your wrist back bringing your fingers back towards your ear, like you are drinking something.
Wrist Supination and Pronation
Wrist Supination and Pronation are great ways to help stretch out your wrist and increase your range of motion.
To perform this exercise, put your elbow by your side, and bend it to about 90 degrees. Turn your wrist and forearm up with your palm up, and then turn your palm down.
Wrist Supination and Pronation with Weight
The last exercise is a great range of motion exercise for your wrist to help with wrist pain or stiffness.
To perform this exercise, sit in a chair with your elbow bent by your side at a 90-degree angle with a weight like a hammer in your hand. Slowly turn your hand from side to side keeping your elbow by your side.
The exercises recommended in this article will help to keep your arms and hands moving, prevent injuries and help you maintain or regain strength in your upper body.
Remember that the more you exercise the better! Consistency is key when it comes to fitness. Do not forget to stretch and warm up before getting started and always remember to consult with your physician before starting any new exercise program.
What is the best grip strength exercise for seniors?
The best grip strength exercises for seniors are those that have a combination of endurance and resistance. Exercises that are designed to work the forearm, wrist, hand, and finger are ideal for seniors.
Why is grip strength important for seniors?
Grip strength is especially important for seniors because their grip muscles are usually the first to begin to weaken as they age. Gaining stronger grip strength will reduce the risk of falls and decrease the risk of fractures due to poor hand and finger coordination.
How should I perform the exercise to improve my grip?
The best way to perform an exercise to increase your grip strength is by using resistance bands, weight training, and other exercises which use your hands in order to build up the muscles in your fingers, hands, wrists, and forearms.
How long do I have to perform the exercises?
The exercises will aid in increasing your grip strength for a long time. With time, you will get stronger and grip strength will increase, but if you are not performing the exercises consistently, then it may take longer to get stronger.
How often should I perform the exercises?
If you are looking to get stronger grip strength, then you should perform the exercises many times a week. It is strongly advised that you do the exercises every day. If you have been having problems with your grip strength, then increasing your grip strength will reduce the risk of falls and will also improve your hand and finger coordination.
How long should it take to get stronger?
It will take a long time to build a strong grip. It may be a few months before you notice any improvements in your grip strength, but if you have consistency in practicing the exercises, then it should not take too long for you to get stronger.