Hand and Wrist Exercises

Simple Hand and Wrist Stretches

Here are several easy wrist stretches you can do at your desk at work or while watching TV. No one will even know you are exercising.

Praying Position Stretches Extended Arm Stretch Clenched Fists
Thumb Work Claw Stretch Wrist Stretches
Wrist Flexor Stretch Desk Press Tennis Ball Squeeze

Praying Position Stretches


  1. While standing, place palms together in a praying position. Elbows should touch each other with your hands in front of your face. Your arms should be touching each other from the tips of your fingers to your elbows.
  2. With your palms pressed together, slowly spread your elbows apart. Do this while lowering your hands to waist height. Stop when your hands are in front of your belly button or you feel the stretch.
  3. Hold the stretch for 10 to 30 seconds.
  4. Repeat 2 times.

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Extended Arm Stretch


  1. Extend one arm in front of you at shoulder height.
  2. Keep your palm down, facing the floor.
  3. Release your wrist so that your fingers point downward.
  4. With your free hand, gently grasp your fingers and pull them back toward your body.
  5. Hold for 10 to 30 seconds.

To stretch in the opposite direction:

  1. Extend your arm with your palm facing toward the ceiling.
  2. With your free hand, gently press your fingers down toward the floor.
  3. Gently pull your fingers back toward your body.
  4. Hold for 10 to 30 seconds.

Repeat both stretches with the other arm. You should cycle through stretches two or three times with each arm.

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Clenched Fists


  1. While seated, place your open hands on your thighs with palms up.
  2. Close your hands slowly into fists. Do not clench too tightly.
  3. With your forearms touching your legs, raise your fists off of your legs and back toward your body, bending at the wrist.
  4. Hold for 10 seconds.
  5. Lower your fists and slowly open your fingers wide.
  6. Repeat 10 times.

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Thumb Work


Push Exercise

  1. Make a fist and point your thumb up, as if you’re giving a thumbs-up sign.
  2. Create resistance with your thumb and hand muscles to keep your thumb from moving.
  3. Gently pull back on your thumb with your free hand.
  4. Hold for 5-10 seconds.
  5. Repeat with your other thumb.

Pull Exercise   

  1. Make a fist and point your thumb up, as if you’re giving a thumbs-up sign.
  2. Using your free hand, gently push the thumb forward. Create resistance to keep your thumb from moving  – try to keep your thumb pointing toward the ceiling.
  3. Hold and
  4. Hold for 5-10 seconds.
  5. Repeat with your other thumb.

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Claw Stretch


  1. Hold your hand out in front of you, palm facing you.
  2. Bend your fingertips down to touch the base of each finger joint. Your hand should look a little like a claw.
  3. Hold for 30 to 60 seconds and release.
  4. Repeat at least four times on each hand.

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Wrist Stretches


Wrist Stretch         wrist-stretch-100x67

  1. Open both of your hands and spread your fingers out, as far as they can go.
  2. Close them and make a fist.
  3. Repeat 2 times.

Wrist Stretch 2        wrist-stretch-2-100x67

  1. Hold your left hand up with your palm facing away from you.
  2. Using your right hand, pull back the fingers on your left hand to stretch your wrist. Feel the stretch, but don’t pull so hard that it hurts.
  3. Bend your left wrist so your fingers are facing downward and use your right hand to stretch your wrist in that direction.
  4. Repeat for each hand 5 times.

Similar to the first exercise, with additional pressure for maximizing the stretch.


Wrist Flexor Stretch

  1. Get down on your hands and knees.
  2. Place your palms down on the floor with your forearms facing away from you.
  3. Push downward on your palms till you feel a stretch.
  4. Hold position for the 10 seconds.

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Desk Press


  1.  While seated, place palms face up under a desk or table.
  2.  Press upwards against the bottom of the desk.
  3.  Hold for five to 10 seconds.

This exercise builds strength in the muscles that run from your wrist to your inner elbow.

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Tennis Ball Squeeze


  1.  Squeeze a tennis ball or stress ball firmly.
  2.  Hold for 10 seconds.
  3.  Repeat with your other hand.

Do this to strengthen your wrists.

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