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How to Improve Hand Dexterity (and Why It Matters)

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In the last few months, as I turned 30, I’ve noticed a loss of manual dexterity.I used to be able to hold my iced coffee and phone firmly in my hand, but these days my mitts are limited to one function at a time. Luckily, there are ways to improve your dexterity. So let’s ignore the creeping passage of time and impending old age and instead focus on getting our hands in top shape.

What is dexterity?

Starting with the basics, dexterity is the skill of performing tasks, especially with your hands. Sam Vascones, his New York-based personal trainer, said:

From making scrambled eggs in the morning to folding laundry in the evening (and everything in between), when you think about how much you use your hands throughout the day, you realize how important dexterity is to your daily life. Kendra Vander Wohl, an occupational therapist in Colorado, also says that dexterity can help you have fun in addition to the activities you need in your daily life. For example, we need it to play sports and use remotes and video game controllers.

A loss of dexterity can be the result of many things. American Physical Therapy Association of ConnecticutThese causes could include osteoarthritis, stroke, or trauma, but it could also be due to simply not advertising it correctly. I mentioned someone playing an instrument. If she later quits playing, she may have trouble playing even after she picks up the instrument as an adult.

“This means that our brains have some influence on our dexterity as well,” she said. , the task becomes easier.”

Vascones noted that lack of flexibility, lack of mobility, or lack of strength can also affect dexterity.

How can I improve my dexterity?

We spoke with Weyrauch and personal trainer Abdias Rojas for some specific tips for improving your dexterity. “Fuck,” Rojas said (very excited). Here’s what they recommend:

  • Put a rubber band on your finger Then expand and contract them. Rojas said this contributes to myofascial release and “makes your hands feel more comfortable.” this video Demonstrates how the rubber band technique is performed.
  • conduct Seated finger DIP PROM Gently pinch the end of the finger with the last knuckle and gently bend the finger with the other hand. According to Weyrauch, this can be done daily with one finger he can do 10 times and with one dip he can do it for 10 seconds.
  • Seated finger PIP PROM movementis done with the same frequency and duration as the one above, gently pinching the fingers at the knuckles of the middle knuckles and then flexing each finger with the other hand.
  • Inherent stretch of multiple fingers while seated Start by sitting upright with your elbows on the table. Curl the fingers of one hand and hold the middle and top joints of all fingers with the other hand. Gently squeeze your fingers until you feel a stretch. Repeat this 10 times for 10 seconds each day.
  • try wrist tendon glide Place your elbows on the table, keep your fingers straight, and bend your fingers at your lower knuckles so that your fingers create a “tabletop” look. Straighten them, bend the knuckles of the lower and middle fingers, straighten your hands, make a claw fist, straighten again, and make a half fist before straightening again. increase.
  • To better understand how much force you need to apply when touching an object: sand hand drill“It may sound strange, but when you put your hand inside a box of sand and do a hand drill, you’re literally learning to squeeze out the sand, and which joint or which finger is exerting more pressure.” You can figure out which finger is putting more pressure, and which finger is putting more pressure.” Keeping your wrist straight, try pinching the ball of putty with your thumb, index finger, and middle finger as well.
  • do something oppose, that is, touch individual fingers of the same hand with your thumb and work at different speeds. (This came from Rojas When Weyrauch So you know you’re a winner. )
  • To enhance your sense of touch, avoid exercising with gloves.
  • For better grip strength, Rojas suggested isolated heavy hold “Where you stand with heavy dumbbells, or dumbbellSee if you can hold it with your grip.
  • According to Rojas, another option for grip strength is forearm training “A lot of the muscles in the hand actually contract with the muscles in the forearm.”
  • To strengthen your wrists, do the following: wrist movable drill: “Practice leaning on them with your palms on the floor. Then practice leaning on them.” back Place your hands on the floor and roll them as if you are applying or losing weight. [the wrist]’ said Rojas.
  • Finally, try Seated Eccentric Wrist ExtensionStand upright with your arms on the table, hands hanging over the edges, palms down, holding dumbbells. Use your other hand to curl your wrist, lower it, and repeat. Do 2 sets of 20 repetitions each day.

Besides exercise, Rojas suggested hand massage and acupuncture. Vascones also suggested that people who have trouble holding multiple items in their hands, for example, should work with a vice grip and not neglect forearm training. If it’s a gender issue, you may need to stretch your hands and forearms’ or work on supination and pronation of your hands. According to Vander Wal, you can also make this fun.

Don’t overlook the value of your overall health when it comes to improving your dexterity, either. According to Weyrauch, “Without the optimal gross (requiring greater movement and more muscle groups) and fine motor (requiring more precision) skills that make up our manual dexterity, we would not be able to perform daily tasks.”

If you’re struggling with dexterity to a detrimental degree, or if exercising on your own doesn’t help, consider seeing a medical professional or physical therapist. He pointed out that there are several different assessments that trained professionals can perform, such as using Connor’s finger dexterity test. By identifying the cause and severity of the problem, you can better plan for improvement. And in no time, he’ll be back to using his keys and phone together, or smashing high scores in video games.

How to Improve Hand Dexterity (and Why It Matters)

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