Gaining Grip Strength

If you have arthritis, you may have trouble picking up things with your hands or keeping a grip on them. Some of the exercises in this program will help strengthen your hand muscles. If you're concerned about grip strength, you may also want to add a grip exercise to increase strength and decrease stiffness in your hands. The exercise is simple; it can be done easily while reading or watching TV, and most people already have the equipment at home.

Equipment: Racquetball, tennis ball, or "stress" ball. Time: Less than 5 minutes. Exercise: Grasp a ball in one hand while sitting or standing. Slowly squeeze it as hard as you an and hold the squeeze for three to five seconds. Slowly release the squeeze. Take a short rest, then repeat the exercise 10 times. Switch hands, and do two sets of 10 squeezes with the other hand. Frequency: You may do this exercise every day or every other day, depending on how your hands feel. If they feel stiff or painful, you may want to skip a day.



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