If you’ve ever had to stop mid-game to flex your hands and wrists due to cramps, you could probably benefit from incorporating some hand exercises into your gaming routine. While gaming rarely works the muscles that weightlifters use so much in the gym, it does put a lot of strain on the muscles in the hand and wrist, which can cause pain and cramps over time. But no worry.
7 hand exercises you should do as a gamer
While we would never ask you to break a sweat, we believe a few hand exercises are important to ensure your game stays strong no matter how many hours you spend battling friends and foes. With these few hand exercises you can avoid having to stop mid-game with a sore wrist or numb fingers. Additionally, we’re sure your gamer friends will appreciate not having to wait for their friend to stretch their fingers before continuing with the game.
Here are seven hand exercises you should start doing if you want to say goodbye to finger and wrist pain forever:
1. Stretching in prayer position
This particular stretch helps loosen your wrists and forearms. To perform this stretch, you must first bring your fingers and palms together, extending your fingers upward and your elbows outward as if you were praying. Hold this position for at least 30 seconds. To increase intensity, slowly lower your hands and hold them together.
2. Reverse stretching prayer position
Stay in the same position as the prayer position, but now press down with your fingers on the backs of your hands. Hold this stretch for at least 30 seconds. To increase intensity, slowly raise your hands, keeping them together and pointing your elbows outward.
3. Stretching the flexor muscles while lying on your back
For this stretch, perform the stretch on each hand separately. Start on your left side, keeping your elbow extended and palm facing up. With your other hand, gently pull on the bottom half of your fingers so that your wrist is pulled downward. The feeling is slightly uncomfortable, but you shouldn’t feel any pain. If you feel pain, pull your wrist less hard. Hold this stretch for 30 seconds and repeat with the other hand.
4. Pronation stretches
For this stretch, use the same position as the supine stretch, except that your hand is facing down instead of up. With your other hand, gently pull down on the outside of your fingers so that your wrist slowly lowers and you feel the stretch on the top of your forearm. Hold this stretch for 30 seconds and repeat on the other side.
5. Joint stretches
This stretch helps loosen all of the fingers and thumbs. Start by relaxing your hand and pointing your palm towards your chest. With your other hand, grasp the tip of your thumb and gently pull to extend your thumb outward. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat with the other thumb and fingers of both hands.
You can also do an exercise for your wrists. To do this, relax your hand in front of your body with the palm facing you. With your other hand, gently grasp the wrist of the hand in front of you and pull it outward. Pull slowly until you feel slight discomfort. Hold this stretch for a few seconds and repeat with the other hand.
6. Wrist circles
To do this stretch, extend both hands and gently rotate your wrists in a circle. Rotate 10 to 15 circles clockwise and 10 to 15 counterclockwise.
7. Thumb stretch
Bring your thumb to the palm of your hand and close your fingers over it. Slowly bend your wrist toward the outside of your hand (where your pinky finger is). You should feel this stretch in your thumb and along your forearm near your thumb. Hold this stretch for 30 seconds and repeat with the other hand.
You use your fingers and hands in countless activities throughout the day. From texting to typing on the computer, from driving to eating, fingers and wrists are vital to your overall quality of life. Taking good care of them – especially if you play for hours or days at a time – can help prevent conditions like tendonitis and carpal tunnel syndrome. Do these exercises regularly to keep your fingers and wrists from hurting. Keep playing, brother!