// Hand Mobility Exercises for your Athletes Sore and Aching Hands
As the years pass even your hands begin to become sore as heck. This might be just a getting old thing, but there could also be more to it. More likely, it’s the result of years playing multiple sports plus lifting at least five times a week for over 25 years. But let’s be honest, when was the last time you thought about hand mobility, or even acknowledged that it was even a thing?
Well, if you have been working out in your new home gym and have noticed yours hands aching this article might help. Let’s dive into some mobility fixes that can help all the sore hands out there.
Need a Helping Hand
When you’re prescribing mobility exercises to your athletes, it might well be that you typically focus on the obvious areas: Major muscle groups going from head to toe over the course of a training block or hitting the body parts they just taxed in today’s session. This makes perfect sense, but both strategies have a flaw, in that they neglect smaller yet crucial parts of the musculoskeletal system. This can lead to excess stiffness traveling upstream and downstream, resulting in diminished power production, movement compensations that groove sub-optimal motor patterns, and, if left unaddressed, eventually injury.
In the case of sore and tight hands, this can mean that your athletes start over gripping, which will not only compromise their grip over the long haul, but also locks down their overtaxed forearms and elbows. Further workarounds will then occur further up the kinetic chain in the biceps, triceps, and front deltoids, which can cause or exacerbate range of motion issues and limit force generation in the shoulders. Keep following this knock-on effect far enough, and you might start to see further over-compensations in the cervical, thoracic, and lumbar spine, down through the hips, and into the lower body (Checkout Becoming a Supple Leopard for more information).
Mobilize Back to Full Function
To stop this chain of events in its tracks, address acute and chronic pain, and restore full slide and glide in your athletes’ hands and wrists, here are a few mobility exercises you can have them perform. Two to three times a week would be fine, though if it’s a persistent issue, you could suggest performing these movements daily. Accumulating two minutes per exercise per hand is a good rule of thumb (pardon the pun), though they should keep going until they make change. Note that I’ve included two hand-specific exercises and one for the wrist, as mobilizing the latter will feed some much-needed slack downstream into the fingers.
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Forearm Ball Smash
- Place your left arm on a countertop or plyo box
- Turn the palm up and place a lacrosse ball between the underside of your forearm and the surface below
- Push down on your forearm with your right hand
- Alternate between slowly circling your hand and moving it up and down
- Move the lacrosse ball up the forearm until it’s just below the elbow
- Switch sides
Leopard Claw Forearm Scrape
- Apply some lotion or aloe gel to your left forearm
- Grip the MWOD Leopard Claw with your right hand
- Slowly scrape the tool down and across your forearm
- If you start to get red bumps in an area, move the Leopard Claw further down your forearm
- Switch sides
Banded Wrist Distraction with Voodoo Floss
- Wrap your left wrist with a Voodoo Floss band, with 50 percent tension and a 50 percent overlay and then tuck in the end of the band
- Loop one end of a medium resistance (green) mobility band around a squat rack post or similar anchor
- Put the other end of the band around your left wrist, with your left palm on the ground and facing away from the anchor
- Pin your left hand to the ground using the right one
- Flex and extend your elbow
- You can also change the stimulus by turning your palm to face the anchor point
- Switch sides