Somewhere along our fitness journey we often ignore the most used body parts: hands and fingers. But with these easy hand exercises you’ll keep your fingers, bones and hand muscles in check.
Understanding the anatomy of the human hand is important in order to realize its imperativeness in your everyday functional living.
The hand has an intricate and complex structure that makes it quite fascinating.
The hand and fingers are the most used body parts that are involved in several daily activities. They are, therefore, more vulnerable to various injuries like workplace injuries, sports injuries and accidents.
For treating such problems, the right medical care and adequate exercises should not be ignored.
Needless to say, mastering the anatomy of the hand is essential in ensuring adequate care to your hands’ bones and muscles.
If you are aware of the convolution of your hand, its bone structure and how it contributes to functioning, your hands and fingers will stay more fit and flexible.
A Brief Anatomy Of The Hand Bones
The human hand is made up of 27 bones in total that provides flexibility and support to the soft tissues. The bones of the hand are divided into three categories as follows:
- Phalanges (distal) – These are bones in the finger portion. Each finger, the index finger, middle finger, ring finger, and the small finger comprises three phalanges, while the thumb finger has only two.
- Metacarpal bones – Each hand consists of five metacarpal bones that represent a digit.
- Carpal bones (proximity) – These bones lie in close proximity to the arm in the wrist area and so are also called wrist bones. It consists of a set of eight carpal bones that are irregularly shaped.
Hand Bones – Importance And Clinical Relevance
The fingers consist of distal, middle and proximal phalanges except for the thumb finger that has two phalanges, proximal and distal phalanx.
Injuries to the fingers may happen before you even realize since they are highly exposed to rigorous activities that disable essential daily chores if not functioning adequately.
2. Metacarpal Bones
They are articulately positioned in between the proximal phalanges and the carpal bones. Each metacarpal bone is divided into three parts: head, shaft and base.
These lateral and medial surfaces of the bones are concave in shape that allows connection of the interossei muscles.
The two common injuries to the metacarpal bones are:
- Boxer’s fracture that is caused by clenched fist when struck against any hard object.
- Bennett’s fracture that impacts the first metacarpal base, which is triggered by forced hyperabduction of your thumb finger.
3. Carpal Bones
These irregularly shaped bones comprise two rows: distal and proximal.
The proximal row (lateral to medial) consists of Scaphoid, Triquetrum, Pisiform and Lunate, while the distal row (lateral to medial) comprises Trapezium, Capitate, Hamate and Trapezoid.
The Carpal bones are vulnerable to the maximum number of injuries.
The scaphoid is one of the most commonly fractured bones that are likely to give rise to osteoarthritis of the wrist in your old age.
The best way to resist pain and injuries to your hands and fingers is by practising a few simple exercises. It ensures pain relief, cures arthritis, enhances the range of motions and flexibility of your fingers, and makes your hand bones stronger to resist fragile fractures.
Fingers And Hand Exercises
The following hand exercises are meant for the overall health of your hands and fingers to help make the everyday task easier.
1. Squeeze A Stress Ball
Strengthen the muscles in your fingers and wrist by squeezing a stress ball.
Make sure you squeeze it hard since the strong grip serves as a great workout for your fingers and muscles.
Hold the stress ball for five seconds and repeat the action by following grip and release of the ball.
2. Flex Your Fist
Make a fist in a way so that your thumb is wrapped around the fingers. Hold it for 30 seconds and then release by extending the fingers. Repeat the same a few times.
However, you should not squeeze your hands very tightly when making the fist. This improves the flexibility of your fingers.
3. Thumb Flexion/Extension
Hold your hand up with the palm facing you. Stretch and separate the fingers, while you bend your thumb.
Touch the palm area just below the pinky (smallest) finger with your thumb. Then bring it back to its own position.
This is a great exercise to reduce muscle tension in the fingers.
4. Lifting Fingers
Lifting fingers one by one or all at a once enables in improving the muscle and bone strength in them.
The process of lifting fingers is done by placing your hand on a flat surface and then trying to lift one finger at a time.
Once you put it down to rest, you try to lift the next finger. In this way, you finish lifting all the fingers one by one.
When you lift a finger, hold it for 5 seconds. When one finger is lifted, the rest should be kept perfectly rested on the surface.
After you finish a round, lift all the fingers and hold it for a few seconds.
Then place them down. The technique will help you keep your fingers flexible and functioning.
5. Touching The Thumb
First, relax your fingers and blend your pointer finger to touch the tip of the thumb. This will help create an “O” shape, which is actually the “Ok” symbol.
Make sure you stay like that touching the tips of the fingers for 30 seconds. Once done, return the fingers to their prior position.
Follow the above hand exercises 3 times a week for better results.
The best part is you can practice these hand exercises anywhere and at any time, at work, on the bus or at home while watching television.
A routine practice of the above techniques will help relieve pain by reducing muscle tension.
Stimulating your fingers and making them more functioning makes it easier to do any task like writing, cooking, opening doors, washing clothes, etc.
Thus, stay fit and healthy and don’t ignore the most used body parts, i.e. the hands and fingers for better daily activities.