Writers, IT professionals, medical transcriptionists, graphic designers… in fact, nearly all white-collar professionals spend hours and hours every day sitting in front of a keyboard… tap-tapping away! As a result, we often end up with aching hands.
If you’re as lucky as I have been, there’s a simple solution that could help you almost immediately. I suffered with aching hands for years before I discovered this simple solution, but once I did, it worked like a charm!
People who tend to sit at a keyboard for a large part of the day tend to have great grip strength. If you ask us to squeeze a ball to test our strength, we usually do a great job. But… what about the muscles in opposition to those? What about our extensors?
As it turns out, we need to strengthen those finger extensors since the muscles work in opposition to those we use in keyboarding. It makes sense!
I have learned two ways to exercise the extensor muscles.
The first is to fill a large bucket with around five to ten pounds of dry rice (yes, rice… like the stuff you cook and eat). You need as much rice as it takes to submerge your entire hand up to your wrist, and the bucket has to be larger in diameter than your hand with your fingers extended.
Once the bucket is ready, hold your hand with your fingers straight and your fingertips together, and then plunge your hand into the bucket so that it is submerged in rice up to the wrist. Next, open your fingers against the force of the rice and pull it free. This will exercise those extensor muscles. Do this at least three times. While you’re at it, you can also close your submerged hand into a fist to strengthen your grip, but odds are that your grip is already quite strong.
If you’re like me and you don’t want to store a huge bucket of rice, there’s a simpler and more portable solution. You can find a little device on Amazon that will work nearly as well. The rice is a bit better since the force of the rice hits your hands at all angles, not just one, but I prefer the little elastic device because it is so convenient.
The set of three in the link above comes in three strengths. Start with the easiest (the blue one) and build up to using the hardest.
To use it, simply slip your fingers into it the way you see me doing in the above photo, and then open your hand ten times to work those muscles. Do this twice daily, and your finger extensors will start getting stronger. I found that if I forget to do it for a few days wake up with aching hands, I can do these exercises and my pain goes away!
If you have large fingers, you might want to try this slightly different version. The one I show above works great for me, but you could try the one I linked below instead.
I sincerely hope this solution works for you. It certainly has for me!
(If you click on the above link and buy the product, I will receive a few cents from Amazon, but Amazon won’t charge you any extra if you do.)