T Nation

Forearm Ligaments/Tendons, FIngers

What exercises are good for stregthening them? Ideally, I’d like to learn about exercises other than Dinolifts like Farmer’s Walk, thickbar, wheelbarrow walking, sledgehammering, etc. More “rehab” type exercises that don’t require weight. I already know about a) wrapping a rubber band around your fingers and pushing outward and b) rolling up sheets of paper. I appreciate all responses, I’m trying to increase my knowledge on this subject.
People who have had carpal tunnel rehab, physical therapists, chiros, etc please share your knowledge.

Alright, I’ll start out with sharing an exercise I came up with. Everyone here has probably heard of all the push-up variations made famous by martial artists. They all involve changing the position of the hand like “fist” pups, 5 finger pups, 4 finger, 3 finger…1 finger pups,back of hand pups, knife-edge pups etc.
The problem with these is that they are difficult for heavy or weak people. At 300 lbs, I qualify as heavy. So what I do, is I do them onto a table or countertop. That way the load is drastically reduced. I can put more or less bodyweight on my hands by changing my foot position.
And now its your turn to contribute!

my chiropractor recommended to me for carpal tunnel syndrome to not put pressure on my hands/wrists while they’re bent backwards as this compresses the carpal tunnel. so, no pushing doors with your flat hand, don’t get up off the chair with your hands flat etc. you have to keep the wrist in line. this is hard for things like dips and whatnot, so you have to modify a lot of things. (just until the pain is gone, for me anyway)

one exercise he gave me was to stand perpendicular to a wall, or in a doorway and press with the backs of the hands and with the fingers against the wall or doorframe. like an isometric exercise. simple, but it’s one of the few ways to work the finger muscles in reverse. squeezing exercises were out also. sorry i’m not a doc, that’s just the advice i got from my doc.

also, my boss at work is really proactive about repetitive stress injuries so i have special arm rests and an ergo keyboard. he has a contraption he bought for himself which looks like a glove but inside is elastic bands that allow you to work your grip in the opposite way of squeezing. if you want, i can ask him for the info on that thing.

Thanx for the reply, I appreciate it. Actaully I don’t have CPS, but I don’t want to get it. I also want to strengthen my hands and wrists. So prevention awa strengthening. I just need some exercises to do out of the gym where I don’t have weights.

But, I didn’t know that pushing “flat”
pinched the carpal tunnel.

Thanx for the info…

Sonny–if you can make sure to keep your fists in line with your forearms during pressing exercises, this WILL help. It will feel awkward at first, but you will eventually get stronger than you could any other way.

One of the best forearm builders I know is pulling heavy deadlifts with no straps and a regular, overhand grip. Pullups are good too, especially weighted pull-ups.

Check out IronMind’s (www.ironmind.com) line of grip training devices. They’re grrrreat!

This isn’t exactly “rehab” advice, but you won’t have to “rehab” if you get the muscles strong through hard work.


Thanks Dan. I already have the Ivanko Gripper, the adjustable one. I keep it in the car and its good for preventing ROad Rage. I just squeeze it for all I’ve got when a cabbie cuts me off!