Since massage therapists work such long hours and utilize their muscles in every possible type of motion, there are certain exercises that are easy to do, and will keep your muscles toned, while warming up your hand muscles, as well. Also, stronger muscles mean better massages for your clients. To this end, certain squeezing and stretching exercises are the best hand exercises for massage therapists.
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The most important tools a massage therapist has are his or her hands. To prevent from being injured while working, it is important to keep your hands and forearms in top-notch condition.
Below are some exercises which will keep your hands and your arms strong and flexible, and will help to prevent strain and injury.
What is a great squeezing hand exercise for a massage therapist?
Using soft putty, or a ball that you can squeeze and squish, gently squeeze with your hand in regular spurts. This will help to strengthen your grip, as well as improve the strength of your lower forearm. Additionally, it will also increase the circulation in your hands, while stretching the muscles in both your hands and your forearms.
What is a great stretching hand exercise for a massage therapist?
To boost circulation as well as stretch some of the smaller muscles in both your fingers and your hands, try the following exercise:
- Starting with your pinky finger, touch each finger to your thumb and work inward
- Follow up by stretching your hand open as wide as possible, spreading all your fingers as wide as they can go
- Perform each exercise five times per hand
Yet another stretch can help to relieve any tension that you might have in the joints of your shoulder, wrist, or elbow area. Do the following stretch slowly and stretch only as far as it is to be comfortable; do not stretch to discomfort:
- With your arms out in front of you, hold your hands together, so that your palms face each other
- So that your thumbs point downward, rotate your hands both down and inward
- With your thumbs pointing down, interlock the fingers of both hands and bend your elbows
- Move your thumbs down your chest and then extend that the arms outward with both hands still clasped (You should feel a stretch through your wrists and your elbows)
- Then, bring your hands back to the original position. Repeat this stretch between five and 10 times each, taking care not to overdo it
What is the rolling pin stretching exercise?
Using a towel that has been rolled up, or a rolling pin, roll hands over the object. Move backward and forward to stretch the forearms as well as the fingers. Move all the way from the tip of the finger to the forearm, and then back again. Not only does this assist in loosening up both the upper back as well as the shoulders, but it also prevents injuries of the back.
Are there strength training exercises that will help my hands?
Begin by using light weights and doing curls with your wrists, gently twisting your wrists from one side to the other. Follow this exercise with more general strength training such as bicep curls, overhead presses, and lateral raises. Build up gradually to utilizing heavier weights to improve the strength of your hands. In addition, the American Massage Therapy Association suggests that therapists perform fingertip push-ups on a wall for even more strength.
How can a massage therapist avoid injury?
Because massage puts such a strong demand and stress on your hands, arms and back, exercise and stretch should be a regular part of your routine and should be done regularly. You should take a 15 min. or more break between each massage to stretch and to shake off any tension or stress that occurred during the prior massage. By maintaining a regular self care routine, we will be able to keep your arms and hands in top-notch condition, as well as keeping your posture good and your legs and back free of any pain.
Performing exercises for the hands will help to not only improve your massage skills, but will also help reduce the risk of an injury, while strengthening your muscles.
Some massage practitioners develop repetitive-stress disorders, carpal tunnel syndrome or other overuse injuries. Specific exercises can help to rehabilitate and protect a massage specialist’s most important tool: his or her hands. To provide effective and powerful massages for your clients, keep and your hands strong, healthy, and flexible. Use the free and handy exercise library now!