A senior’s hand is proudly holding a piece of grip strength exercise equipment.

How To Stop Pain With Grip Strength Exercises For Seniors

Yes! You CAN get your grip strength back—at any age!

Whether it’s arthritis, tendonitis, carpal tunnel, or just plain old pain–sometimes your hands ache. With the right grip strength exercises for seniors, you can minimize that pain so you can get back to using your hands like you used to. To get your grip strength back and free yourself from pain it’s important to understand what’s causing it.

What Causes A Weak Grip & Associated Pain?

Picture this: you reach out to grab something… but your fingers falter and there’s a flash of pain that radiates out to your wrist, hand and forearm. This is one of the most common signs of a weak grip–often brought on by repetitive movements like knitting or typing. Osteoporosis can also affect your grip and cause pain in your fingers, hand, palm and forearm.

The main cause of a weak grip and associated pain is unsurprising: loss of muscle. With some relatively easy exercises, you can add strength back into your arms, wrists & hands to improve your grip & stop the pain.

If you experience numbness or tingling in your hand—that may be a sign of carpal tunnel syndrome which is another condition that can benefit from grip strength exercises for seniors.

Top 5 Reasons to Perform Grip Strength Exercises

You always want a tight grip, but there are times when your fingers start to fail and you’re not sure you can hold on. That’s a harsh reality for many living with a weaker grip, or certain conditions. It hinders day to day life, making it harder to manipulate items, open medication bottles, and it can make it harder to catch yourself after stumbling.

If having a good reason to exercise helps you actually do it, then there are plenty of good reasons to do grip strength exercises as a senior:

1. Improved Hand Function

As you build muscle & coordination while performing grip strength exercises, you’ll feel a boost to many of your hands’ capabilities. That means an increase in your dexterity and fine motor skills, making it easier to continue writing, opening doors, buttoning clothes, and manipulating small objects with precision later in life.

2. Enhanced Mobility

Whether you’re holding on to a handrail, or a cane, your grip is the unsung hero of mobility. Performing grip strength exercises will keep your hands strong for when you need them to hold on to something supportive, or keep control of canes & walkers. 

3. Reduced Risk of Injuries

Similarly to how better grip strength can help you maintain mobility, it can also help prevent injuries from falls. While you’re working on your grip strength, the exercises will help stabilize your forearms preventing strains & sprains.

4. Improved Bone Health

Grip strength exercises boost your bones’ density. Reducing your risk of osteoporosis and fractures. Especially as you age, your bone health should be of higher concern, so any exercise to help is a great exercise.

5. Enhanced Circulation & Joint Health

When you give those hand and forearm muscles a good workout with grip strength exercises, you’re also giving them a boost in blood flow. As your blood flows smoothly you’ll notice stiffness, inflammation and other symptoms of arthritis and tendonitis become less and less noticeable.

How To Easily Include Grip Strength Exercises In Your Daily Routine

Since many grip strength exercises are focused on your hands, you don’t have to wait for a full body workout day. You can do tons of hand grip exercises, which we’ll get into next, throughout your day. There’s so short and simple you can do them while sitting down and watching a movie or tv, while spending time with friends and family, or even just waiting for the kettle to boil. The most important part is finding a way you can work these exercises into your life so you can do them consistently.

Gentle Grip Strength Exercises for Seniors

Grip strength exercises are not big movements that require much room which makes them much easier to perform than most other exercises. You’ll want to have a resistance band, and a long light weight like a rolling pin or hammer.

Band on All Fingers

  • Hold your fingers slightly bent, with fingertips pointing towards each other
  • Drape a light resistance band over your fingers & hold it lightly with other hand
  • Slowly extend your fingers out until they’re straight, or as far as comfortable
  • Bring your fingers back to starting position
  • Continue for 10 repetitions & switch hands

Banded Single Fingers

  • Holding your fingers out straight & together, loop a resistance band over one finger
  • Gently pull down on the resistance band to pull that finger away. You should be able to resist the pull.
  • Briefly hold the pull & return back to starting position
  • Continue for 3 repetitions
  • Move up to the next finger & repeat until every finger on both hands have been completed

Hammer Pronation

  • Take hold of your long weighted object & rest your arm on the edge of a table or windowsill
  • Hold the weight straight up
  • Rotate at the wrist away from the ledge as far as comfortable
  • Bring your hand & weight back to starting position
  • Continue for 10 repetitions

Hammer Radial Deviation

  • Take hold of your long weighted object & rest your arm on the edge of a table or windowsill
  • Hold the weight straight up
  • Rotate your wrist forward, as if you were bringing a hammer down
  • Bring your hand and wrist back to the starting position
  • Continue for 10 Repetitions

Extended Finger Lifts

  • Rest your elbow on the edge of a table or a windowsill
  • Relax your hand & wrist
  • Bring your hand up & fully extend your fingers
  • Relax your hand & wrist again
  • Continue for 10 repetitions, or as many as possible

Unleash a strong handshake and make sure everyone knows you mean business! All jokes aside, improving your grip strength and hand health will help minimize the pain and ache from arthritis, tendonitis, or previous injuries while giving you more function back. It’s as easy as doing these grip strength exercises for seniors throughout the day.

Want a full program of exercises for even bigger results? Check out this Healthy Wrists and Improved Grip Strength in 7 Days Class.