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Q | My hands sometimes feel sore and tight. Are there any simple exercises or massages I can do to help them?

A | Discomfort in your hands is often related to tension in your forearms. This can result from repetitive daily motions, such as typing or texting; going overboard at the gym with exercises that tax your grip, such as heavy or high-rep deadlifts; or using improper form (by letting your wrist hang loose during curls, for instance).

“Most of the hand muscles actually extend all the way through the forearms, attaching to the elbows,” says Meredith Butulis, DPT, an instructor with Life Time Academy in Chanhassen, Minn. Mobilizing the forearms will relieve tension through the wrists, palms, and fingers. Try these moves daily, 30 seconds per arm, for relief:

Wrist Stretch

wrist-stretchImage by Kelly Loverud
  • Stretch one arm in front of you.
  • Grasp the outstretched palm and pull until you feel moderate pressure.
  • Don’t tug on your fingers.
  • Repeat with palm facing toward you, pulling on the back of your hand.

Forearm Release

forearm-releaseImage by Kelly Loverud
  • Rest one arm on a sturdy surface, palm down.
  • Using a small ball, find a spot that’s tender or tense; apply pressure.
  • Then flip your arm, palm up, and roll the ball along the length of your forearm.
Photography by: Kelly Loverud

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