There are no muscles in your fingers or thumbs. The muscles that move the fingers are located in the palm and in the forearm, and are connected to the fingers by tendons. Last week I wrote about a number of these forearm muscles that can often be incredibly tight. As much as I am interested in having the core strength to support the spine and upright posture, having dexterity in the extremities is equally important..
Most of the muscles that move the hand start at the elbow or forearm running down to cross the wrist and hand. Some of these muscles position and steady the wrist and hands while others allow the thumb and fingers to grip things and perform fine motor functions. The muscles that move the thumb and pinky finger begin on the carpal bones and are situated within the hand itself. I’ll cover these muscles in another post or two (It is a long list).
Ageing gracefully is predicated on having good working hands and feet. It is important to build strength in your digits— even if there are no muscles in your fingers—in a similar way to toning the core and the feet and everything in between.
Working for years as a carpenter brought me in contact with people with ridiculously strong hands. Do you know many plumbers? They, as well as electricians and general carpenters, tend to have ridiculously strong hands capable of opening any valve and turning any screw.
Long forearm muscles, along with some stable shoulder blades are what allow me to do the exercises in the video above, even with no muscles in your fingers. I don’t really expect many people to be able to do all of the variations but working on this type of exercise can be beneficial to your hands and forearms as well as the shoulders. Just go very slowly if you want to try them and this kind of work is new to you.
Hand exercises are great for the ultimate goal of longevity. Whether you go with the classic squeezing of a sponge ball, use hand grippers with a steel spring, or use Chinese meditation balls (which I love and use often), or do silly things like write with your opposite hand, making use of your hands is key to longevity and a healthy body.