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Finger, Thumb, Hand & Grip Strength Exercises – Stress Balls Cause Stress

Hi my name is Dr. Terry Zachary and
I’m the developer of the Handmaster Plus I get asked the question a lot what my opinion is of stress balls and
our I can save it for mechanical reasons
it’s not a very I’m not very high on stress balls now
exercise at any time is very good for the stress in our lives I would never
ever say anything against that, but when it comes to repetitively gripping something which is
so common in sports and music in the workplace even in
therapy even in athletic training we have this common fallacy still that
taking something like a stress ball or something that we just grab and
squeeze against is the right way to straighten my hands
I could tell you this is such a detrimental point of view arm and I’ll explain why
really quickly anytime I grip something we have
nine muscles a close at hand 9 muscles that open the hand when I grip, the 9 muscles that open
hand are actually contracting in a co contraction meaning
they’re supporting the flexor muscles, the muscles that close your hand, the problem is you see the muscles the close at hand
going through their full range of motion so we’re shortening all on the flexor side
exercise from the fingers, thumb, wrist, carpal
tunnel , forearm & elbow, we’re shortening the side and in if I’m just squeezing something all that’s happening with the extensor side is
we’re just getting static Co contraction so it’s a supportive
contraction but it’s not through the full range of
motion in other words a full range of motion for the finger extensors & the finger abductors would be a full opening spreading
like that that would be full range of motion Co so anytime I get what we theoretically know as a stress ball
mechanically I could say that creates an imbalance in the short
term and in the long term that’s going to affect your performance
and it’s going to affect your chances for a repetitive gripping injury so we say that stress balls actually create stress for the
fingers thumb, hand, wrist, carpal tunnel forearm and elbow, we developed Handmaster Plus Many have you heard of it now very
simply is a product that will strengthen all the
muscles in one continuous exercise and maintain
that balance maintain that maximum blood flow so really simply once you put it on you
put the thumb on first, the fingers on 2nd you’re just gonna
squeeze against the ball just like what is called a stress ball
you’re gonna squeeze against the ball but you’re also going to open and spread
against the cords, against the resistance of the finger
chords and it allows you to take your hand through fall natural range of motion, elastic
bands is what we used to use, I’m just going to continue goes for one second closing once a one second opening
elastic bands what we used to use to do this but for a couple reasons I felt
this is very ineffective in that the elastic band first of all was
not be able to go when I took my hand through fully opened
the elastic band would fall off also I did the spreading muscles with my
patients we would only get the spreading of the small finger and the index finger and so it
was very inefficient this way the other thing too is when we’re
going to give patients or athletes or musicians 3 or 4 exercises they general
are not gonna comply because they either forget about them or its just too complicated too time-consuming now with Handmaster Plus you can put the product on, you close against the ball then open & spread against the cord so all that you’re doing is closing your hand for a count of one
and opening your hand and anybody can remember that it’s very easy but in fact even though is easy the mechanics of the
exercise are proper the hand muscles are going through their full range motion so the exercise is better and it’s more
convenient it’s one of the rare cases where we see that. If you want more information on Handmaster Plus please go to our website at you can purchase online
there or you can ask about our distributors who are
distributors are or if you want to become a distributor as well if you have any questions about
hand, wrist elbow, carpal tunnel, finger and thumb injuries please feel free to give us an
email at [email protected] and keep away from stress
balls hope you understand why I’m saying that
stress balls cause stress we have to look at this very important
area and strengthen in balance and that’s going to be a stress
reducer for your life but also for hand, wrist, forearm. elbow, carpal tunnel
flexors are now going to be equal with the extensors and it’s that’s
important for performance and injury prevention… thanks for

Reynold King

36 Replies to “Finger, Thumb, Hand & Grip Strength Exercises – Stress Balls Cause Stress”

  1. Thx Stasber.. it's shocking to me when 'experts' recommend repetitive gripping to patients, athletes, musicians & workers. It's still happening… & it's just plain wrong. We would never approach the strengthening or rehab of any other area this way! Handmaster Plus should be used in all grip dependent activities for performance & injury prevention. This is the best use. Let's get our patients to their maximum, not wait to treat imbalance. Let us know if we can assist in any way. Best, doczac

  2. Doc thanks for all your valuable info. I've had most injuries which I've managed to get through with playing instruments through better technique. However I have this thing where uf I play drums for over one hour, or I loft heavy bags, my hand sizes up and sometimes can't be reset without putting the hands under water. I read this is called trigger finger.

    what exercises can i use to prevent this?

  3. If it is a true trigger finger, the concern is the integrity of the flexor tendons of the fingers. Consult your health care professional as there may be nodules/scar tissue which does not allow the tendon to glide properly. In cases of trigger finger, I highly suggest Handmaster Plus to maintain maximum blood flow to the hand (gets the nutrients and oxygen to the extremities for best chance of repair). Never overdo the exercise, just comfortable stimulation. Ask your health care professional.

  4. Hey, got my HM+ this week and I've been wondering about something. I can see why the gripping motion of hand could be beneficial to exercise, but the finger [hyper?] extension on the other hand seems like a rather unnatural movement. If you consider the most natural position of hand where the fingers are slightly curved, you rarely extend fingers past that point, especially against resistance. Perhaps I'm missing something, I like using the product so far though.

  5. Hi Raneski: The finger/thumb extensor (opening) & abductor (spreading) are mostly used in our repetitive gripping culture as 'stabilizing muscles' (contract STATICALLY (in one position) to support flexing muscles). They also are prime movers (opening a baseball glove). It is VITAL to exercise them through full ROM's or they will shorten & cause imbalance at the hand, wrist, carpal tunnel and elbow, causing instability. Full ROM exercise (as opposed to grip only) ensures maximum blood flow also.

  6. Raneski:

    A further explanation: finger & thumb extensor muscles are akin to extensor muscles of the back. Rarely do we really extend & lean back in our lives (most activity is done 'in front' of us). Yet the the back muscles (as stabilizing postural muscles) are firing all day (or we could not sit or stand). Yet they fire in very static positions & should be regularly exercised (superman/back extension exercises) through full ROM's to keep healthy & balanced (avoid poor posture). Same for hands

  7. As a drummer my goal for fingers is to make them move quicker. I've heard the term "twiching muscles" used to describe the motion. I have handmaster plus, will use of this help towards this goal?

  8. WC:
    You maybe referring to fast/slow twitch muscles. The small muscles of the hand muscles are dominated by fast twitch muscle, yet the efficiency of both is improved by proper balance exercise. Handmaster Plus is essential to drum performance. Remember that the 9 muscles on the back of the hand, wrist & forearm are STABILIZER muscles. If trained correctly (full ROM – use Handmaster Plus), these reduce finger/thumb flexor fatigue & slow performance most as they are key to the kinetic chain.

  9. I'm not a muscle expert but i do know a fair bit about hand technique with drums. You must absolutely without question remove all tension in your hands. Search mouller method on UTube.

  10. Geez, Matt B, exercise-wise it is very hard to give advice online. You wiil have to speak to a health care professional that can examine you. My confidence in Handmaster Plus comes from knowing that the resistance is natural through a full ROM. I used to show patients multiple exercises (3 minimum) that they most often would not do or remember. Now I can have confidence that any therapist can show their patient one easy HM+ exercise to perform away from the office that is mechanically proper.

  11. For boxers hands, it's vital to: 1) strengthen supportive muscles of the hands (the 9 hand opening muscles) AND the 9 hand closing muscles. This makes the hand more stable.

    2) the wear & tear experienced by the hand will result in the laying of repair tissue (scarring) that can lead to more injury & poor performance. Handmaster Plus allows the boxing athlete to easily strengthens all 18 hand muscles in full ROMs, leads to max blood flow & repair to all tissues of the hand/wrist/forearm.

  12. Hi, I'm rock climber at a fairly high level, naturally through training and climbing I have developed very strong isometric strength in the flexor muscles of my forearm. when I bend my hand back I cannot straighten my fingers. Would training the antagonists allow my grip to advance or simply prevent injury? Also if I can hypertrophy my antagonists do you think this will use up too much blood or draw more in to my forearm for recovery between holds? Also do you sell stress balls with more resistance and stronger elastics?

  13. this is pure nonsense. there aren't separate muscles that open your hand after you close it. the same muscles that close the hand also open them after you release the tension. what a charlatan.

  14. Buuuuuut if I put my stress ball in my flat hand and fully open and close it, isint that samesies? I know I shouldn't think about money, but I'm pretty broke… So I have to. 🤔

  15. I do both stress ball exercises and the elastic band exercises. My observations are exactly the same as yours in regard to the limitations of the elastic band exercises. I am so glad I found this video. I subscribed, liked and will share. And I already checked on Amazon, for your product and will order it. Thanks!

  16. That is wonderful product. BUT, what is the surety there wont be another youtube vid nullifying this product and and may be adding some buttons and springs and whistles to their ball and recommending that one? internet is flooded with information making it hard to differentiate between the-genuine and the-business.

  17. I just recently was diagnosed with ruematoid arthritis. So thank you cause this is exactly what I need. And I fully understand what you are saying so thank you.

  18. As a pianist I can feel a great difference when combining extension of the hand with contraction. The hand becomes much stronger, more compliant, and flexible.Even intuitively it makes great sense.Thank you!

  19. I have a history of moderate ulnar nerve/carpal nerve entrapment and had surgery a year ago on the left elbow and wrist. Prior to surgery my exercise routine included weights and I did curls, which, in addition to being genetically predisposed to OA, I most likely overused the elbow joint. The right arm will need surgery at some point too. After surgery and PT I started with swelling and pain on the medial side of left elbow. I’ve babied my arms since and have done little strenuous activity involving flexing of elbows. My orthopedic doc thought it could be medial tendonitis but as it turns out it’s ulnar trochlear arthritis (osteoarthritis), which unfortunately will not reverse itself or improve greatly. Needless to say it’s depressing to find myself unable to do all the things I did before. I’ve lost a lot of strength and muscle tone in my arms and hands so I’d like to strengthen both arms and hands in a way as to not aggravate my condition. I believe strengthening would improve some of my symptoms, since obviously the tendons and ligaments help support the elbow. My question is: is this device suited to a woman with small hands? It would appear these balls would need to come in different sizes with differing string lengths to accommodate smaller/larger hands. I’m of small frame (63” and 110 lbs) and I don’t want to purchase another piece of equipment that doesn’t do as intended. Thanks, look forward to a response.

  20. Stress balls make me more stressed and kind of more frustrated bcuz it never feels like I can fully deflate the ball with my hand and it jus makes me more stressed lol

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