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10 Best Hand and Wrist Stretches for Gamers

Hand and wrist pain can be irritating at the best of times, but there’s nothing worse than having your joints flare up when you’re right in the middle of an intense Valorant match. There are a few good techniques for limbering up in your pre-game that might help, though. That’s why we decided to put together this list of the ten best hand and wrist stretches for gamers!

These simple exercises can strengthen your joints and keep you flexible. They can also help lower the risk of developing chronic pain, but they should not be attempted by people with pre-existing joint damage or inflammation issues. It’s always a good idea to consult your doctor before attempting new stretches or treatments for an existing condition.

10 Best Hand and Wrist Stretches for Gamers

Ready to limber up those digits? It’s time to list the ten best hand and wrist stretches for gamers!

1. Clench Your Fists

Clenched Fist
Image: Cody Campbell via HGG

Reps: 4 with both hands | Intervals: 30-60 seconds

Make a fist, wrapping your thumb around the outside of your fingers. Clench it firmly, but not too tightly for 30-60 seconds, and then slowly release and open your hand all the way. You should be able to feel your muscles engaging without digging your fingernails into your palm. Repeat this action four times. Stop if you feel any pain.

WebMD recommends clenching your fists as a good stretch to start a routine for your hands and wrists. It’s one of the best hand stretches for gamers because it engages the muscles in the whole hand and warms them up for action. 

There is no weakness in this dojo!

2. Finger Extension Stretch

Finger Extension
Image: Cody Campbell via HGG

Reps: 4 with both hands | Intervals: 30-60 seconds

Next, you can try the finger extension stretch. Place your hand flat on your table or desk and then gently straighten your fingers until they’re completely flat against the surface. Do this for 30-60 second intervals four times with each hand. 

This stretch might not feel like much at first, but you’ll definitely feel it by the time you’re done. It’s great for reducing pain in the palm and improving the range of motion in your fingers. There are only a few good finger stretches for gamers, and this is one of the best.

3. Claw Stretch

Claw Stretch

Image: Cody Campbell via HGG

Reps: 4 with both hands | Intervals: 30-60 seconds

Tiger claw!

For the claw stretch, you’re going to keep your fingers straight up to the second joint, then curl them in from there till your fingertips and thumb are touching the first joint. Do this with your palms facing outward. Picture a palm strike in martial arts.

You should feel the muscles stretching in the joints of your fingers and in the wrists if you do this for 30-60 seconds, four times with both hands. The claw stretch is another one that’s great for improving your range of motion.

4. Praying Position

Praying Position
Image: Cody Campbell via HGG

Reps: 3 | Intervals: 10-30 seconds

Just like Altair trying to disappear into a group of monks, this next stretch looks a little bit like praying.

Stand up and place your palms together with your fingertips pointed toward the heavens, directly in front of your face. Start with your elbows together and then slowly spread them apart while lowering your hands until you feel the stretch in your fingers and wrists. Hold this for 10-30 seconds and then repeat three times.

This stretch was featured in Healthline as a great way to keep your wrists limber without having to leave your desk. It’s one of the best wrist stretches for gamers because it hits everything from fingertip to forearm. We recommend removing your hidden blade before attempting it, however.

5. Extended Arm, Palm Stretch

Palm Stretch

Image: Cody Campbell via HGG

Reps: 2-3 with each hand | Intervals: 10-30 seconds

For the extended arm, palm stretch, you’re going to take one arm and reach straight up with your palm facing the ceiling. Then you’re going to use your opposite hand to grab onto your fingers and gently pull them back down. You’ll hold this position for 10-30 seconds, then switch arms and repeat. Do this two or three times with each hand until you feel limber.

The extended arm, palm stretch hits many the same areas as the praying position stretch, so it’s good to alternate between the two on different days.

6. Squeeze

Squeeze
Image: Cody Campbell via HGG

Reps: 10-15 on each hand | Intervals: 5 seconds

The last thing you want when you’re trying to clutch a round in Call of Duty is to lose your grip on your controller. One of the best and easiest exercises is taking a softball and squeezing the daylights out of it for 10-15 intervals of five seconds.

This exercise both stretches and strengthens hand muscles, making it easier to grip things (like your mouse). You can also buy a grip strength trainer like this one, but a stress ball, a tennis ball, or even a beanie baby will work in a pinch.

7. Pinch

Pinch
Image: Cody Campbell via HGG

Reps: 10-15 with each hand | Intervals: 30-60 seconds

Speaking of working in a pinch. That’s our next exercise! My grandma must do this one all the time because that woman can turn cheeks purple.

All you have to do for this one is pinch a soft foam ball or some putty between your thumb and index finger and hold it like that for 30-60 seconds. Do this 10-15 times in each hand, and it will help improve the muscles in your index finger and thumb, reducing the risk of cramping or fatigue.

Pinching strength is great for holding a controller, pulling those triggers, or even just smashing that left click on your mouse. Just promise not to use your new powers for evil.

8. Thumb Push and Thumb Pull

Thumb Push Pull

Image: Cody Campbell via HGG

Reps: 2 with each thumb | Intervals: 10-30 seconds

This is technically two exercises, but we’ll go ahead and roll them together for now.

Take your thumb and stick it up like you just saw your friend beat the final boss in Sekiro. Now you need to create tension in your thumb — try to keep it rigid and still as you gently push it forward and hold it like that for 10-30 seconds.

Next, you’re going to the exact same thing, except you’re going to push your thumb back instead of forward. Do this two times in each direction with each thumb. The thumb push and pull both stretches and strengthens your thumbs — important digits for gaming with a controller.

9. Desk Press

Desk Press
Image: Cody Campbell via HGG

Reps: 3 | Intervals: 5-10 seconds

Most of the stretches we’ve talked about so far have focused on the hand to wrist area. The desk press focuses more on wrist to elbow.

Press your palms flat against the bottom of a desk or table while seated. Now gently push upwards as if you were trying to lift it (but don’t actually lift it), and hold that tension for 5-10 seconds. This will strengthen and stretch out the muscles connected to your wrist in your forearm.

10. Figure Eights

Figure Eights

Image: Cody Campbell via HGG

Reps: 3 | Intervals: 10-15 seconds

Last one! Lace your finger together and hold them in front of your body with your palms facing away from you. Your elbow should be facing outwards, and you should be looking directly at the backs of your hands. Now move your interlaced hands in a figure-eight pattern for 10-15 seconds. Do this three times with a brief rest between each interval.

Doing figure eights is a form of dynamic stretching — meaning you’re stretching while you’re in motion. Dynamic stretching is good because it moves the muscles around while you’re stretching them, making sure there aren’t any spots you’re missing.

It’s a Joint Effort

We hope you’ve enjoyed our list of the ten best hand and wrist stretches for gamers. Be sure to follow High Ground Gaming for news, reviews, and more lists like this one. You might also be interested in our list of the benefits of good posture for gamers.

Happy gaming!

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