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More Training Info > Finger Extensor Training

Finger Extensor Training -- Cheap!

Q: I have a tendency to strain finger tendons really easily when I climb, and my gym doesn't have any of the grip training devices you shared last newsletter; is there a cheaper way to strengthen my finger extensors?

A: Climbing works your finger flexors, the small but strong hand muscles that cause you to make a fist, carry groceries, hold onto crimpers, and pull anything toward you. In order to prevent tendinitis in the fingers, there are several simple and inexpensive ways to work the opposing muscle groups, the finger extensors, to keep the hand muscles in balance.

For the first, fill a bucket with rice, small pasta, course gravel, sand, or cedar chips. The finer the material, the harder the exercise will feel. Try to select a material that won't be too hard on the hands (we prefer rice; just make sure you wash off the rice flour! No nails, pins, or obviously sharp material allowed!) To perform the exercise, plunge your closed hand into the rice and then open fingers outward against the rice, remove hand, and repeat for desired number of repetitions.

For the second, find some large, thick rubber bands and wrap them several times around your fingers. Open fingers out against the pressure of the bands.

For the third, fill a large cup or mason jar (something with an inverted lip so the cup or jar won't slide off your hand) with water, leaving room to submerge a hand. Open hand in jar so fingers extend outward against jar walls and do a "reverse farmer's walk". Get creative with this and find more solid materials and ways to attach weights for more resistance. Give these a try and see how your forearms and fingers feel after a few weeks of extensor training.


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