To improve fine motor skills after stroke, we can rewire the brain by repeatedly performing rehabilitation exercises that involve the affected muscle groups. The more you repeat an exercise, the faster your brain will relearn the movements as new neural pathways are formed.
Simple Hand Exercises
These simple exercises might be a little too tedious for some, but they can be very effective if you’re willing to put in the time:
- Moving beans from one bucket to another
- Putting pegs in a pegboard
- Using rubber bands to exercise your fingers
- Squeezing a stress ball
In order for these exercises to be helpful, they must be repeated over and over – and we’re talking hours. While that might sound daunting, you can try doing them with some light entertainment running in the background, like music or a podcast. But sometimes boredom is eminent, so try upgrading to these more creative exercises:
Creative Hand Exercises
It’s time to get in touch your inner child! By bringing a little youthful creativity into your rehabilitation routine, you can reduce boredom and spark a little extra motivation.
Create penny towers by stacking one penny on top of the next. While this might seem tedious at first, it can become a fun, personal challenge to see how high you can get your penny tower.
Grab some playdough and get shaping! Even if you’re just squeezing and stretching, it will still help strengthen your finger muscles.
Finger Paint – Yes, Really.
We know, we know! Most people think that finger painting is just for kids. But hear us out first. Finger painting can be an effective and therapeutic fine motor skills exercise. It allows you to express your feelings visually – even if it doesn’t really look like something.
Hand Exercise Videos
If you’re looking for more guidance, you can grab a copy of our FlintFit stroke therapy DVD program.
It contains full-body exercise videos, including 4 hand exercise videos of varying difficulty levels.
We think you’ll really enjoy them because they’re guided by Barbara, one of our favorite therapists!
Super Fun Hand Exercises
Have you noticed a pattern here with all of our hand exercises?
As activities get more creative and interactive, they get progressively more fun!
And we don’t mean to toot our own horn, but that’s exactly why we made the MusicGlove. By disguising hand therapy into a fun musical game that links rhythm and movement, you’ll forget that you’re even doing rehab in the first place.
Another super fun hand exercise is marble shooting. Place an empty box on its side and shoot marbles into it. The better you get, the farther away you can place the box. You can also play with a partner for some friendly competition.
With these fine motor skills exercises you’ll be on your way to regaining hand movement in no time. All you need is repetition, motivation, and a little fun!