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Helpful Hand Therapy Putty Exercises + Free PDF

six colorful pieces of therapy putty rolled into perfect balls

Hand therapy putty exercises can help you regain strength and dexterity in your hand with a simple, affordable accessory.

Before we dig into the exercises, we will discuss how to get the most of your hand putty exercises.

Getting the Best Results from Hand Putty Exercises

Hand therapy putty exercises are a great way to strengthen hand function and improve mobility.

Sometimes hand weakness is the result of a stroke or other neurological injury. In these instances, it’s important to realize that the goal does not focus on muscle strength as much. Instead, the goal is to strengthen the connection between the brain and the hand.

When a stroke disrupts the brain’s ability to send signals to the hand, rehab exercise helps stimulate healing. The more you exercise your hand, the more you tell the brain there is a demand for that function, and the brain will adapt in response.

This phenomenon is called neuroplasticity: the brain’s ability to adapt and rewire itself based on experience. When you begin to practice therapy putty exercises on a daily basis, it stimulates the brain and encourages the rewire process.

If you stick with it consistently, these exercises can help improve hand function by encouraging the brain to rewire and heal itself.

Now that you understand the best ways to benefit from hand therapy putty exercises, let’s start moving.

stroke exercises small

Bonus: Download a free 25-page Stroke Rehab Exercise ebook

You’ll get a 25-page PDF with exercises and pictures. Click here to download the PDF (link will open a pop-up that will not interrupt your reading)

Hand Therapy Putty Exercises to Try at Home

The following therapy putty exercises were created to accompany our therapy putty pack available on Amazon.

Try to accomplish these exercises on a daily basis to encourage strength and recovery.

FREE PDF: Want all of these exercises in a convenient PDF? Download it for free here.

Power Grip

hand holding therapy putty

This therapy putty exercise is helpful for all ability levels. Grab your putty and squeeze it using all five fingers, then relax. Repeat this several times for a strengthening and therapeutic effect.

Full Grip

physical therapy hand putty exercises

For this hand flexion exercise, roll the putty into a ball and hold it in your palm. Then, press all your fingers except the thumb into the putty. This exercise adds one layer of challenge to the previous exercise by removing the thumb from helping.

Finger Scissors

hand illustration with therapy putty between two fingers

Roll your putty into a ball and squeeze it between your fingers. Try doing it with all of your fingers to give your hands extra therapy. Squeeze between your index finger and middle finger. Then your middle finger and ring finger. Then your ring finger and little finger.

Finger Spread

hand manipulating therapy putty exercises

Roll the therapy putty out and wrap it around two fingers to form a donut shape. Then, spread your fingers apart. This resistance exercise focuses on extending the muscles that were flexed in the previous exercise.

Fingertip Pinch

therapy putty exercise illustration

Roll your hand therapy putty into a ball and pinch it using your thumb and fingertips. If you have spasticity in your hand that makes it difficult to move each finger individually, press all fingers into the putty at once. As you improve, try to press each finger individually into the putty.

Flat Pinch

hand squishing therapy putty

Straighten your fingers as best you can, and pinch the putty between your fingers and thumb. This differs from the previous exercise because the fingers remain straight instead of curled, therefore different muscles are being utilized. This is a strengthening hand therapy putty exercise.

Full Finger Spread

therapy putty exercises for occupational therapy

Roll the putty out and wrap it around all your fingers to form a circle. Then, spread your fingers apart. This movement targets extension instead of flexion.

Finger Extension

therapy putty exercises for stroke patients

Roll the putty out and wrap it around one finger while the finger is bent. Then, extend (straighten) the finger while using the putty to provide resistance. This is an advanced hand therapy putty exercise. If you struggle with this movement, try again in a few weeks.

Hand Putty Exercises PDF

Want all of these exercises in a convenient little PDF? Download it for free here.

Also, don’t miss out on the other awesome freebie below:

Keep it Going: Get a Free Rehab Exercise Ebook (25 page PDF)

ebooks with fanned pages

Get our free ebook filled with 25 pages of rehab exercises featuring photos of licensed therapists. Sign up below to get your copy!

When you sign up, you’ll also receive our popular Monday newsletter that contains 5 articles on stroke recovery.

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Get Inspired with This Stroke Survivor Story

Mom gets better every day!

When my 84-year-old Mom had a stoke on May 2, the right side of her body was rendered useless. In the past six months, she has been blessed with a supportive medical team, therapy team, and family team that has worked together to gain remarkable results.

While she still struggles with her right side, she can walk (with assistance) and is beginning to get her right arm and hand more functional. We invested in the FitMi + MusicGlove + Tablet bundle for her at the beginning of August.

She lights up when we bring it out and enjoys using it for about 20 to 30 minutes at a time. While she still doesn’t have enough strength to perform some of the exercises, she rocks the ones she can do!

Thanks for creating such powerful tools to help those of us caring for stroke patients. What you do really matters!

David M. Holt’s review of FitMi home therapy, 11/09/2020

5 stars

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