Hand and Wrist
Strengthening Exercises

Traditional Chinese hand and wrist strengthening exercises include the use of hand balls and massage rings. These simple tools not only strengthen your hands, wrists, fingers and forearms, they also improve your hand coordination and stimulate the flow of vital energy and blood in your body.

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), a complete medical system that has been continuously practiced for at least 2500 years, various energy meridians run into the hands and fingers. These meridians correspond to organs such as the heart, small intestine, lungs and large intestine. Regular exercise with hand balls and massage rings stimulates acupuncture points on these energy meridians, which in turn stimulates the corresponding organ. These techniques are suitable for everyone, particularly people who use their hands and arms constantly, such as writers, musicians, computer operators and manual workers.

Hand & Wrist Strengthening Exercises

1. Chinese Hand Balls: (Bao Ding balls in Chinese)

Chinese hand balls (sometimes called Chinese health balls or qi gong balls) have a long history in China.

They are available in various sizes and are made of different materials such as steel, bronze, jade, glass and marble.


Stand or sit. Hold the balls in one hand. Keep your forearm parallel to the ground.

Beginners usually start with two balls. Once you become more adept it's possible to rotate 4, 6, or more balls in one hand.

Use your fingers to move the balls around your palm, first one way then the other.

Initially this may be difficult, however with practice you'll be able to rotate them smoothly and quickly.

The balls should stay in constant touch, and not bang against each other.

Feel your hands and fingers warming up.

A couple of minutes per hand is enough to start.


  • Stretches & tones your hand & arm tendons
  • Stimulates important energy meridians in your hands
  • Improves strength, coordination & dexterity in your hands & forearms
  • Highly relaxing - good for chronic worriers & over-thinkers
  • Excellent warm-up before activities involving your hands & forearms
  • Highly therapeutic for anyone with arthritic or rheumatic finger or wrist joints


  • Don't overdo it at first - 1 or 2 minutes per hand is enough
  • Don't practice over hard surfaces - the balls easily break
  • Take a set of hand balls when traveling or to work

Hand & Wrist Strengthening Exercises

2. Massage Rings

Available in different sizes so you can gradually build strength in your hands, fingers and wrists. Made from rubber, some with tiny massage nodules on the surface.


Place the ring in one hand.

Gently, rhythmically and repeatedly squeeze and release it.

Alternatively, squeeze, hold for a few seconds and slowly release.

Feel your hands and fingers warming up and tingling with fresh blood flow.

Do 15-20 squeezes per hand to begin. Repeat 2-3 times a day.


  • Strengthens your fingers, hands, wrists and forearms
  • Stimulates many acupressure points on your hands & fingers
  • Along with Chinese health balls, one of the best remedies for cold hands
  • Good for arthritis or rheumatism in your hand & wrist joints
  • Relaxes you


  • Don't overdo it at first, especially if you have hand or wrist problems
  • Focus on the exercise, not on external distractions
  • Use it as a warm up exercise before activities involving your hands

Chinese health balls and massage rings provide for highly beneficial hand and wrist strengthening exercises. They may also be used as carpal tunnel exercises, lower arm exercises, to enhance overall health (via improved energy and blood circulation as outlined above) or simply for enjoyment.

More hand and wrist strengthening exercises:

Pull Ups
Push Ups

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