September 2011

Stretching Exercises for the Elbow, Arm, Wrist, and Fingers

September 26, 2011 21:33

I fell and fractured a few bones about a month ago.  I do not have full use of either of my wrists, hands, or arms, but I'm working on the problem.  My left hand is still in a brace, but my doctor took off the brace on my right hand and the sling around my right elbow.  He gave me permission to do stretching and range of motion exercises on my right, but he told me not to do strength building exercises yet. 

A few days ago, Mendy Smith wrote in her blog ( that she is having issues with muscle tension in both of her arms.  I hope that the exercises that helped me will also help you, Mendy.  I recommend these exercises to all violinists who want to stretch and relax tight muscles from the elbow down to the finger tips.

I've also got a lot of stretching and relaxing exercises for violinists and violists on at

Of course, follow the basic rules of exercise:  If it hurts, don't do it.  Pace yourself.  If you overdo, you may induce a setback.  Try to exercise at least a few minutes each day.

Here is a good set of exercises to begin with because they are relatively mild.

Yoga Warm Up Exercises:  Yoga Warm Up Wrists 

Tennis Elbow Stretches Dr. Allan Mishra Total

I found this a relatively mild stretch, and it was one of the first ones I tried.  I could see progress in a few days, and I keep doing it.
How To Do a Tennis Elbow Stretch
How To do a Wrist Flexor Stretch

The instructor in the previous two videos also has very good videos for stretching other parts of the body. 

Tennis Elbow - The Best Stretch

This may or may not be the best stretch, but I found it to be the most difficult. It has taken me weeks to learn to do it gently.


Hand and Wrist Rehab Exercises
Now for something completely different.   This is a melange of exercises in order of increasing difficulty.  No one speaks to explain the exercises.  You judge for yourself what you should do or not do.  The video shows some people doing exercises with weights or elastic bands.  I recommend doing the exercises without the weights or elastic bands so that you stretch, rather than strengthen, your body.  I'm about one third of the way through this video, and that's enough for me.  I watch the rest for entertainment.  The music is horrible at the beginning, but it gets better later (if you like old time and bluegrass music).

You can do as many of these exercises as you like several times a day, for example, while you're riding on a bus or train, while you're waiting for the microwave to heat your food, as a break when you're keyboarding on your computer, while you're watching TV, and more. Remember to make progress slowly and not to do anything that causes you pain.

Here's to your health.

4 replies

Twilight, Sept. 6, 2011

September 7, 2011 14:25

My physical pain is intense.

The forest outside my window quivers in the cool wind and rain.

A warm flame flickers on the candle on my desk.

I hear Nathan Milstein playing Bach's Chaconne,

And finally, I feel peace.



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