- Grip strength grows weaker as we age, which eventually begins to affect our day-to-day activities
- To improve grip strength, build up muscular strength using therapy putty or hand exercisers
- Add a few grip strengthening exercises, such as squeezing, pinching and stretching, to your week
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Whether you’re a therapist trying to help your patients improve their grip strength or an individual looking to improve your hand strength at home, you have a lot of tools to choose from. The available options fall into two major categories: therapy putty and hand exercisers.
How do you know which tool you should choose to improve your grip strength? Compare the pros and cons of putty vs. exercisers to find the best choice for you.
Therapy Putty vs. Hand Exercisers
- Available in a variety of progressive resistances
- Can be purchased in individual containers and sent home with patients to continue exercises at home
- Available in various amounts that accommodate individuals and large groups
- Makes hand therapy fun for kids
- Has many exercise options:
- Available in a variety of progressive resistances
- A more durable option for long term use
- Most can be sanitised and wiped clean between patients for reuse
- There are a variety of options available, from simple stress balls to finger exercisers
- Allows user to focus on specific exercises including:
- Can’t be sanitised for use between patients (not an issue if using at home)
- May eventually collect dust if left out or used on an unclean surface
- A more expensive option, making it less likely for clinics to send home with patients (but may pay off when used by multiple patients in rehab/therapy)
Why does grip strength matter?
Grip strength is needed to accomplish many everyday tasks independently. Turning door knobs, opening jars, taking pans off the stove, carrying a laundry basket full of clothes, getting dressed...all of these tasks require grip strength.
Disabilities, injuries, and other conditions can all reduce your hand strength and make these daily activities a struggle. Using putty or an exerciser, can help you strengthen your hands and remain independent!
I choose therapy putty. What are my options?
If the therapy putty is for personal use, a progressive putty might be a good fit. Instead of buying various containers of putty and moving to the next resistance when you grow stronger, all you need with progressive putty is one container. Then, you can add progress chips to the putty to make it more resistant as your strength improves.
Designed to aid in different strengthening exercises for the hand, fingers, feet, and toes. With the addition of an antimicrobial agent called Ultra-Fresh, this Micro-Fresh Therapy Putty will last longer than standard putty. The antimicrobial agent enables the putty to resist the growth of destructive and odour-causing microbes, providing optimal odour protection.
The progressive system makes exercises more challenging as you work through the colours. Roylan Therapy Putty helps build strength or recover effectively from injury and surgery. The bleed proof and non-oily formula helps keep the skin clean without sticking to the hands.
I prefer a hand exerciser. What are my choices?
Whether you have a weak hand grip or need to rehabilitate from an injury, this exerciser is an excellent choice. The contoured design makes hand therapy more comfortable and the plastic design is easy to sanitise. Use the buttons individually to strengthen each finger or all at one to work on your whole grip. Swap in a thumb button to exercise that digit, too!
★★★★★Great Product “This is well made and works well for my wrist injury. I used these in therapy and needed more use between sessions. They are the exact item that I used in therapy.”
-Mary, US Amazon Customer
If you’re looking for a basic stress-ball-type hand exerciser, try the TheraBand version. With five resistances, your hand will get more of a workout than when using a traditional stress ball. Plus, you can heat or cool the ball for therapeutic relief! You can clean this exerciser using soap and water.
The TheraBand Hand Xtrainer also offers hand strengthening and hot or cold therapy at the same time. Just pop the Xtrainer in the microwave for soothing heat or chill in the fridge for therapeutic cold. Then use the hand exerciser to perform stretching and pinching exercises. Wash with soap and water to clean as needed.
This durable hand exerciser is designed to strengthen your grip while also strengthening your hand and forearm muscles. Available in four resistances with different colours, the diameter varies by resistance.
This hand exerciser features a lightweight plastic frame with or without a padded handle that fits comfortably in the palm of the hand. Designed to fit many hand sizes, the frame can be customised to block flexion and extension movements to work the muscles. It includes four pairs of coloured rubber bands with varied resistance (yellow, red, green, and blue).
So now you’ve decided which side of the therapy putty vs. hand exerciser debate you fall in.
If you decided between hand exercisers or putty for hand strengthening in your rehabilitation centre or therapy clinic, take the next step by choosing hand evaluation tools that can help you measure your patients’ progress.
Whether you choose therapy putty or hand exercisers, start strengthening your hand grip today!
Medical Disclaimer: The information provided on this site, including text, graphics, images and other material, are for informational purposes only and are not intended to substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other healthcare professional with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition.