I’m really into hand strength and working on fingertip pushups but it’s slow going. On top of that I seem to have jammed up my thumbs and maybe over-stressed the muscles in my hand. Any tips?
First, a couple of comments on what’s going on here.
If you’re doing even just passive grip work (say, chin-ups), things like fingertip pushups are the perfect compliment.
Even though the fingers are held statically, this move still works the extension function of the fingers.
Both then will be in balance, and ultimately you’ll have an incredibly strong pair or hands.
Second, interesting fact – there are no muscles in the hand. There are lots of tendons though, and these are activated by the muscles in your forearm.
Being tendons then, it’s possible to over-stress them and they take a LONG time to heal.
Also, your thumbs probably hurt because they’re the strongest of all your digits, and its somewhat natural to shift a large part of the stress onto them while doing fingertip work.
The real solution here (much as you probably don’t want to hear it) is to go back a few steps, until such time as you can perform that step with little to no pain.
For some, that might mean going all the way back to fingertip pushups against a wall.
Over time, you’ll be able to transition to the more demanding steps and resume until you’re making good progress again.
There is something else peculiar I’ve noticed about these hand/finger and thumb injuries – they get worse when you completely rest them. That’s the bad news.
The good news is that they get better with “lighter” and more infrequent training like I’m proposing.
This training is also necessary such that you don’t lose all your gains.
Of all the exercises that I’ve found atrophy with dis-use, finger strength goes the fastest.
Why this is so, I’m not sure – but it’s something you should be mindful of. Do at least something every week to keep as much of your gains as possible.