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Friday, October 4, 2013


Guitar Finger Exercises for the Picking Hand

Do I need to do wellness guitar finger exercises for my picking hand?

This is an important question. The balance of the muscles on the picking hand, finger and thumb are greatly affected´╗┐ because of the size of the article that is being gripped, i.e. in this case a pick or a string. Thus, the finger and thumb flexor muscles are shortened regularly and, if not properly exercised, will become imbalanced. 

Handmaster Plus allows a complete and simple finger exercise that will easily offset this imbalance - and is also an amazing warm up and warm down exercise. So many musicians develop hand, wrist, carpal tunnel and elbow imbalances and wonder why. Yet it is easy to explain - and to offset through proper exercise.

But why is there a thumb and finger muscle imbalance on the picking hand? And why have we missed it in the past? Especially when so many guitarists have experienced carpal tunnel syndrome, tennis elbow, and finger and thumb tendonitis & injury issues.

Firstly lets talk about why.

The hand, fingers and thumb work most efficiently when they hold items that are neutral in size. By this I mean not too small, not too big. Too small might be, as an example, a guitar pick or a surgical tool. Too big might be a basketball. When they are extreme, the workload required to manipulate the item is increased.

When we grab something that is especially very small, 
the function of all the hand, finger and thumb muscles that have to hold and manipulate that item is amplified. What this means is that the grip stabilizer muscles (the muscles on the back of your hand, wrist and elbow) are contracting to support the fine motor flexor muscles that are holding the small items, such as a guitar pick in the picking hand. As well, note that these muscles are contracting statically (in one position) in a small range of motion which means that if used repetitively they are eventually going to become short static with poor blood flow, just like any other muscle in the body that is exercised through only a tiny range of motion.

So to summarize, small items that are required to be manipulated repetitively will indeed lead to imbalance unless specific offsetting exercises are utilized. The picking hand of the guitarist is a classic example, but so  are surgeons, dental professionals, artists (painters,sculptures, etc.) and beauticians/barbers. the smaller the tool that is being manipulated and the longer and more repetitively it is held, the worse the potential for imbalance and injury.

Why have we missed this imbalance? Because just like other grip dominated activities (i.e. sports & workplace) we focus more on the 'symptoms that grip imbalance causes (carpal tunnel syndrome, tennis elbow, golfer's elbow, DeQuervain's Syndrome, tendonitis, cramping, etc.)' rather than 'what causes grip imbalance?'

Thumb & fingers exercises must be done to maintain the natural balance of the finger, thumb, hand, wrist, carpal tunnel, forearm and elbow. There is no other way.

We designed Handmaster Plus so that all guitarists have an easy to understand & easy to do thumb and finger exercise to offset the repetitive finger muscle activity required to hold a pick or even to finger pick. The repetitive flexing and gripping aspect of the picking hand must be offset if finger, thumb, hand, wrist, carpal tunnel, forearm and elbow mechanics are to be strong, stable and neutrally maintained.

For more information or to purchase your personal product, visit Handmaster Plus 
or send us an email at

Keep healthy, keep playing and look for every advantage that can make you be the best artist that you can be...

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