Using a tennis ball to exercise your hands is a good use of those fuzzy green balls, in addition to playing a game of tennis.
First we’ll start with a coordination exercise. Place the tennis ball in your fingertips with your thumb on the bottom of the ball and fingers somewhat spread out around the ball. Make sure you’re holding the ball at the tips of fingers and thumb. Now try to circle the ball clockwise, moving each finger and thumb in the clockwise direction. The thumb will move the greatest distance. Try to keep ahold of the ball in the tips of fingers without dropping it. Repeat 5 to 10 times. Next try moving the ball in the opposite direction by moving the fingers and thumb in a counter clockwise direction holding the ball in your fingertips. Repeat 5 to 10 times.
Now let’s squeeze the ball. There are 3 ways to do this to strengthen the muscles. First grab the tennis ball in your hand and squeeze with only the four fingers holding while the thumb is poking out in a hitchhiker’s thumb. Squeeze 5 seconds relax for 2 seconds and repeat 5 – 10 times. Second, bring the thumb in by resting it next to the index finger between the middle knuckle and the fingertip. Squeeze the ball, noticing your thumb pushing inward. Squeeze 5 seconds relax for 2 seconds and repeat 5 – 10 times. Third, with the ball in your palm and fingers, take your thumb toward your little finger across your palm or ball and squeeze, noticing the difference in your thumb. Squeeze 5 seconds relax for 2 seconds and repeat 5 – 10 times.
The final exercise is catch which is good for eye hand coordination and reflexes. Stand about 5 feet from a wall. With your right hand toss the ball against the wall up high and catch it with your right hand. Repeat and try to toss it a bit lower and again catch it with your right hand. Keep tossing lower and catching it until you reach the ground – about 5 to 10 times. Now switch to your left hand and repeat the sequence tossing with your left hand catching with your left. And last of all you can switch which hand you toss and catch with – toss right, catch left, then toss left and catch right. Do 5 to 10 times.
Did you know you’re stimulating your brain too? Not only are you improving your coordination, strength, reflexes and eye hand coordination, you’re stimulating your brain and reducing stress and tension! So grab your tennis ball and make it a part of your routine – it’s good for you.