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finger fitness

GREG IRWIN

founder OF 
hand 
FITNESS

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Shaping Clay

Welcome to Hand Health

We are your one stop shop for fitness products for your hands.  We use our hands for everything but rarely think about exercising them.

We break down the different conditioning aspects needed, such as strength, dexterity, coordination, limberness, and finger independence. We have selected various exercise tools based on the advice from certified hand therapists. Greg Irwin is the founder of Hand Fitness. He began this journey as a musician who started exercising his fingers to play the piano better. He is the creator of the Finger Fitness exercise program which was first published as the book Finger Fitness: The Art of Finger Control in 1988. Additional videos, Finger Fitness: The Art of Finger ControlFinger Fitness: The Complete Hand Workout and The Advanced Hand Workout followed.

about finger fitness

“Finger Fitness” actually started while I was working on my degree in Music Education at Miami University (Ohio). The music education program required that each student play and teach every instrument from the simplest to the most complex.

As musicians, we soon found that in order to accomplish that goal we needed to combine three basic skills from three different parts of the body:

  • The BRAIN with its mental capability to process rhythms, harmony, and melodies

  • The EAR with its audio capability to distinguish different tones

  • The HAND with its physical strength, dexterity, and coordination capabilities to actual play the various instruments.

The audio and mental skills, were taught and mastered in ear training and music theory classes. But, mastering the physical skills of playing an instrument was a different story. Very few of us could master that skill in the limited classroom time available. It meant that we all had to find a lot of time outside the classroom to practice and master playing each instrument. It also meant sore hands due to the lack of strength, coordination and dexterity required.

Finding that additional time was a challenge. I found it similar to athletes trying to find the time to work out and practice in addition to attending classes, studying and of course playing their sport. After talking with many athletes I found that they spend an enormous amount time working out in order to strengthen and condition their bodies. Why? Because it allows them to play better, stronger and longer. For many, it even meant less stress on their bodies, fewer injuries and quicker recovery time from a lot of those injuries. I wondered why this conditioning approach was not used by musicians. After all, we are “small muscle athletes” who could use this athletic approach to improve our hands ability to physically play an instrument better and decrease pain and stress we often experience.

Initially, I started doing simple splitting and bending exercises with my fingers and found that it did help me limber up my fingers and made it easier to play an instrument. As time went on I expanded on this idea. I added more exercises using the natural movements of our hand such as tapping and folding. To really challenge myself, I would do the exercises by isolating individual fingers, followed by combining different exercises and than having each hand do the opposite of the other.

But after talking and demonstrating the exercises to hand surgeons, physical and occupational therapists, as well as sports medicine professionals, I found that, although there were rehabilitation programs for hands, there were none for advancing the ordinary hand to a higher level of strength and coordination. So with the help of my wife, Lorraine and Certified Hand Therapist Meg Robinson I organized the exercises and published the book and video “Finger Fitness: The Art of Finger Control” to introduce others to this unique approach to building finger coordination, dexterity and strength.

What Others Are Saying

Finger Fitness is a series of exercises designed to enhance hand strength, coordination, finger independence and fine motor response – exercises you can do anywhere, any time.  This approach to hand conditioning is a powerful tool for boosting performance and strength in specialized applications. This kit contains two videos.

Click the link below to look through all our inventory!

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"The amount of finger control you gain through the Finger Fitness program is invaluable to any guitarist, bassist, or keyboardist.”

—  Tom Mulhearn

- Guitar Player

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“I’ve been doing Finger Fitness exercises for over four years, mainly while I’m watching TV at night. If I jerk my hand the wrong way, I'll feel the shooting pain from arthritis, but other than that it doesn't bother me at all anymore.”

—  Carole, 60

- Arthritis

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“Individuals who have occupations or vocations that require increased proficiency and development of individual hand muscles could benefit from the Finger Fitness Program.”

—  Randi L. Schatz

- OTR, CHT

How did Hand Health begin?

Greg Irwin first began developing his Finger Fitness techniques while earning his degree in music education at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. He and his wife Lorraine started Hand Health Unlimited in 1988, connecting products and programs to meet the qualifications of hand therapists and the needs of people just like you. 

What is hand health's mission?

 

Hand Health Unlimited is dedicated to Finger Fitness. Our goals in designing and marketing our products are prevention, improvement, and rehabilitation.

What are the benefits of your products and programs?

 

All our products are designed to help you increase strength, coordination, and dexterity in your hands and fingers. At the same time, they can help you decrease the occurrence of injury, stress, and fatigue, all of which can have serious repercussions for your long-term hand health.

Who should use your products and programs?

Whether you’re a musician or a surgeon, a manual laborer or a stay-at-home parent, your hands are vital to the work you do each day. At Hand Health Unlimited, we are dedicated to helping you take the best care of your hands’ health. 

 

 

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