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Putty for strengthening?

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(@tj6968)
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Joined: 13 years ago
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Has anybody on here used putty to help strengthen and loosen up your hands? I've heard it works wonders for your flexibility and strength for playing guitar. I can see how it would be very beneficial and am interested in trying it. It's easy to take with you wherever you are which is obviously a plus and something worth consideration. I found a place to buy it at exerflexputty.com


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 cnev
(@cnev)
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Or you could just use a tennis ball

"It's all about stickin it to the man!"
It's a long way to the top if you want to rock n roll!


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(@ricochet)
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Joined: 19 years ago
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Some of those little "relaxing" squeeze toys that were popular a few years ago work well.

"A cheerful heart is good medicine."


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(@guitaristanime)
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Joined: 12 years ago
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I've not tried the putty, however I did pick up a Power Ball and I have to say it has definitely increased the stamina in my wrist and fingers somewhat.

Do you literally just squeeze the putty constantly to strengthen up?


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(@dogbite)
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Joined: 17 years ago
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yes. putty. I have reb and blue. the blue is stiffer; harder to squeeze.
two years ago I sprianed my forearms and hands. the tendons got messed up. part of my physical therapy was stretching and strengthening. I started by rolling snakes using my fingers. then had to wad it into a ball and squeeze. that was for fingers and tendons on the back of the hand.
two years later I can play guitar for more than an hour w/o weakness setting in.
the color coded putty is pretty cool.
I also have colored rubber bands. huge ones for forearm exercises...part of the physical therapy to keep the tendons orking and strengthen all kinds of muscles in the arm and joints.

I can squeeze pretty hard now. my top was around 75 pounds of pressure. it is around 50 now. I have damage that may never improve. at it's worse I could only squeeze 10 pounds before I yelped in pain.

a tennis ball could work, but my therapy has me doing more than squeezing. rolling and pinching. try pinching wioth your pinky and thumb. pretty difficult huh?

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(@gnease)
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Joined: 18 years ago
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the effort to squeeze a tennis ball rises sharply as it is compressed, and that characteristic also limits the range-of-motion. I'm guessing putty must be very different in force-over-distance and range-of-motion, and probably better for therapy and rehab. also better for guitar playing?

-=tension & release=-


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 Crow
(@crow)
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Joined: 13 years ago
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I'm using a foam anti-stress toy for tendinitis/arthritis in my picking hand, and it's helping. Mine is from a hospital's "behavioral health services" department, and it's shaped like a brain.

Suggest starting light & slow, & if your insurance will cover physical therapy, it might be worth a look.

"You can't write a chord ugly enough to say what you want to say sometimes, so you have to rely on a giraffe filled with whipped cream." - Frank Zappa


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 cnev
(@cnev)
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gnease - Isn't that the idea though to have the resistance increase otherwise you could just keep opening and closing your hands with no resistance.

Tennis balls were maybe the old school way but they were used for these type of hand strengthening exercises for years until some marketing people came up with these relaxation balls and stuff.

Tennis balls offer something that I don't think the others do and that is you get the resistance as you release also. So you experience resistant when you squeeze and then when you slowly release. Like most exercises you should slowly squeeze and slowly release. Those relaxation balls that I have felt don't offer that and I really can't imaging putting having the resiliance to come back to form when squeezed unless by putty you mean some type of polymer.

"It's all about stickin it to the man!"
It's a long way to the top if you want to rock n roll!


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(@gnease)
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Joined: 18 years ago
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I agree on the release, but do not follow why putty would have "no resistance." nearly constant resistance is not no resistance. in any case, I wonder if range of motion is important for hand strength training. it def is a must for therapy. anyone know?

fwiw, I don't do hand exercises. I just play the guitar. that seems to work fine, as I can manage barring and fairly good bending on a medium gauge acoustic with few problems (where acoustic mediums are 13s).

-=tension & release=-


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(@dogbite)
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Joined: 17 years ago
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the dog won't let go of the tennis ball.

interesting point about tension on release. range of motion and strength. good things.

one gets plenty iof exercise playing guitar. it is when one is injured and has to get back to being able to grip a guitar neck, form a barre chord and hold it.
when I first got back to holding a guitar and playing chords I found I could only play anf barre for minutes.
the simplest thing, like holding a picture on a wall to determine the right height for hanging, for instance, had my arms aching in seconds. months later I could hold things for minutes. now it is better, but that's after months of therapy.

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandID=644552
http://www.soundclick.com/couleerockinvaders


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 cnev
(@cnev)
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Lost another post but gnease I guess I don't know what kind of putty you are talking about the putty I'm thinking of, Playdo, plumber's putty or even craft putty doesn't rebound when it's compressed it just squishes in other directions so how would that provide any resistance on the release.

Anyway I'm like you I don't exercise my hand at all and I would think that unless you are either injured or have very weak hands you shouldn't have to do this, regular playing should strengthen them enough.

I think the problem is more likely as a beginner they have a death grip on the guitar which causes tension which then fatigues the hands and arm quickly which beginners mistake as weak fingers but it's more incorrect pressure.

The reason I mentioned the tennis ball is that I figured there was a better chance someone would have a tennis ball laying around that they would some special "putty" or even the relaxation balls. Plus I doubt if there was an scietific research done to compare the use of a tennis ball vs "putty" that found putty to be far superior.

"It's all about stickin it to the man!"
It's a long way to the top if you want to rock n roll!


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(@gnease)
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Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 5058
 

Chris -- same putty; and I agreed with you on the release part (see above). but putty works on a viscous principle -- so you have to squeeze it and keep changing its shape to exercise with it. it's like a shock absorber (with no integral spring): static (like isometric) pressure is not possible -- which I believe is your point. force can only be created through the dynamics of changing its shape. both static and dynamic exercises are possible with the tennis ball -- but it's a completely different experience with a reciprocal (elastic), but limited range of motion. each probably has its own application -- I don't see them as equivalent exercises.

oh yeah, and those relaxation balls ... actually filled with sand.

-=tension & release=-


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(@tinsmith)
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Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 830
 

I have a ball my wife gave me. It feels like I'm squishin' gummy bears.
Would that do it?


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(@ballybiker)
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Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 494
 

just to chip in.....disregarding the therapy side of things (injuries)....i'd say this....

if you want to run a marathon, all the gym work in the world would do nothing for you,neither would swimming a mile everyday :? .....

point is.....

best excersise for guitar playing IS.......PLAYING 8)

surely over development of muscles/tendons could hinder your playing ability?

what did the drummer get on his I.Q. test?....

Drool

http://www.myspace.com/ballybiker


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(@ricochet)
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Joined: 19 years ago
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In many fields of athletic endeavor, athletes use activities other than their principal sport as part of their training.

"A cheerful heart is good medicine."


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