Fixing the Flip Side of Grip Strength Issues: Tight Extensors
This is part two to last month’s post on Un-Clawing Your Paw and Other Impediments to Grip Strength. I’m back with another video from my colleague Lillee Chandra who is now helping us to take a look at the flip side of this issue: the extensors of the forearm.
Movement (or Lack Thereof) in the Modern World
Before we get to the video - you may have noticed from my articles here that one of my primary preoccupations is with how everything we do outside of our training life affects what happens in training. There is no magic bento box of movement that allows us to separate what we do all day from what we do in the box, the gym, or on the trail.
Add to that the fact that culturally we are living in a time where the movements we make most of the day (in our case sitting, typing, texting, and watching a variety of screens) are causing us to not be molded particularly well. By “molded” I mean how we come to be in all ways, but especially muscularly, fascially, neurologically, and cardiovascularly. The frequency of these restricted movements set up patterns that make it challenging to move with integrity.
How to Fix Your Typing Claw
So today I come back to one of my all time faves: how typing affects us. Our daily lives used to rely on frequent full-body movements. Now they rely more and more on stasis through most of the body while our fingers move really, really fast. Considering what human bodies have been up to for hundreds of thousands of years, it’s a weird thing to do.
In part one of this series we covered how to resolve the “claw” shape that our hands make as a result of this. But as Lillee points out in today’s video, the extensors are also doing a bunch of work to hold the hands up into the typing configuration.
If your main concern is grip strength, then for the sake of balance (balance being one of the main places where strength comes from) you will want to get to both sides of the issue and try out this extensor stretch. Do not be deceived! It’s more intense than it looks.
Be sure to use what Lillee describes as the skin lock, and gently pull the skin of the hand forward towards the knuckles as you do the stretch (it’s almost as if you are trying to take off a glove). This is also handy, of course, for all you keyboard warriors out there.
Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.