If you are a performer of any kind, I urge you to pay attention to your hands. Scratch that — I want everyone to pay attention to your hands. If you’re anything like me, your hands don’t always feel amazing. As I’ve gotten older, sometimes mine are a little stiff and I can’t open jars as well as I once could. Yet still, they allow me to accomplish everything I want to do. My hands (fingers) are typing this blog, allowing me to express myself. I brush my teeth with them and drive my car, make my breakfast and put food in my mouth…
Yet, when our hands hurt, are uncomfortable, or we don’t know what do do with them, we curse them. No more cursing — give them love people! Stretch and massage them gently and thank them for all that they do.
Bad Hands Ruin Any Performance
If you play an instrument like piano, saxophone, guitar, accordion, flute, you need to use your hands constantly, requiring incredible finger dexterity, so of the need for “hand attention” is obvious. However, I can’t tell you how many singers and actors could use some help with their hands. They may not express themselves fully using their hands because they aren’t fully comfortable with them. Hands can become dead weights at the ends of their arms and their gestures can look stiff and unnatural.
Love Your Hands
Make friends with your hands so that your wrists, hands and fingers become more supple, natural, graceful. Let them flow naturally from the ends of your arms and assist in your expression. The best way to do this is to use your hands by stretching, exercising and yes — loving them!
I’ve provided a video below of a few exercises I like to do to stretch, relax and rejuvenate my hands.
Start slow — don’t overdo at the beginning because if you aren’t used to working with your hands, your muscles will get tired and you can strain them just like any other part of your body. Once you’ve gotten comfortable, though, go beyond what I’ve done here. Play with your hands. Try crossing one finger over another and then try going in the opposite direction. Have you tried “Trekkie” hands recently? It’s not as easy for me as it was when I was in middle school. If you get creative, the possibilities are endless!
WebMD also provides another set of hand exercises here if you’d like to investigate further.