A lot of Guitar Players have asked if I will do a stretching routine for them, so here are some hand and finger stretches and exercises for guitarists. These will help loosen up your hands and fingers before you play.
First, you will massage your palm area, especially the thenar and hypothenar muscles. You can use your thumb on the other side and make small circular motions. You and also push down in the middle of your palm and slide down towards your fingers. This is to help get the muscles loose and warmed up.
Next, take your thumb and touch each finger in the middle of your hand, and then spread them all back apart. You can do three times back and forth.
Then you are going to do some stretching for the fingers. For finger extension, you can do this with either your elbow bent (less) or your elbow straight (more). Hold one finger up and back while you bend the other ones down. This is a pretty big stretch, so you only need to do it a few times on each finger. Then for finger flexion, when the elbow is straight, there will be less stretch, and bent is more. Now hold each finger down, and extend the other fingers.
Now you will stretch your thumb extensor muscles. Keep your arm straight out in front of you, and with your thumb facing toward the ceiling, tuck it down into your palm with your fingers over your thumb. Then push your fist downward into radial deviation until you feel a stretch on the top of your thumb. Hold that stretch for 30 seconds and do it three times, or you can do a continuous motion 15 times. You can stretch the thumb flexors by sticking your thumb up, and pulling back gently with your other hand.
Then you can stretch the webbing of your fingers by spreading your fingers apart with your other hand. You don’t have to hold these for very long because there are so many spaces to stretch.
For the last stretch, start with all your fingers close together and put a rubber band around them. Then spread them out as far as you can, just like you are fanning them out. You don’t have to do a lot of these exercises since these are small joints. 2-3 minutes, 2-3 times a day should be plenty.