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Pencil Grip Exercises

by Denise Stern

About Denise Stern

Denise Stern is an experienced freelance writer and editor. She has written professionally for more than seven years. Stern regularly provides content for health-related and elder-care websites and has an associate and specialized business degree in health information management and technology.



Pencil grip exercises are not only useful for teaching small children how to hold writing utensils, but may also be used by therapists and laymen for strengthening and coordination following any type of injury, surgery, stroke or trauma to the hand. Pencil grip exercises help improve strength and dexterity, control and sensory input, according to TeachingExpertise.com. A few simple exercises performed on a daily basis will help improve your pencil grip so that you can learn or continue to write in your daily life.

Gripping Objects

Try to engage in activities that encourage a grasping motion of the hand, suggests TeachingExpertise.com. Such activities might include using a spray bottle or squirt gun for fun and exercise. You can spray water on your houseplants or your mirrors or go outside in warm weather armed with water bottles for squirting fun and exercise that strengthens all the muscles used for gripping.

Picking Up Objects

Using a tweezers, try picking up pieces of thread, buttons or coins to help improve dexterity and gripping with the thumb and index finger. You can also use your fingernails or the tips of your fingers to grasp small objects, suggests TeachingExpertise.com.

Therapy Putty

Purchase some therapy putty from your local health supply store. You can substitute dough or clay if you wish. Use your fingers to manipulate the putty, dough or clay and roll it into balls to help improve the dexterity and strength needed to grip a pencil. Try rolling the therapy putty in the palm of your hand using only your fingers, suggests the Illinois Neurological Institute. Squeeze the putty between your thumb and index fingers to increase the strength and pinching movements required to grip a pencil.

Thumb Strengthener

Using a therapy putty, clay or dough, roll a ball into the palm of your left hand. Allow the ball of putty to rest closer to the thumb side of the hand than the other. Curl your thumb over the ball and press down as hard as you can, suggests the Illinois Neurological Institute. Try to make a large dent in the putty. This exercise will help strengthen the thumb joint for greater control of writing utensils. Repeat this exercise several times, rolling the putty into a ball before repeating.

Finger Spread

Using a ball of therapy putty or other dough or clay, roll the putty into a round, flat shape, much like a small pancake, suggests the Illinois Neurological Institute. Place the pads of your fingers in the middle of the disc you just made and then spread your fingers outward as hard and as fast as you can. This exercise will help strengthen the muscles of the fingers as well as the back of the hand simultaneously, offering greater control and direction when gripping a pencil.

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This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.