The Best Exercise Equipment for Hand Arthritis of 2022

The GRM Hand Grip Strengthener is our favorite hand exerciser

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Whether you're experiencing arthritis or stiffness, the best thing you can do is to move your hands, says Lisa Folden, PT, licensed physical therapist and owner of Healthy Pit Physical Therapy & Wellness Consultants in Charlotte, North Carolina. One way to increase mobility and strength is by using exercise equipment for hand arthritis.

Reviewed & Approved

GRM's Hand Grip Strengthener allows you up to 132 pounds in resistance. We also recommend Pnrkter's Hand Grip Strengthener if you have hand arthritis and are looking for a budget-friendly option.

We spent hours scouring the internet to find the best exercise equipment for arthritis, evaluating materials, weight limitations, price, ease of use, and ergonomics. Our top picks include forearm grips with customizable weight resistance, a silicone finger stretcher, and a stress ball you can use anywhere. 

Here is the best exercise equipment for arthritis.

Best Overall

GRM Hand Grip Strengthener

4.8
GRM Hand Grip Strengthener

 Courtesy of Amazon

What do buyers say? 87% of 4,400+ Amazon reviewers rated this product 4 stars or above.

We chose this GRM kit as our top pick because it can be used to perform daily exercises and helps support joint health in people with hand injuries, arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, tendonitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, tennis elbow, and more. It comes with an adjustable grip strength trainer that allows for up to 132 pounds in resistance and has an intelligent counting grip, a finger exerciser, a hand grip resistance ring, finger exerciser, stress relief grip ball, and a finger grip stretcher. Everything you need to zoom focus on your grip is in this kit. 

Price at time of publication: $18

Best Budget

Pnrskter Hand Grip Strengthener

Pnrskter Hand Grip Strengthener

Amazon

This combo of hand grips and finger strengtheners is ideal for anyone suffering from hand arthritis and looking to tone and strengthen muscles around the hand. People have a tendency to overuse their gripping muscle while neglecting their expanding muscles. The finger strengthener allows you to open those muscles by concentrating stretching the fingers. On the other end, the hand grip comes in three resistance levels to accommodate the current strength of your hand. Both equipment tools are easy to clean with just some soaps and water, and are ready to use regularly.

Price at time of publication: $14

Best Ball

Serenilite Hand Therapy Stress Ball

Serenilite Hand Therapy Stress Ball

Amazon

This high quality therapy ball is known to hold well under pressure and commonly used in hand and dexterity therapy. Made from non-stick fabric with a tear-resistant gel core, it fits comfortably in your hand when working to reduce arthritis symptoms. It also doesn’t hurt that it puts in double the work by helping to relieve any physical or mental stress in the body. At 2.25 in x 5.1 cm, Serenilite’s stress ball is perfect for accompanying you anywhere you go, whether that’s to work or to physical therapy.

Price at time of publication: $12

Best Putty

Vive Therapy Putty 4 Pack

Vive Therapy Putty 4 Pack

Amazon

Therapy putty allows your inner child to play while also forcing you to use your hands full range of motion. Dr. Folden uses therapy putty with patients by having them “dig into the putty to work on their finger extensions or bare dexterity and making them find things like beads, pebbles, or pennies.” Vive Therapy Putty is color-coded by level of resistance, which ranges from soft to firm, so that people can gradually increase their hand and grip strength based on what they feel they can handle that day. 

The putty comes in four, three-ounce containers and is odorless, non-toxic, latex free. This silicone-based putty will last without graining, so stretch, squeeze, and poke it all you want. Your hands will thank you later.

Price at time of publication: $20 

Best for Thumb

FlexEx Sport Patented Hand Exerciser

FlexEx Sport Patented Hand Exerciser

Amazon

Think of this FlexEx Hand Exerciser as a glorified rubber band of sorts. It’s nothing too fancy, but like regular rubber bands, it proves to be an essential asset in therapy. Pain in finger joints is a common symptom of arthritis and can make it hard to grip objects, especially small ones. Exercises that incorporate rubber bands help work on finger extensions and hand strength by utilizing all the muscles in the forearm and upper arm, explains Dr. Folden. 

Price at time of publication: $10

Best for Wrist Strength

Peradix Hand Grip Strength Trainer

Peradix Hand Grip Strength Trainer

Amazon

Although the Peradix Hand Grip Strength Trainer is still a type of stress ball, its ergonomic design helps to fit it perfectly to your hand and more effectively train all your fingers. The shape of these colorful trainers, which coordinate with resistance progression from 15kg to 25kg to 30kg, allow to more easily isolate areas of your hand and give more attention to your wrist. 

Price at time of publication: $17

Final Verdict

The GRM Hand Grip Strengthener Counting Forearm Trainer Workout Kit is the best way to get all the essential exercise tools for hand arthritis you need all in one at a great price. For a fun twist on arthritis therapy, Vive Therapy Putty will let your inner child play while still effectively working those hand muscles.

What to Look for In Exercise Equipment for Hand Arthritis

Comfort

Struggling with arthritis is uncomfortable enough, there’s no need to add more discomfort to the situation by buying exercise equipment without proper cushioning. Whether it’s a hand grip exerciser or stress ball, make sure ease of comfort is one of its top descriptors. 

Travel

One of the best things about hand exercisers for arthritis is that they’re created with casual activity in mind, meaning you can utilize them while working at your desk or sitting in the passenger seat on a road trip. That’s why you want to make sure your equipment can easily fit into your purse or backpack, to go wherever you go.

Resistance level

Choose the equipment that works with your current physical ability. Several hand exercisers have the ability to adjust the resistance or may come in multiples of various strengths. This gives you the ability to start slow with a less intense workout and increase resistance over time.

Target area and goals

The equipment should match the area you wish to work on such as the wrist, fingers, or both. It should also align with your goals, which might include increased muscle tone, grip strength, fine motor skills, or a combination of these. Equipment that resembles a rubber band is helpful for stretching fingers, while you may want something to squeeze for grip strength. Molding therapy putty can help with dexterity or picking up small objects.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How often should I use a hand exerciser for arthritis?

    Hand exercises can be done for a few minutes daily. However, the frequency of exercise depends on the type of arthritis, inflammation, joint stability, and physical limitations. Start out slow and with low resistance. If it starts to hurt, stop for the day and consider decreasing the intensity or number of repetitions per workout. Talk to a healthcare provider before starting a hand exercise routine to ensure it’s safe for you.

  • How can I relieve arthritis hand pain?

    One of the best natural remedies for helping with arthritis pain and stiffness is stretching and exercising your hands. A warm bath or shower may help relax stiff joints, while cold therapy may be helpful for inflammation. You can also try over-the-counter (OTC) nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) or pain relief creams. If pain persists, talk with your healthcare provider about the possibility of prescription medications or surgical treatment.

  • How do I know if I have arthritis in my hands and wrist?

    The most common type of arthritis, osteoarthritis, may affect the wrist, base of the thumb, finger joints closest to the fingernail, and the middle joints of the finger. The most common symptoms include pain, stiffness, swelling, or numbness. Typically, the pain comes and goes and is worse in the morning. As it progresses, pain may be more constant or sharp and wake you up at night.

    Rheumatoid arthritis tends to affect both hands at once, beginning with stiffness and progressing to pain and tenderness. It more often affects the middle joints in the finger and the joints where the fingers meet the hand. Other joints, such as the knees, elbows, or ankles, may also be painful.

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6 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Physical Activity for Arthritis.

  2. American Society for Surgery of the Hand. Hand Therapy.

  3. Stoffer-Marx M, Klinger M, Luschin S, et al. Functional consultation and exercises improve grip strength in osteoarthritis of the hand - a randomised controlled trial. Arthritis Res Ther. 2018;20(1):253. doi:10.1186/s13075-018-1747-0.

  4. Hennig T, Hæhre L, Hornburg V, Mowinckel P, Norli E, Kjeken I. Effect of home-based hand exercises in women with hand osteoarthritis: A randomised controlled trial. Ann Rheum Dis. 2014;74(8):1501-1508. doi:10.1136/annrheumdis-2013-204808

  5. Arthritis Foundation. Osteoarthritis of the hands.

  6. Johns Hopkins. Rheumatoid arthritis symptoms.

Additional Reading
  • The Importance of Grip Strength. APECS. Jason Shea.