How to improve finger speed

Updated April 17, 2017

Finger speed is important for a number of tasks. You may want to improve finger speed to improve guitar, piano or other instrumental skills, become a faster typist or a quicker knitter. Finger speed is correlated with finger strength; therefore, to improve finger speed, you have to increase finger strength. There are various exercises that will improve finger strength, as well as various methods to preserve finger strength and prevent joint disorders that will decrease strength and speed.

Do finger exercises regularly. There are various finger exercises that can help to improve strength, and therefore, increase dexterity and nimbleness. For instance, do finger lifts and finger spread exercises. Simply lay your palm down on a flat surface, such as a table. Lift fingers one at a time, leaving all four other fingers on the table. Lift the finger as high as you can and return it to the table. Do this four to five times. Then spread the fingers by stretching them as far apart as possible, creating as much space between the fingers as you can. Close hand and repeat this exercise four to five times. Another exercise involves picking up a piece of paper or newspaper and crumpling it between the fingers, trying not to use the palm of the hand. For an additional exercise, make an "O" by touching the thumb to each of the other four fingers one at a time.

Stretch and warm the hands and fingers before activities that require finger speed. Fingers, like other parts of the body, rest when not in use. To arouse the fingers and increase blood flow to them, stretch the fingers and move your hands around. Do this immediately before performing a task involving the fingers and throughout the day when fingers have swollen from inactivity. Keep fingers warm to prevent numbness.

Avoid unnecessary stress and strain on the fingers, which can lead to arthritis or other joint problems which will impair finger speed and dexterity. For instance, avoid pressure on the lateral (palm) side of the fingers. Do not rest your chin on the lateral side of the hand or use your fingers to push off of a chair when you arise. This kind of pressure on the fingers encourages ulnar deviation (joint deviation of the fingers around the knuckles,) which can lead to deformity and negatively impact the function and speed of the fingers.

Avoid gripping objects too tightly or grasping heavy objects with the fingers. For instance, do not carry heavy grocery bags, baskets or other handled items in the fingers. This activity is not only painful, it can also dislocate the joints or cause them to shift in an unnoticeable way over time. Joint dislocation is irreversible, and it will interfere with the speed and dexterity of the fingers.

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About the Author

Audrey Farley began writing professionally in 2007. She has been featured in various issues of "The Mountain Echo" and "The Messenger." Farley has a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Richmond and a Master of Arts in English literature from Virginia Commonwealth University. She teaches English composition at a community college.