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epsilon97
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I have just started learning coin sleight of hand, and I have noticed that my hands seem stiff, inflexible, and sore at times. Do you guys know of any exercises or warmups I could do to get my hands in better shape?
ottphd
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You might want to visit your local golf store and pick up a Grip Master to work the muscles in your hands. I use it all the time.
Just my thoughts!
Jim
Atom3339
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Well, as a piano instructor, I'm going to suggest---you guessed it---piano lessons!
TH

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Angel1998
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Lawrens Godon
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cablerock
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I have a lot to contribute to this. I'll chime in a bit later today or something and talk about this.
Atom3339
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Also, tension in your hand may be related to tension elsewhere. Make sure your shoulders are relaxed---many of us hold our stress there; and that your arms are not strained. A friend can help point these things out to you, as this type of strain can be unconscious and even a habit. And pamper your hands. Use hand cream, even if you haven't up 'til now. Rubbing the cream into your hands will help find any strain and massage it away. I tell my students, "If something HURTS, you're doing it WRONG."
TH

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critter
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You might try this:
http://ironmind-store.com/Strong-Hands-H....../1428-C/

And these:
http://ironmind-store.com/Expand-Your-Ha......fo/1376/
Although you can do this exercise with ordinary rubber bands, these have progressive resistence to a very strong level.
DO NOT rush it with these as it can hurt your hands to go straight for the biggest band.
What's good about these is that they can help to correct strength imbalances by working your hands in the opposite manner than they normally work.

Wrist rolls are good too, as are those metal Chinese dexterity balls.
"The fool is one who doesn't know what you have just found out."
~Will Rogers
harris
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Harris Deutsch
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If all else fails.

a. check with a physician
b. check with a physical therapist
c. check with a chiropractor.

As I get older, my hands, especially fingers react differently than they did when I started my journey of coin magic.

Trigger finger (clicking and pain) sometimes occurs when I play a stringed instrument or practice magic for a long time. Things that have worked for me include:
a. massage
b. putting water in a bowl, adding ice cubes and soaking my hands for a while.(if you let the ice cubes sit in the water, it will quickly become to cold to have your hands in for very long.
c. stretching

Harris
not a medical doctor, just a doctor of laughology
Harris Deutsch aka dr laugh
drlaugh4u@gmail.com
music, magic and marvelous toys
http://magician.org/member/drlaugh4u
MaxfieldsMagic
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My guitar teacher once advised me to submerge my hands for a few moments in a basin of warm water before picking up the guitar, followed by a good scrub. It helped to limber up the fingers a bit, plus kept the strings (or props, in respect to magic) clean and new.
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alibaba
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I, too, had a music teacher (5-string banjo) who recommended placing my hands up to the wrists in a bowl of water as hot as you can stand it for about five minutes. This technique was used by the wonderful pianist Glenn Gould before recording or performing. -Alibaba
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critter
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In one Iron Palm Gung-fu book I read, the author recommends putting your hands in cold water, and then starting a slow trickle of hot water as you swirl your hands.
I don't know about all of his esoteric arguments for it, but I am a big believer in cryotherapy.
"The fool is one who doesn't know what you have just found out."
~Will Rogers
BuddhaStephy
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As a Massage Therapist (13 years)/Piano Player (25 years)/phtogrpher/graphic designer (14 years)/ magician (6 years), I use my hands A LOT! I have also had 2 surgeries on my wrist and have learned many things to keep my hands healthy through all of this.

1) Stetch! Stretch! Stretch!
Here are a few:
Put your hands in prayer position in front of your chest, keeping your palms pressed together, slowly push your hands down towards the ground keeping your fingers pointed to the sky. Hold. Now with this same postion seperate your palms keeping your fingers pressed together and push further stretching your fingers.

Grip around your fingers of your left hand with your right hand. Straighten your left hand so that your elbow is facing the ground and your right hand ar pulling your fingers towards your body. Hold. Repeat with the other hand.

In front of your stomach put the tops of your hands together so that your wrists are touching and your fingers are pointed towrds the ground. Keeping your wrists together push your hands up toward the sky. You can also do this by placing your left plam on top of your right hand and cupping your fingers around your right. Push your hand down feeling the stretch in your wrist. Do this to the other hand.

MASSAGE:
Lotion your hands- make a fist with your left hand. Grip each finger of your right hand individually at the base of the finger between your thumb and curled first finger. Sqeeze tightly and work your way up the finger to the tip. If you feel pressure at the tip of your finger from the blood in your finger than you are doing it right.
Use your knuckles to massage and push pressure points on the plams of your hands.

CONTRASTING HYDROTHERAPY:
Take two bowls of water. One as hot as you can stand it and the other as cold as you can get it filled with water AND ice cubes.
start by submerging your hand in the hot water. Then switch to the cold. You want to go back and forth at least 8 times, starting with hot and end with cold. You want to do a ratio of 3:1. For example- 20 seconds hot to 1 minute cold or 1 minute hot to 3 minutes cold.
This will cause vasodilation and constriction. Basically, it opens and closes your blood vesslels to pump the blood in and out of your hands. This increases circulation and as a result will increase mobility, flexibility, and also will help to flush out all built up toxins in your hands that are causing tension and trigger points.

Stregnthing exercises:
Piano lessons will help, so will stress balls and rubberbands. Try massaging your wifes/girlfriends shoulders or feet every day for longer durations each day. This is the ultimate exercise... and earns you brownie points. She doesn't have to know why you are doing Smile
You can also press your thumb and your first finger together then switch to thumb and middle finger, then thumb and ring finger, etc. once you get to your pinky, go back to your ring finger and back down to where you started. Press hard and start slow. As you strengthen your fingers and increase your coordination you will get faster and more accurate with your movements. This will, like I said increase strength but also helps with your control and coordination.

I have many, many more. So, if you would like some more, let me know Smile Good luck!!!
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MaxfieldsMagic
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Great suggestions, BuddhaStephy. Sounds like you might have enough material to publish a book or an ebook on this, given your background. Was your wrist surgery related to your piano playing?
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BuddhaStephy
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Thanks. Smile When I did massage I actually specialized in sports, injury, rehab, and deep tissue. When your hands are your tools you take care of them. I also taught anatomy/physiology and massage modalitlies including classes to maintain yourself and use proper body mechanics which included hand and wrist maintenance.
My wrist surgeries were from cysts that develpoed in my wrist and 10 years later came back.
Playing the piano actually really helps with flexibility, strength, control, and circulation. I don't think I would have made it 13 years as an MT without the conditioning I had from the piano. Actually, the average career for a full time therapist that is as hard on their hands as I was in my chosen field only lasts about 5 years before they blow their thumbs out or damage their hands. I was lucky and retired with very little damage... because I took care of them very well Smile

I never really thought about how this topic could help magicians condition until this thread.
Hmmm.... I may see at least a pamphlet or an instructional video in the future on this topic.
Do you all think that this is something that would be of interest to enough magicians to be worth investing in?
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MaxfieldsMagic
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Yes, definitely.

You might want to see what's out there now, though, if you haven't already. In particular, Greg Irwin's book and DVDs have been marketed to magicians in the past:

http://www.amazon.com/Finger-Fitness-Com......018TKP7K

http://www.amazon.com/Finger-Fitness-The......05I4UZ80

http://www.functionalhandstrength.com/finger_fitness.html
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Angel1998
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Greg Irwin is one of the best Hand Therapist. You should do all exercises daily and about 2 months. You will amaze about your fingers Smile
Daniel Hatter
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I can only second that, I got his book and DVD, and been exercising for about 2 weeks. When I started I couldn't bend my little finger without bending the ring finger too. And even after this short time I see great improvement in single finger movement.

And the best part is you can do the excercises anywhere ( I do mine while on the bus, or on the bike in the gym).

Just try it, it really helps a lot more than you'd expect.

Daniel
billmarq
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Many years ago on his Magicland TV show, Mark Wilson demonstrated a couple of finger exercises. One of them was to practice crossing your fingers every way posssible, i.e. first over second, second over first, etc. With average dexterity the only one that is really difficult is crossing the little finger over the third. In my youth I was able to do these things. Stretching exercises such as described above were needed to make it happen.

If you are wondering, Mark did not reveal any secrets, just talked about magicians needing flexibilty in the hands.
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jackbp
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Daniel, did you have to do all of the moves on Greg's DVD everyday to get the significant improvement you mentioned or did you focus on just a couple of different moves each day?
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