Exercise balls for the hands

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Ramon Amira
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Exercise balls for the hands

Post by Ramon Amira » Sun Jan 14, 2018 8:20 pm

Last night I watched the movie "The Caine Mutiny" starring Humphrey Bogart, who plays Captain Queeg, the commander of a U.S. Navy ship during World War Two. He is suffering mental problems brought on by battle fatigue, and he has lots of little quirks, one of which is taking two large steel balls and twirling them back and forth in his palm with his fingers.

Watching it, it seemed like it might be a good exercise for the hands and fingers, and maybe for relaxation as well. Does anyone have any thoughts on this?

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Re: Exercise balls for the hands

Post by ddray » Sun Jan 14, 2018 9:53 pm

Baoding balls. The Chinese have used them for centuries.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baoding_balls
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Re: Exercise balls for the hands

Post by Ramon Amira » Sun Jan 14, 2018 10:39 pm

Thank you! It seemed like a good idea, but I never imagined it was such an ancient practice. Researching baoding balls, it's a jungle, and hard to choose the right ones. I had thought that they were small, like big marbles or something, but now I see they go up to two inches. I'm not sure what size to get. I'm thinking one and a half would be about right - my hands are not small, not big.

The weight and material is another varying factor. I definitely want solid stainless steel. I found one set of just that - inch and a half, solid stainless steel - about $20. But there is ever a caveat. Some reviewers said that some balls that are billed as solid stainless steel are low quality and can peel, rust, etc. And the set I'm looking at says they weigh One pound. Each? That strikes me as mighty heavy, but if that's what is commonly used to have a therapeutic effect, then I guess that's what I'll get.

The set I'm looking at is made by TOP CHI and is on Amazon.

Anyone have any thoughts on any of the above, or does anyone have any actual experience with these.

Ramon
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Re: Exercise balls for the hands

Post by ddray » Sun Jan 14, 2018 10:46 pm

I've never used them, but I would imagine that maybe 1- or 2-inch steel ball bearings might be easier. Edit..make that 1 or 1 1/2 inch lol...2 inches is still kinda big.
Bei einer andächtigen Musik ist allezeit Gott mit seiner Gnaden Gegenwart.
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lagartija
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Re: Exercise balls for the hands

Post by lagartija » Mon Jan 15, 2018 12:04 am

Yes! I have used them. When I was 42, I broke the radius of my left arm right near the wrist joint. As part of my therapy to rehabilitate my wrist after having a cast on for eight weeks, I used the baoding balls. Mine are 1 and 3/4” in diameter. They have chimes inside. :-)
My hands are relatively small, but flexible.
The way they are used is to roll them clockwise and then later, counterclockwise. Just like arpeggios, one way will be easier than the other.
When you get really good at it, rotate them around *without letting them touch each other*, using your fingers, thumb and palm to keep them apart as you rotate them.
Start with a soft surface under your hand so they have something soft to hit when you drop them.
;-)
I dropped them a lot in the first week or so, but got quite good at rotating them in both directions without letting them touch. Obviously, the larger the balls the more of a workout it will be. Although my hands are small, I can play a 650 scale guitar because my hands are flexible. Nevertheless, I now play a 640 because I can play better music if I am not stretched to my max. So if you play a 640, you should be able to use the 1-3/4” balls.
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Re: Exercise balls for the hands

Post by Ramon Amira » Mon Jan 15, 2018 4:23 am

lagartija wrote:
Mon Jan 15, 2018 12:04 am
Yes! I have used them. When I was 42, I broke the radius of my left arm right near the wrist joint. As part of my therapy to rehabilitate my wrist after having a cast on for eight weeks, I used the baoding balls. Mine are 1 and 3/4” in diameter. They have chimes inside. :-)
My hands are relatively small, but flexible.
The way they are used is to roll them clockwise and then later, counterclockwise. Just like arpeggios, one way will be easier than the other.
When you get really good at it, rotate them around *without letting them touch each other*, using your fingers, thumb and palm to keep them apart as you rotate them.
Start with a soft surface under your hand so they have something soft to hit when you drop them.
;-)
I dropped them a lot in the first week or so, but got quite good at rotating them in both directions without letting them touch. Obviously, the larger the balls the more of a workout it will be. Although my hands are small, I can play a 650 scale guitar because my hands are flexible. Nevertheless, I now play a 640 because I can play better music if I am not stretched to my max. So if you play a 640, you should be able to use the 1-3/4” balls.
Thanks.

1) Did you feel that they helped your hands?

2) Does one pound seem heavy for one inch and a half ball?

3) I've always played a 650. Is there any good reason why I shouldn't use inch and a half?

Thanks -
Ramon
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HNLim
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Re: Exercise balls for the hands

Post by HNLim » Mon Jan 15, 2018 5:05 am

I have a set. It is actually hollow inside with some kind of springing thing inside.

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Re: Exercise balls for the hands

Post by SteveL123 » Mon Jan 15, 2018 5:08 pm

Ramon Amira wrote:
Mon Jan 15, 2018 4:23 am
lagartija wrote:
Mon Jan 15, 2018 12:04 am
Yes! I have used them. When I was 42, I broke the radius of my left arm right near the wrist joint. As part of my therapy to rehabilitate my wrist after having a cast on for eight weeks, I used the baoding balls. Mine are 1 and 3/4” in diameter. They have chimes inside. :-)
My hands are relatively small, but flexible.
The way they are used is to roll them clockwise and then later, counterclockwise. Just like arpeggios, one way will be easier than the other.
When you get really good at it, rotate them around *without letting them touch each other*, using your fingers, thumb and palm to keep them apart as you rotate them.
Start with a soft surface under your hand so they have something soft to hit when you drop them.
;-)
I dropped them a lot in the first week or so, but got quite good at rotating them in both directions without letting them touch. Obviously, the larger the balls the more of a workout it will be. Although my hands are small, I can play a 650 scale guitar because my hands are flexible. Nevertheless, I now play a 640 because I can play better music if I am not stretched to my max. So if you play a 640, you should be able to use the 1-3/4” balls.
Thanks.

1) Did you feel that they helped your hands?

2) Does one pound seem heavy for one inch and a half ball?

3) I've always played a 650. Is there any good reason why I shouldn't use inch and a half?

Thanks -
Ramon
I have a set of them that is not solid but hollow with chimes inside that rings when they hit each other. Don't remember the size of them and I can't find them at the moment but 1.5" sounds about right. They are are good exercise for the fingers to relax them and give them dexterity. I used them when I was heavy into technical rock climbing for 10 years where I have to pull much of my body weight on tiny fingertip hand holds so the fingers really get sore. I should dig them out and use them since I think they'll help with CG.

Regarding 1 lb for a 1.5" ball, it does not add up. I haven't done this k ind of math in a while so please check.

Volume of a sphere = (4/3) x Pi x R x R x R

If you work it out, a solid 1.5" dia. stainless sphere (density 7.7 grams/ cubic cm) the weight is 0.49 lbs

If it was a solid 1.5" dia. lead sphere (density 11.34 grams /cubic cm), the weight is 0.72 lbs.

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Re: Exercise balls for the hands

Post by lagartija » Mon Jan 15, 2018 7:55 pm

Ramon Amira wrote:
Mon Jan 15, 2018 4:23 am
lagartija wrote:
Mon Jan 15, 2018 12:04 am
Yes! I have used them. When I was 42, I broke the radius of my left arm right near the wrist joint. As part of my therapy to rehabilitate my wrist after having a cast on for eight weeks, I used the baoding balls. Mine are 1 and 3/4” in diameter. They have chimes inside. :-)
My hands are relatively small, but flexible.
The way they are used is to roll them clockwise and then later, counterclockwise. Just like arpeggios, one way will be easier than the other.
When you get really good at it, rotate them around *without letting them touch each other*, using your fingers, thumb and palm to keep them apart as you rotate them.
Start with a soft surface under your hand so they have something soft to hit when you drop them.
;-)
I dropped them a lot in the first week or so, but got quite good at rotating them in both directions without letting them touch. Obviously, the larger the balls the more of a workout it will be. Although my hands are small, I can play a 650 scale guitar because my hands are flexible. Nevertheless, I now play a 640 because I can play better music if I am not stretched to my max. So if you play a 640, you should be able to use the 1-3/4” balls.
Thanks.

1) Did you feel that they helped your hands?

2) Does one pound seem heavy for one inch and a half ball?

3) I've always played a 650. Is there any good reason why I shouldn't use inch and a half?

Thanks -
Ramon
1) Absolutely! I was able to totally recover from the injury.

2) The two balls together *along with* their wooden storage box weigh 15 7/8 oz.

3). No good reason you shouldn't use the inch and a half size. I was able to handle that and I have small hands.
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__/^^^^^o>
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Re: Exercise balls for the hands

Post by David Gutowski » Fri Jan 19, 2018 5:35 am

lagartija wrote:
Mon Jan 15, 2018 7:55 pm
Ramon Amira wrote:
Mon Jan 15, 2018 4:23 am
lagartija wrote:
Mon Jan 15, 2018 12:04 am
Yes! I have used them. When I was 42, I broke the radius of my left arm right near the wrist joint. As part of my therapy to rehabilitate my wrist after having a cast on for eight weeks, I used the baoding balls. Mine are 1 and 3/4” in diameter. They have chimes inside. :-)
My hands are relatively small, but flexible.
The way they are used is to roll them clockwise and then later, counterclockwise. Just like arpeggios, one way will be easier than the other.
When you get really good at it, rotate them around *without letting them touch each other*, using your fingers, thumb and palm to keep them apart as you rotate them.
Start with a soft surface under your hand so they have something soft to hit when you drop them.
;-)
I dropped them a lot in the first week or so, but got quite good at rotating them in both directions without letting them touch. Obviously, the larger the balls the more of a workout it will be. Although my hands are small, I can play a 650 scale guitar because my hands are flexible. Nevertheless, I now play a 640 because I can play better music if I am not stretched to my max. So if you play a 640, you should be able to use the 1-3/4” balls.
Thanks.

1) Did you feel that they helped your hands?

2) Does one pound seem heavy for one inch and a half ball?

3) I've always played a 650. Is there any good reason why I shouldn't use inch and a half?

Thanks -
Ramon
1) Absolutely! I was able to totally recover from the injury.

2) The two balls together *along with* their wooden storage box weigh 15 7/8 oz.

3). No good reason you shouldn't use the inch and a half size. I was able to handle that and I have small hands.
Thanks for the info. I'm ordering a pair for hand strengthening.
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Re: Exercise balls for the hands

Post by lagartija » Sat Jan 20, 2018 1:56 pm

I would say that they will increase dexterity and finger independence. If that is how you are defining strength, then they will help. They are not intended to increase grip strength like squeezing flexible rubber balls, but in the process of increasing flexibility and control of individual digits, it does lead to better hand function.
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Re: Exercise balls for the hands

Post by Mike Steede » Sat Jan 20, 2018 4:36 pm

lagartija wrote:
Sat Jan 20, 2018 1:56 pm
I would say that they will increase dexterity and finger independence. If that is how you are defining strength, then they will help. They are not intended to increase grip strength like squeezing flexible rubber balls, but in the process of increasing flexibility and control of individual digits, it does lead to better hand function.
Is there any academic research available on this subject?
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Re: Exercise balls for the hands

Post by lagartija » Sat Jan 20, 2018 7:10 pm

Mike Steede wrote:
Sat Jan 20, 2018 4:36 pm
lagartija wrote:
Sat Jan 20, 2018 1:56 pm
I would say that they will increase dexterity and finger independence. If that is how you are defining strength, then they will help. They are not intended to increase grip strength like squeezing flexible rubber balls, but in the process of increasing flexibility and control of individual digits, it does lead to better hand function.
Is there any academic research available on this subject?
I have not looked it up. This is based on my own experience with them. A hand specialist doctor recommended I use them after the cast was removed from my arm in order to regain as much mobility and strength as possible.
I made a full recovery...and have better hand function than before I broke my arm. Obviously, your mileage may vary.
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__/^^^^^o>
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Re: Exercise balls for the hands

Post by David Gutowski » Tue Jan 30, 2018 6:38 am

Ramon Amira wrote:
Sun Jan 14, 2018 10:39 pm
Thank you! It seemed like a good idea, but I never imagined it was such an ancient practice. Researching baoding balls, it's a jungle, and hard to choose the right ones. I had thought that they were small, like big marbles or something, but now I see they go up to two inches. I'm not sure what size to get. I'm thinking one and a half would be about right - my hands are not small, not big.

The weight and material is another varying factor. I definitely want solid stainless steel. I found one set of just that - inch and a half, solid stainless steel - about $20. But there is ever a caveat. Some reviewers said that some balls that are billed as solid stainless steel are low quality and can peel, rust, etc. And the set I'm looking at says they weigh One pound. Each? That strikes me as mighty heavy, but if that's what is commonly used to have a therapeutic effect, then I guess that's what I'll get.

The set I'm looking at is made by TOP CHI and is on Amazon.

Anyone have any thoughts on any of the above, or does anyone have any actual experience with these.

Ramon
I bought the TOP CHI set and very pleased. They are heavy and fit great in the hand...been using for a few days and can feel a difference in dexterity and flexibility...hands get a little tired but like they say pain is gain-or something like that...thanks for the heads up.
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Muse: chg pitch measure rhym feel tempo improvise melody harmonize arpeggios stucco your legato & practice

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Re: Exercise balls for the hands

Post by chrisphattingh » Fri Feb 02, 2018 7:23 am

I want to play Requardos again; in the second section that full barre on the second fret and the 4th finger on the A and the 3rd finger on the F# is really hard for me now. Will this exercise help or must I rather use the rubber balls.

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