Hesperian Health Guides
Complete Range-of-Motion Exercises—Upper Limbs
Every day 20,000 people visit the HealthWiki for lifesaving health information. A gift of just $5 helps make this possible!
Make a gift to support this essential health information people depend on.
Do these exercises slowly and steadily. Never use force, as this could damage a joint.
Do one joint at a time. Hold the limb steady (stabilize it) with one hand just above the joint, and place your other hand below the joint to move the part through its full range of motion. Here we show the basic exercises only. But remember, try to do them in ways that make it fun!
|SHOULDER: arm up and down|
Raise arm straight forward, and up.
|SHOULDER: arm back and forward|
|Move arm all the way back,||and then all the way forward over the chest.|
|With elbow bent||turn the arm all the way up,||then all the way down.|
|SHOULDER: out to side|
|Raise arm straight out to side.|
|ELBOW: straighten and bend|
|Straighten the arm out from the side,||then bend the elbow to bring hand up to shoulder.|
|Holding the wrist twist the hand up,||and then twist it down (gently).|
|WRIST: up and down|
|Bend wrist back,||and then forward.|
|WRIST: side to side|
|Bend to outside.||Bend to thumb side. (It will not bend very far to thumb side. Do not force.)|
|FINGERS: close and open|
|Make a fist.||Straighten gently.|
|Spread each finger one at a time.|
|FINGERS: straighten while bent at hand|
Bend here and
|THUMB: for grasping|
|Bend thumb toward base of little finger.|
|THUMB: shut and open|
|Bend the joints of the thumb in all the way,||then open thumb all the way to the side.|
|THUMB: up and down|
|Move straightened thumb down and then up, with palm flat and fingers open.|
- Drawings are adapted from Home Program Instruction Sheets by Jaeger.