For some, gaming is more than just a hobby, but rather a profession.
If you’ve been into gaming for a while now, you must be familiar with eSports already.
Yep, gaming can actually be taken seriously.
That’s a huge amount of money, but it’s understandable because eSports has a big following.
The problem with pursuing a career as a professional Gamer is you have to be ready with the consequences.
Not only do you have to spend hours upon hours practicing in front of your PC, but you should also be prepared for injuries the strenuous activities might cause.
That’s why maintaining a healthy gaming lifestyle is a must for Pro Gamers and Esports Players.
While gaming doesn’t look like something that burns a lot of energy, it has a major impact on the hands.
Being a gamer isn’t different from being a copywriter in the sense that you rely on your hands.
The difference is with gaming, the thrill and excitement can make you move your hands and fingers uncontrollably.
This can lead to strain and injuries. Hand injuries manifest as a range of symptoms, such as swelling, weakness, tingling, and pain.
If you start noticing any of these symptoms, then the body is asking you to stop overworking your hands. Stop right away and take a break.
Another good way to prevent an injury is by doing a warm-up before playing.
Just like how you need stretching before working out, gaming needs it, too. Here’s how to warm up hands for gaming.
So, How to warm up hands for gaming?
1. Finger flexion
In this exercise, you have to open both hands. Make sure all the fingers stretch outwards. They should be fully extended until you can feel the muscles in the hands feel stretched.
After that, create a circle by tapping the tip of your thumb and tip of the index finger.
At the same time, the other fingers should remain in their original position.
Wait for like 30 seconds, and then you can continue with the middle, ring, and pinky fingers.
Basically, try to create circles out of these fingers and the thumb. Stretch it long enough before you proceed with the next finger.
This can be repeated 2 or 3 times. Once you’re done, move onto the next exercise.
This second exercise is quite similar except you have to keep the fingers straight instead of creating a circle. Start with the index finger and the thumb.
Tap the tips of both fingers and keep them in a straight position. Wait until they flex enough, and then you can separate them.
While doing this, the other fingers need to stretch outwards or against the direction of the thumb-index finger pair.
This way, you can feel the tension in the muscles. Repeat the same exercise for the rest of the fingers. You can perform it for 2 or 3 sets.
2. Finger abduction
This is another warm-up routine you should try. First of all, open up your hand with all fingers extended but kept close together.
And then, slowly separate the fingers from each other.
Spread them apart as far as possible until you feel the stretch. Wait for 10 seconds or so, once they’re stretched out enough, bring them back to the original position.
Do it for 2 or 3 sets. And then, try to abduct the thumb from the finger lineup.
Basically, all the other fingers should be kept close, but the thumb should be pulled slightly until the muscles in the area stretch.
You can return it to the starting position once you’re done.
The next exercise starts with both hands open with fingers extended and close together. Press the palms into each other.
And then, slowly lift the thumbs, move them outwards or in opposite directions.
Move as far as you can until there’s a stretch, but remember to keep other fingers relaxed.
They shouldn’t move as you move the thumbs. Bring back the thumbs and repeat the same exercise with other fingers.
3. Wrist flexion
The fingers aren’t the only part that needs exercise prior to a long gaming session.
The wrists will also be under so much pressure throughout the gameplay. For this reason, don’t forget to exercise the wrists before you finish the warm up.
In this exercise, you should open the hand, either left or right with the palm facing upwards.
The fingers need to be separated as you perform this.
Now when everything is in the correct position, bend the wrist upwards gradually. This will take the palm closer to the forearm.
Wait for a few seconds until you feel some tension in the wrist. And then, return it to the original position and move it downwards.
This will also take it closer to the forearm, but the opposite side of it. You can perform this exercise with both hands together.
Another type of wrist exercise you can try is moving it in a circular motion. All you have to do is open the hand and extend the fingers.
After that, move it in a clockwise direction for about 10 reps and repeat with a counter-clockwise movement.
Do the same thing with the other hand.
Final Thoughts on Hand Exercises for Gamers
Playing nonstop can wreak havoc on your muscles, tendons, and joints. There’s none stopping you to play favorite games, but you should know when to stop.
When pain and swelling start to appear, the body is actually trying to warn you that trauma has occurred. It’s a sign that your hand has been overworked.
Even if you’re a professional gamer, it doesn’t give you an excuse to not keep an eye on your hands. Everyone who uses their hands vigorously is at risk of injury.
Rapid clicks and hitting buttons with a lot of force are unhealthy especially when done repetitively.
Your hand can only tolerate so much until it gives in and becomes inflamed. When this happens, rest is your best option.
Give time for the damaged tissues to recover.
Putting more pressure will only create more problems and slow down the healing process.
So it doesn’t happen again in the future, learn how to warm up hands for gaming.