Hand squeezer exercises build grip strength, which can make it easier to do pullups, climb ropes and perform other exercise routines that rely on hand strength. Hand strengthening exercises are only minimally taxing, though, and burn few calories. If you’re hoping to lose weight, you’ll need to find a different routine.
Calories Burned With Hand Exercises
Hand exercises don’t require much energy, which means they burn far fewer calories than aerobic exercise. Harvard Health Publications estimates that activities similar to hand exercises — such as billiards burn about 75 calories in 30 minutes for a 125-pound person. This caloric burn is not much more than you’d burn by being sedentary. For example, a 125-pound person will burn 34 calories in 30 minutes of reading.
Duration of Exercise
Although you can burn some calories with hand exercises, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to do these exercises for an extended period of time. A few moments spent strengthening your hands, then, may only burn a few calories — far fewer than the 3,500 calories you need to burn to lose a pound.
Indirect Role in Weight-Loss
Although hand strengthening exercises won’t help you lose weight, they can play an indirect role in your weight-loss goals. If your routine allows you to more effectively perform challenging routines such as pullups, you could lose some weight while gaining muscle. Likewise, if you use these exercises as part of a warm-up or cool-down, they can form one segment of a healthy workout routine.
Exercises for Losing Weight
If you want to burn more calories, focus on cardiovascular exercise. This type of exercise works your entire body, increasing the number of calories you burn. For example, a 125-pound person can burn 240 calories running at 5 mph for 30 minutes. Other excellent forms of cardio include swimming, jumping rope, riding a bicycle, and step aerobics classes. If you’re trying to lose weight in your hands, focus on cardio rather than spot-reduction, which isn’t possible.
- Harvard Health Publications: Calories Burned in 30 Minutes for People of Three Different Weights
- MayoClinic.com: Slide show — Hand Exercises for People With Arthritis