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Therapy putty grip and strengthening exercises

Therapy putty

Putty can be used to improve movement and strength of the hand, wrist and forearm. It can be formed into various shapes to complete exercises which will be tailored to you by your therapist. The putty must be used as shown. You will be provided with instructions about the number of times you need to complete each of the exercises. The putty is available in a range of colour-coded strengths which your therapists will explain to you. You will start with softer putty and work up to a stronger one, guided by your therapist.

Advice and precautions

  • Wash your hands before and after using the putty to keep it clean and maintain its strength.
  • Place the putty on a clean smooth surface when using.
  • When the putty is stretched too much, it can break down into small pieces. Care should be taken with these, as they can stick to carpets and clothing. To remove fine bits of putty from the surface you are using, dab the area with a large blob of putty.
  • If the putty becomes too warm or sticky, place the putty in its tub and put in the fridge.
  • Keep the putty in its tub when not in use.
  • Do not allow the putty to come into contact with rugs, fabric, hair or clothes as it can stain these materials.
  • Do not eat the putty or leave it near young children or pets.

1 Individual finger pinch








1a Roll the putty into a long sausage shape.

1b Using the tip of your thumb and index finger, start pinching the putty from one side to the other. You can roll out the putty into a sausage shape and repeat instruction b with the tip of your thumb and the next finger. Continue this exercise until you have pinched the shape using all of your fingers.


Repeat the please times, times daily.

2 Three fingered tripod pinch

Three fingered pinch








2a Roll the putty into a ball.

2b Place the putty between your thumb and the fingertips of your index and middle fingers.

2c Squeeze your thumb and two fingers together until they meet.


Repeat the please times, times daily.

3 Mountains three fingered tripod pinch

Mountains three fingered pinch








3a Roll the putty into a long sausage shape.

3b, 3c Place the putty flat on the table and pinch and pull the putty into small mountains using your thumb against your index and middle fingers. Continue to pinch along the rest of the sausage shape.


Repeat the please times, times daily.

4 Pinching manipulation










4a Roll the putty into a cone shape and hold in one hand.

4b With your thumb and your index finger, pinch off small pieces of putty by twisting at the end of the cone.

4c Roll the pieces into balls between your thumb and your index finger.

4d Continue the process with all of the putty. Once you are finished, be careful to gather all of the small pieces and remould them into a ball.


Repeat the please times, times daily.

5 Finger press

Finger press








5a Roll the putty into a thick sausage shape.

5b Push your index finger into the putty repeatedly, along the entire length of the shape, then roll out a new sausage shape and repeat the instruction until all fingers have been pushed into the putty.


Repeat the please times, times daily.

6 Difficult finger press

Difficult finger press








6a Roll the putty into balls ranging from small to large.

6b Starting with the smallest ball, push your finger into the putty.

6c Repeat until you have done this with each of the pieces.


Repeat the please times, times daily.

7 Finger dig

Finger dig exercises








7a Roll the putty into a barrel shape.

7b Place your arm on the table with your palm facing upwards. Put the roll of putty at the base of your fingers.

7c Bend your fingers until they press through to the palm of your hand and form a fully clenched fist.


Repeat the please times, times daily.



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Please note: this is a generic information sheet relating to care at Sheffield Children’s NHS FT. These details may not reflect treatment at other hospitals. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professionals’ instructions. If this resource relates to medicines, please read it alongside the medicine manufacturer’s patient information leaflet. If this information has been translated into another language from English, efforts have been made to maintain accuracy, but there may still be some translation errors. If you are unsure about any of the guidance in this resource or have specific questions about how it relates to your child, always ask your healthcare professional for further advice.

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Therapy Contact Number: 0114 2717148


Western Bank
S10 2TH

United Kingdom

Switchboard: 0114 271 7000

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