I got an interesting email from a long-time exerciser who was having some trouble with her strength training program. After more than 20 years of lifting weights, the arthritis in her hands caused so much pain and weakness that she could no longer grip dumbbells. Frustrated, she wanted to know how she could continue to lift weights. I came up with a few ideas in my article about arthritis of the hands including things like using cables or resistance bands (which, for some moves, will allow you to move the weight with your fingers extended), medicine balls, wrist weights or weights with handles on either side.
I'm sure she's not the only person facing this issue and I'd love to hear from my readers who've experienced this. How do you continue to lift if you can't grip the weights? Leave a comment and tell us your thoughts.
I also wanted to point out that, in my research for the article, I came across a number of studies about arthritis and strength training in general - namely, that strength training can actually reduce the pain and fatigue of osteoarthritis as well as rheumatoid arthritis. If this is a problem for you and you've avoided strength training because of it, talk to your doctor and check out our Arthritis Guide's amazing database of information about exercise and arthritis.