I have been diagnosed with Ulnar claw here due to tennis: I did not have any symptoms of it anymore until I started to play piano again. When I presently played piano hours, I realized next morning that Ulnar claw (stiff little finger and ring finger) is back. Rolling two golf balls in palm hurts: the nerve nerve connecting little finger and half of ring finger is somehow irritated.

How can I warm-up my fingers (particularly little finger and ring finger) before training and after training?

  • It's often been said that to train for a particular sport the best training is to do that sport. Instead of warming up, play more gently for far less time than hours. Your body will dictate when it's had enough, but for now at least, stick to 10/15 mins at a time, giving fingers, muscles etc. time to recover and get used to the new regime.
    – Tim
    Nov 10, 2014 at 21:24

2 Answers 2


I am not familiar with your condition but here are a few thoughts:

  • I would not focus on warming up exclusively one or two fingers at a time because you may end up focusing on them to the point of tensing up

  • Hanon exercises are good, probably better than scales which would not exercise your 5th finger that much: each exercise focuses on a specific succession/stretch of fingers; quite a few of them work around the 4 and 5 fingers but do typically involve most fingers in each exercise, which again I think is a good thing given what you have. Choose some exercises that are easy for you to play so that you do not put any tension in your wrist, hand, and finger as you play. Play them slowly enough so that you can focus your attention to playing them with ease and not tensing up: this isn't a racing exercise; just exactly what you are asking for: a gentle warm up. Simply increase the speed if you can still play them without any tension.

  • You may want to play some successions of octaves with 1-5 or 1-4: these will bring you a different kind of movement than Hanon or a regular scale, requiring a gentle stretch of the hand, which I think may help with your situation.

Whatever you do past the warm up, you should actively fight any build up of tension, especially tension in the arm, which will propagate to your fingers. Taking breaks every 10-15 minutes or so is probably wise.

After playing, consider shaking my hands as if you are drying them.


If you still play tennis, work on your lifts and spins: having a rotating movement of the arm as you hit the ball will decrease the build up of tension in your forearm. For climbing, short of using your legs more, not sure what you can do!

  • The Hanon is just perfect for me! Can you recommend some practises for the flow? I want to improve the thing where you move fingers over each other, is there some name for such training?
    – hhh
    Dec 28, 2014 at 7:38
  • Can you clarify what you mean by "flow" and "move fingers over each other" ? Moving fingers over each other to me means going over the thumb, which scales and arpeggios are good for practicing but maybe this isn't what you are asking about.
    – Lolo
    Dec 29, 2014 at 18:45
  • Thank you for the key words: I found amazing material about scales and arpeggios here and here where the former is good for improvisation training. I have never taken any piano lesson but I play piano to overcome my traumas caused by tennis training: I improvise after intensive forearm training and piano improvisation feels just so awesome particularly in the ulnar/median nerver connection point. I got a lot of amazing ideas from you. Thank you again +1 :)
    – hhh
    Dec 29, 2014 at 23:21

Lolo mentioned piano scales and Arpeggios.


I. this video shows how to train the ulnar-median nerve crossing finger with piano scales: essential for improvisation for control and strength

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II. this video shows Arpeggios, piano scales and piano techniques such as thumb crossings. She recommends warm-up about 15-30 minutes in the beginning (I could not fully understand which specific training she meant for warmup but there are a lot of inspiration in the video)

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