Knitting exercises? Yes. You see, there comes a time when one’s love of knitting can lead to trouble. I don’t mean trouble as in “I haven’t done the dishes in 3 days and the laundry’s piling up,” as I don’t know anything about that. (Cough.) I’m referring to the kind of trouble that comes from the repetitive motions of our hands and fingers that are, unfortunately, necessary evils of knitting. That’s where knitting exercises come in. These can help your hands and arms get readjusted after a knitting marathon.
Knitting Exercises to the Rescue
Clenching Hands: Hold your hands in front of you, palms facing the floor. Make fists with both hands and squeeze for 5 to 10 seconds, then release and stretch your fingers. Finger Stretches: Hold one hand in front of you, with your palm facing away from you and your fingers outstretched. With your other hand, gently press your outstretched fingers toward you, so that they stretch away from your palm. Then switch hands and do the same with your other hand. Wrist Circles: Hold one hand or both hands upright (you can do this with each hand separately, or with both at the same time). Make circles with your hand(s), keeping your shoulders and elbows still. Rotate in both directions, no more than 5 times in each direction. Laced fingers: Hold both hands in front of you and lace your fingers together, with your palms facing you. Now rotate your hands so that your palms face away from you, and gently press your palms forward, trying to straighten your elbows as you do so. Hold this stretch for about 10 seconds.
A Few More Tips
Make sure you’re not making your hands work harder than they have to. Providing yourself with good back support, plenty of light, and enough room to move your hands and arms freely are all ways you can help your hands and arms relax as much as possible while you knit. Take breaks every now and then. Sometimes we have to knit on a deadline (for a gift, for instance), and it’s tempting to power through without stopping for breath, but this can lead to overstressing our hands. Even a 5 minute break doing something else when you’re tired can offer rejuvenation. If you knit only with straight needles, consider switching to circular needles from time to time. Finally, consider a pair of therapeutic stress-relief fingerless gloves. These offer support that allows the hands to relax during knitting. LionBrand makes a great pair, as does The Crochet Dude. Armed with knitting exercises, you can give your hands and fingers the tender loving care they need to carry on your knitting joy!