Working for hours on knitting or crochet projects sounds like bliss, but the work can cause repetitive strain injuries if you’re not careful. That’s why we’ve compiled this handy list of hand and wrist exercises for knitters and crocheters.
Taking a short break every half hour or so while you’re working and doing a few of these stretches will keep your hands, wrists, and fingers happy — so you can knit some more!
Before you begin knitting or crocheting
Before you begin to knit or crochet, start by doing a few warm-up exercises. This will get your hand muscles ready for grasping the needles (or hook), holding the yarn and also balancing the project you’re working on.
The exercises you can start with, are:
- Clenching your hands while holding them in front of you with the palms turned downward. Hold your hands in the clenched position for 5 to 10 seconds before stretching your hands out. Repeat five times with each hand.
- Next, stretch your fingers with your palm facing away from your body, use your other hand to gently press against your outstretched fingers to stretch your hand towards your body. Hold for five seconds before repeating with the other hand. Repeat five times with each hand.
- Make circles with your hands, while your arms are bent at a 45 degree angle. Rotate your wrists steadily in order to exercise and lubricate your wrist joint. Let your forearms, elbows and shoulders remain still while rotating your wrists. First circle five times in one direction before switching and turning your wrists in the other direction. Repeat the whole exercise five times as well.
- The “mattress stitch exercise” or “block” is another one that is not only great when knitting or crocheting, but also if you need to type or write a lot. To do this exercise, interlace your fingers with your palms facing towards you. Rotate both hands so your palms are facing away from your body before straightening your arms and “pushing” your hands away from your body. Hold your hands in the stretched position for about ten seconds and then relax. Repeat three to five times slowly.
Now that you’ve warmed up your muscles and joints, it’s time to knit and crochet to your heart’s content.
Because these exercises are so easy and quick to do, you can even do them while you’re waiting for water to boil and make yourself your favorite cup of tea while you’re at it!
- Do these stretches about every half hour that you’re busy knitting or crocheting.
- You can set a timer on your phone or tablet to remind you to do the exercises until they become second nature.
- Don’t forget to stretch your legs as well! Get up and walk around the room, fetch some water to drink or even play with your pets for a while.
Here are also some videos that you can follow and that shows you how to do these exercises.
10 Hand exercises for Knitting and Crochet!
Hand Stretches for Knitting