Being both a knitter and a violinist, I need to take good care of my hands. I'd like to share five really great hand stretches with you, and a bonus forearm stretch. I use these all the time. They're excellent warm-ups before knitting or fiddling, but they're also good for when I find myself waiting around with nothing else to occupy my hands.
1. Hand Massage: With your left thumb, massage your right palm. Massage the back of your right hand with your left fingers. Do this for one minute, then switch hands and repeat.
2. Clench and Fan: Clench your hand into a tight fist and hold for five seconds. Release smoothly, extending your thumb and fingers into a fully stretched position and hold for five seconds. Repeat five times for each hand.
3. Thumb Stretch: With your left hand, gently pull your right thumb away from the hand and down toward the forearm. Hold for five seconds. You should feel the stretch in the base of your thumb, palm side. Repeat for your left thumb. Five repetitions, alternate thumbs.
4. Wrist Stretch: Hold the right hand in front of the body, palm facing out, fingertips up, fingers together. With the left hand, grasp the right hand's outstretched fingers and gently pull the fingers back toward the body. Hold for five seconds. You should feel the stretch in the wrist area. Repeat for the left wrist. Five repetitions, alternative wrists.
5. Wrist Circles: Hold both arms in front of your body with your elbows held at a comfortable angle. Gently move your hands in circles, rotating your wrists. Circle both hands toward your body and then away, or circle both hands clockwise and then counter-clockwise. Do five repetitions in each direction.
6. Forearm Stretch: This isn't really a hand stretch, but it's an important one for both knitters and musicians. Put your hands together, palms flat against each other, elbows bent, fingers pointing downward. Press up until you feel a good stretch in the inside of your forearm. Hold for five seconds. Move your hands so the fingers point upward, and press down until you feel the stretch. Hold for five seconds. Do five repetitions of this complete exercise (pressing up and then down).
Hi! I'm Kangath---
knit designer, musician, writer, and mother
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