Knitting Health: Stretching for Knitters

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Text area which says "Knitting Health: Stretching for Knitters," followed by a four panel collage of hand and neck stretches Do you ever think of knitting as exercising? I never did until someone told me about stretching for knitters. To me, knitting was my time to zone out.

To pick up my needles and either sit down in front of a nice crackling fire or lose myself sitting in the window of the backroom as the sun streamed in.

It was the perfect time to lose myself in my imagination while my fingers made the needles dance before me, slowly but surely sprouting the next sweater into existence.

But knitting is exercising on so many levels, just maybe not the kind of exercising you’re used to. Your fingers alone act as incredibly diligent athletes, manipulating your needles on a virtual loop of twisting this way and that.

Your wrists are tensed while supporting your hands they endlessly move here and there, your shoulders trying to keep everything together.

And then there’s your brain, calculating, planning, sending messages of which way to bend and flex, all while trying to let your consciousness relax enough to make you believe you’re unwinding. It’s a dance between all the different body parts your body uses to allow you to knit.

While knitting may not be as physical as football or baseball, the injuries associated with knitting are very real, the consequences of which can have an impact on everything from short-term productivity to long-term total debilitation. That’s why stretching for knitters is so important.

Stretching for Knitters Helps Avoid Injury

Just as pro-footballers need to warm up before training, so do knitters need to warm up their joints before a session.

Knitting spells can sometimes last for hours, during which time, RSI-type injuries occur without warning. The best way to avoid these is to do some simple warm-up stretches for knitters, such as the following.

Step #1: Start with Your Hands

Your hands are probably the most used tools when knitting and as such, deserve the most attention. Take care of your hands, paying close attention to each finger in turn.

Begin with your index finger and pull it slowly back on itself, taking care to keep your wrist locked straight. Hold the stretch for 20 seconds. Repeat with each subsequent finger in turn, including your thumbs.

Stretching for knitters : Right index finger lifting the left index finger.

Stretching for knitters : Right index finger lifting the left middle finger.

Stretching for knitters : Right index finger lifting the left ring finger.

Stretching for knitters : Right index finger lifting the left pinky finger.

Stretching for knitters : Right index finger lifting the left thumb.

Step #2: Continue with Your Wrists

It’s your wrists that carry a lot of the weight of your knitting as you work. Begin by holding your fingers of one hand in the palm of the other. Slowly hold your arm out straight and pull your fingers back towards the wrist, feeling the wrist stretching in the process. Hold it for 20 seconds and repeat with the other hand.

Stretching for knitters : Right fingers lifting the left fingers.

Step #3: Follow Your Neck

Your neck will also suffer a lot of posture problems, depending on how you watch yourself work. To help avoid strain, lower your chin onto your chest and hold for 20 seconds. Breathe normally as you hold it and let your muscles relax.

Woman bowing her head down with chin to her chest.

Step #4: Continue with your Head

The muscles on the sides of your neck will also hold quite a bit of tension. Bend your left ear towards your shoulder and hold it for 20 seconds. Try and relax, then repeat with your right ear.

Woman leaning her head towards her right shoulder.

Finally, after doing these stretching exercises, why not protect yourself further from knitting injury by doing these simple and easy-to-do hand exercises here: Knitting Health: Exercises for Knitters.

One Comment

  1. Tricia Peebles

    I follow you on line and find your items really good and helpful… thank you

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