Exercises for Knitters

Have you been joining us on Wednesdays and Thursdays for our Facebook Live posts? They’re fun to do and we love seeing your names pop up as we are filming! We’ve missed a couple of different days in the Live filming for one reason or another, but most of the time we’re there at noon, Mountain Time.

This week, we did a video on neck and shoulder stretches for knitters. I’m doing the talking and Lynn (Loopy Office Manager) is doing the exercise modeling!

Last week, we did a video on hand and wrist stretches for knittings. 

You can find all of our past videos under the Videos tab on our Facebook page.

If you’re not on Facebook, here is a list of the exercises that we featured (originally shared online by Pam Allen and Shannon Okey and other miscellaneous sources). Repetitive tasks such as sewing, stitching and knitting can create stress on the muscles and joints in our wrists and hands, neck and shoulders. Stretching frequently certainly helps.

Neck and Shoulder – do these exercises before, during and after knitting or sewing. Always hold the stretch 5-20 seconds, so the muscles get a good pull, and repeat each exercise several times:

  1. Tilt your head forward to gently stretch the back of your neck and hold.
  2. Turn your head to one side and look over your shoulder and hold. Repeat on the other side.
  3. Tilt your head to one shoulder (ear down to shoulder) and hold. Repeat on the other side.
  4. Bring your shoulders up to your ears and hold. Then relax and push shoulders down towards the floor.
  5. Interlace your fingers and stretch your arms out in front of you (palms facing away) and hold.
  6. Keep your fingers interlaced and reach your arms over your head (palms facing up) and hold.
  7. Interlace your fingers and cup the back of your head, then push elbows back (imagining that you are trying to get your shoulder blades to touch back there) and hold.
  8. Place your right hand on your left shoulder. With your left hand, grab your right arm just above the elbow and look over your right shoulder. While looking over your shoulder, use your left hand to gently pull your right arm to the left until you feel the muscle stretch. Hold. Repeat on the other side.
  9. Place your hands in the small of your back and stretch your shoulders backward, trying to make your elbows touch and hold.

Hand and Wrist – do these exercises before, during and after knitting or sewing. Always hold the stretch 5-20 seconds, so the muscles get a good pull, and repeat each exercise several times:

  1. Hold your fingers up in the air and gently spread your fingers apart. Hold, and then bring them back together.
  2. Hold your hands upright, fingers apart. Draw your fingers into a light fist with your thumbs on the outside. Hold, and then return to the regular position.
  3. Put your hands in the “thumbs up” position and gently rotate your thumbs in circles in one direction and then another.
  4. Hold your hands upright with your fingers spread comfortably apart. Touch your thumbs to the tips of the littlest finger and then open your hand back up. Next, touch your thumbs to your ring fingers, and then open them back up. Then your middle fingers, and back. And your index fingers and back.
  5. Rest your forearms on the edge of a table or on the arms of a chair, so that your wrists are supported but your fingers dangle. Bend your wrist back and then lift your hands and arms toward you.
  6. Rest your forearms on the edge of a table or arms of a chair with your thumbs pointed up. Move your wrists up and down through their full range of motion.
  7. Hold your right hand out, palm facing up. With your left hand, grasp the fingers from your right hand and pull down and hold. Repeat on the other hand.

Here is another good reference for stretching muscle fascaie (and why it is important).

Of course practicing good posture (a strong core is helpful here) and changing sitting positions will also help. You might also consider resting your arms on a pillow on your lap, if your chair doesn’t have armrests to support your arms while you knit.

Leave us a comment below if you have other exercises that you do for hands, wrists, neck and shoulders. We want to keep all of those areas healthy and happy!

Sheri tryingtogetintotheregularroutineofdoingthese



  1. It’s my elbow to shoulder that hurts! Especially at night when I am awakened by pain there!

  2. This is great! I have been knitting a ton since last March when everything shut down. Right now I can barely knit for an hour without pain.

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