It doesn’t matter what it is that you do, make or create… being a maker, artist or crafter of any kind is HARD on our bodies. Most of us do things that require performing the same movements over and over, both small minimal precise movements (hello arthritis of the hands and fingers…) to larger muscle movements that can affect our shoulders, back, neck and even our hips and knees. It’s key to establish self care routines so that our bodies don’t keep us from doing what we love! In this blog I wanted to go over quick stretches that can help increase flexibility and range of motion to help you feel better overall but I need to stress that stretching alone doesn’t make up for adequate rest. Listening to your body, taking breaks when you need them, eating right, staying hydrated and having a team of alternative pain management specialists like massage therapists, chiropractors and physical therapists can also help keep us from overdoing it … especially around the holidays, amiright???

Taking time to do a few stretches every day (YES. EVERY DAY.) can make a HUGE difference in the way you feel! You don’t have to do all of these, just choose a few that feel good and start there. Just as yoga is called a “practice” because it’s YOUR practice and you should be doing what works for YOUR body, it’s the same with stretching!

Check out my quick video for neck back and shoulder stretches and then keep scrolling to see even more stretches for your whole body!

Wrist Stretches

Let’s get to it! Starting with the fingers and wrists… check out these great stretches from We Are Knitters and Comic Artist & Illustrator Kaitlin B (@bruderkaitlin)!

Neck, Back and Shoulder Stretches

Here are a few great options for your neck, upper back and shoulders! If you have chronic low back or neck pain, it might be the time to find a local chiropractor or physical therapist! They can give you easy exercises to do that can truly help minimize pain without medication!

Lower Body Stretches

Okay, Lower body is next! Here are a few options for lower body stretches:

Dynamic Stretching

Lastly, it’s important to also include some dynamic or “movement” stretching into your routine! Below I’ve included some great GIFs from Myfitnesspal.com & healthline.com that illustrate some great dynamic stretching! These also help increase balance and stability 🙌 who doesn’t appreciate a bit more balance in their life??

So that’s it for my “stretch roundup”! I hope you find it helpful and if you already have a stretching routine, maybe there are a few new ones you’ll get to try! I suggest doing 8 to 10 reps for dynamic stretches and 3 reps with a 30 to 60 second hold for the static stretches above. Remember to find a routine that works for YOU. If it doesn’t work for you or make you FEEL good your much less likely to make it a regular part of your routine so pick a few favorites and go from there!!

Happy crafting!!!

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