Last week I spoke about how hands play an integral part in our world. While there are incredible people who do this every day, imagine your world without your hands to help you do the things you love?
I mentioned that I had to knit a blanket for a friend’s birthday. To give you an idea, it fit a king size bed and could wrap around the base. It was a massive task, with each panel boasting its own intricate and delicate pattern. I have to say, by the end of it, I was really proud of my efforts, but thank goodness I had Jannie’s hand exercises to help me keep my hands from collapsing and cramping.
Being aware of the kinetic chain
What’s important to understand is that our hands don’t work in isolation. We often talk about a kinetic chain – in this case, the connection from your neck to your shoulders, forearms, hands and fingers. The state of our neck and shoulders determines the ease of use of our hands – when they’re out of alignment or stiff or tense, you may end up compensating for it in your wrists, elbows or hands. Carpel Tunnel and tennis elbow sound familiar for some of you?
You’ll find that many of the exercises I show you engage more than just your fingers and palms. Think about your forearms. You can’t actually move your fingers without them – you can’t grip or move your wrists either– so it’s important to make sure they are well-conditioned too.
Do these exercises to keep your hands and joints strong!
These exercises feel rather strange and some may even feel like a waste of time. But don’t be fooled by their simplicity! I guarantee that over time your hands will thank you. Do these as often as you think about it.
One important rule to follow as you practice: relax your shoulders! If you find yourself with your shoulders at your ears, or feeling a burning sensation along the side of your neck, breathe deeply and drop them. (This does take some practice if you’re like me and constantly have tense shoulders.)
Without further ado, here are some simple exercises to keep your hands strong and mobile!
GET SOME PRESTICK OR PUTTY FOR THE NEXT FEW
I’d love to know if any of these work for you? Hopefully my hands will still be in good nick for my next knitting project (my daughter has just moved into her own place and is already asking for a house warming gift!)