Artist Resources

6 Exercises for Keeping Creative Wrists from Injury

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If you’ve ever had pain in your wrist, hand, or fingers that interferes with your creativity then these gentle stretches may help. Frequent use (and overuse) can often result in pain which can make grasping a pen, tapping away on a keyboard, or using a paintbrush an experience of pure misery.

We’ve put together a list of 6 exercises that will hopefully help keep those joints and digits happy and healthy so you can focus on making art.

Please keep in mind that these stretches are not a replacement for a trip to the physician.

Very Zen Green Tea by Kim Vervuurt

Tip #1 – Thumb Stretches

Extend both arms out in front of you, palms facing each other (thumb-side up). Fold your thumbs into the center of your palm and close your fingers around your thumbs. Gently pull your thumbs away from you, tilting your fists down towards the ground. You should feel a bit of stretch at the base of the thumb and down the side of your wrist. Hold for 10 seconds.

Tip #2 – Finger Stretches 

Get in some great stretches for fingers and hands by signing the alphabet. Take a few minutes every couple of hours to give the hands a different task. JazzBerryBlue has created a fantastic design to help.

'AMERICAN SIGN LANGUAGE HAND ALPHABET' by JazzBerryBlue

Tip #3 – Wrist Stretches

Extend one arm out in front of you, palm facing to the inside (thumb-side up). Bring the fingers close together. Bend at the wrist, folding the fingers in towards the wrist and palm. Take your opposite hand and gently apply gentle pressure. You should feel this stretch in the back of the wrist. Hold for 10 seconds. Repeat on the other side.

Tip #4 – Rotator Stretches

Bend your arm, holding your elbow close to your side. Straighten your hand and fingers, keeping them close together. With your palms facing down, rotate your hand until your palms are facing upward. Then rotate your hand back toward the floor. Repeat the exercise to help strengthen your hands and wrists.

Tip #5 – More Wrist Stretches

Stand facing a wall. Extend one arm out straight in front of you. Gently place your palm on the wall, extending your fingertips downward and spread like starfish. For more of a stretch, you can cross your opposite arm over and gently pull the thumb up upwards. This will result in a gentle stretch on the underneath side of the wrist. Hold for 10 seconds. Repeat on the other side.

Tip #6 – Set A Reminder! 

To ensure you don’t forget to repeat these important exercises, set a reminder on your phone or laptop to repeat one of these exercises every hour or two. There’s no reason your craft should be injuring you!

'Cute Starfish' by Peppermintpopuk

Share what stretches have worked for you in the comments below!

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Jen W

Jen W

Redbubble Community Manager, Photographer, and Artist Champion

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