Shop Talk

6 Exercises for Keeping Creative Wrists from Injury

Wrist exercises may not be the first thing you think of when creating art. But, if you’ve ever had pain in your wrist, hand or fingers that interferes with your creativity, then these gentle stretches may help.


Delightful Rue by myteemo

Very Zen Green Tea by kimvervuurt

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 six 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.

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 – 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.

Thumb Wrestlers by tpbiv

American Sign Language Hand Alphabet by Jazzberryblue

Tip #3 – Finger Stretches

You might be tempted to pull the fingers back until the feel like they snap off. Please don’t. Instead, try this tip of signing the alphabet. JazzBerryBlue has created an awesome “American Sign Language” design that you can use for reference. Plus you learn another language! #winning

Tip #4 – 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 #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. Keeping your wrists happy and healthy will help keep the creativity right at your fingertips.

I’m Cuckoo For You by Papersparrow

Share your tips for healthy wrists in the comments below!

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Jen Durant

Redbubble Artist Relationship Manager