Six Stretches For Quilters
Sewing can be a real pain in the neck, but it doesn't have to be. These moves can be done right at your sewing machine.
Hold each stretch for 30 seconds.
1. Upper back / Shoulder Stretch - Lace your hands together and then push them out in front, first with palms forward, then with palms facing in, you will feel a slight difference in the muscles activated.
2. Arm stretch - Overhead reach - with hands laced together or held apart, reach up, stretching overhead, hands can be facing in or out. If you bend a little to one side, you can now feel the opposite side lengthening. Hold 20-30 seconds, repeat bending body towards opposite side.
3. Hand Stretch - Give your hands a shake, get the blood pumping, now wiggle your fingers, then make two tight fists and squeeze, now repeat the shake and wiggles.
4. Tricep Stretch - while one hand reaches overhead to give yourself a pat on the back, the other one gently cups the elbow to hold the stretch for 20-30 seconds. Don't worry if you're not actually touching your back, just aim for it.
5. Wrist / Forearm stretch - Hold your hand out in front of you with the palm facing upward. Grip all four fingers with your opposing hand. Gently pull the fingers down towards the floor and the hold for ten to twenty seconds, gently release hand back to starting position. Repeat with the other hand.
6. Shoulder / Chest stretch - open arms out wide with fingers splayed - jazz hands- or bring hands behind your back, whichever feels comfortable. Open your heart chakra, push your chest out and breath deeply. Be sure and keep shoulders down if they want to scrunch up. Visualize squeezing your shoulder blades down and together. Great for opening up the chest, relaxing the medial deltoids (top of shoulders).
Note: Tight chest (pectoral) muscles can really draw our neck and shoulders forward and affect our posture and can lead to kyphosis, more commonly known as hunchback. Stretching the chest is mandatory if you are at a desk, on a laptop or sewing machine or anything where your focus is forward and down.