You might think that by performing a task such as pinching and drafting, you are strengthening the muscles, but muscle imbalances are some of the main causes of injuries such as tendonitis and joint pain. Conditioning a muscle against resistance of the entire hand, wrist, forearm, and shoulder provides a strong base and eliminates muscle imbalances. Strength training also allows for greater stamina; as you grow stronger, you won’t tire as easily, which means you will be able to spin, weave, knit, or card for longer periods of time.
Note: If you have pain while performing any of these hand exercises, stop and consult your doctor. You might benefit from seeing an occupational or physical therapist.
Exercises to Strengthen the Hand
Use exercise putty to strengthen the hand. Start out with a light resistance putty and progress to a firmer putty as you get stronger. Try the following exercises to strengthen the intrinsic hand muscles. Each exercise should be performed 10 to 20 times each, 3 times a week, for optimal results.
Mary Egbert has been a physical therapist for nearly twenty-two years. She is an avid spinner and fiber artist and is the owner of Camaj Fiber Arts. Her knowledge of body mechanics and ergonomics has helped other fiber artists avoid injuries and continue to spin pain-free.
Excerpted from “Get a Grip: How Hand Strength Makes Spinning Painless” from the Summer 2017 issue of Spin Off.