Quilters, listen up! I am here to tell you that sitting and quilting, or cutting your fabric for long periods of time, can reek havoc on your back and shoulders.
Here are a few simple stretches to do every day, or at least while you are sewing and cutting fabric. I even set a timer for every 20 to 30 minutes, otherwise I lose track of time and pay for it later.
You can watch a YouTube video where I show you these stretches ‘in person’. You can refer to this blog post if you need a refresher or reminder of some simple stretches.
NOTE: I am not a certified fitness instructor. I AM, however, a quilter who benefits from doing these stretches. I hope these stretches can help others the way they have helped me.
Grab your left wrist with your right hand behind your back. Then lift your chest and tighten your abdominals so that you feel the stretch in the front of both shoulders. Hold for 20 – 30 seconds. Switch arms and repeat with the right wrist.
Reach your left arm overhead with the elbow bent. Grab your left elbow with your right hand and gently push your left elbow back until you feel a nice on the back of the upper arm. Hold for 20 – 30 seconds. Repeat on the opposite side.
Bring your left arm in front of your chest, hand held straight. Grab your upper left arm with your right hand, gently pulling your left arm toward your chest. Feel a light stretch. Hold for 20 -30 seconds. Repeat on the opposite arm.
Neck and Back
With your left arm in front of you and out to the left of your body, Cross your right arm over your left, interlock fingers. Tilt your head to the left until you feel a slight stretch, Hold for 20 – 30 seconds. Repeat on the opposite side.
Interlock fingers behind your back. Press your chest forward and arm back until you feel a slight stretch, Hold for 30 seconds.
LOWER BACK and HAMSTRINGS
The following has helped me with my lower back pain. Again, this is just my experience. If you have serious back pain or injury, consult with a medical professional for help. I have learned, however, that a lot of lower back pain if due to tight hamstrings. So the next two stretches focus on your hamstrings, which in turn can help with lower back pain.
Keeping your back straight, reach your fingertips to your toes. Notice that I can only make it to about mid shin. That’s okay. Go as far as you can until you feel a slight stretch. Make it a goal to get lower and lower as you do your stretches regularly.
This is a more advanced pose, as far as stability goes. If holding this pose is too tricky, use a desk or sturdy object to hold on to.
Bend your right leg to rest on your left upper leg. Squat until you feel a slight stretch. Hold for 30 seconds. Repeat on the other side.
I also got a great Christmas gift this year. It is an AMAZING hand held massager. It gets the job done! If you are feeling tight anywhere, just turn this on, swapping out the head of the massager based on what you want it to do, and it really gets the tightness gone. You can adjust the speed and strength of the massage, and its easy to use on yourself or have someone help you. Here is a link to the one I have:
There it is! Be sure to visit the video tutorial HERE if you want real life demonstrations on these stretches. Leave a comment with your favorite stretches and what has helped you avoid quilting aches and pains.