Margaret Kavanagh

5 Pain-Relieving Chair Stretches

5 chair stretches for crocheters to prevent and relieve pain

Crafting brings a lot of joy to life, but over time it can also cause some bodily pain and discomfort. Sitting and leaning over a project for several hours may result in neck soreness, backache, and even wrist cramps.

Did you know that there are several ways to relieve muscle soreness and increase blood flow that don’t even require you to leave your seat? If you’re struggling to stay comfortable while practicing your craft, give the following chair stretches a try.

1. Shoulder & Neck Stretch

Crocheter's shoulder and neck stretch illustration

Neck pain makes it difficult to do anything – even turning your head slightly can cause pain and soreness if you have built up muscle tension. Thankfully, there are stretches you can try to help relieve that tension and restore your neck’s mo­bility. Give the neck stretch below a try the next time you start to feel some tightness:

    1. Lower your head toward your chest and gradually rotate it counterclockwise.
    2. Once you make a full rotation and reach your starting point, begin a rotation in the other direction.
    3. Repeat this movement 5-10 times in each direction as needed.

2. Wrist Stretch

Crocheter's wrist stretch illustration

Let’s be honest – crocheting isn’t always easy on the wrists. This is especially true if you don’t yet have ergonomic hooks. Just as students and desk workers need to take care of their wrists when typing away all day, artists need to be aware of how much they use their hands and wrists and remember to take care of them. When your wrists start cramping, try out the following wrist stretch:

    1. Place your palms together in front of you and press them together for 15 seconds.
    2. Rotate your hands and push the back of your hands together for another 15 seconds.
    3. Repeat 4-6 times.

3.  Half Moon

Crocheter's Half Moon stretch illustration

Hunching over for an extended period of time can make your torso feel tight and cramped. You don’t have to get up and complete an entire yoga routine to open up your ribcage and improve your posture – just give the following stretch a try:

    1. Raise both of your arms as high as they can go, using your left hand to grab your right wrist.
    2. Keeping your chest forward, lean to the left and feel your ribs on your right side open.
    3. Hold for 3 seconds, then slowly lean to the other side.
    4. Repeat 3-5 times.

4. Seated Backbend

Crocheter's seated backbend stretch illustration

Spending years sitting can cause our backs to curve forward. Remind your back what great posture looks like by trying a stretch that curves in the other direction. This stretch is perfect for those who spend a lot of time leaning over to complete an activity.

    1. Sit up straight and rest your feet flat on the floor in front of you.
    2. Place your hands on your lower hips and get a good grip around your hips.
    3. Firmly press your hands into your lower back and inhale deeply.
    4. As you exhale, slowly arch your spine back, leading with your head.
    5. Hold this position as you take several deep breaths.
    6. Carefully return to the starting position, and repeat 3-5 times.

5. Shoulder Circles

Crocheter's shoulder circle stretches illustration

Rather than waiting for your shoulders to tense up while crocheting, try warming up your shoulder muscles ahead of time. This will significantly reduce the chances of you straining your neck and back while crafting something beautiful.

    1. Sit up straight with your feet firmly planted on the ground in front of you.
    2. Reach your hands up to your shoulders and place your fingers on them.
    3. Circle your shoulders forward, making a full rotation 15 times.
    4. Rotate your shoulders backward 15 times.

Finding time to exercise every day can be challenging, but our bodies still need movement to feel good. For the days that you don’t want to get up and lose your flow on a project but start to feel your body tense up, give some chair stretches a try!


Grab this infographic!

If you enjoyed practicing these stretches, check out Tommy John’s visual below and give all 12 stretches a try.


Author Info

Blog Manager & Columnist Coordinator at Happily Hooked | + posts

I've been crocheting since my mother taught me as a little girl. I'm lucky to be working with Happily Hooked and I can't wait to share everything yarny and hooky with you! Yarn over, peeps! Yarn over!

Margaret Kavanagh

I've been crocheting since my mother taught me as a little girl. I'm lucky to be working with Happily Hooked and I can't wait to share everything yarny and hooky with you! Yarn over, peeps! Yarn over!

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