Did you realize that you can work your abdominal muscles while you are knitting? I have gone to many knitting groups to speak and have seen lots of slumping bodies in chairs and couches. I have heard lots of complaints of lower back discomfort and shoulder and neck discomfort. I am going to help you get rid of your lower back discomfort and help you work your abdominals at the same time you are knitting.
First thing is posture. Plant both of feet flat on the ground. If your back is not touching the back of your chair then you can use a small step stool to prop your feet up and sit all the way back or place pillows behind your lower back so that your body is moved forward and your feet are touching the ground. With weaker lower back muscles you need to strengthen your abdominal muscles.
Sit tall and elevate your ribcage. Some of you may feel a pulling in your abdominal muscles. This is normal and means that your abdominal muscles are tight. While you are sitting tall pull in your abdominal muscles as tightly as you can. Keep on breathing. See how long you can hold in your tummy and breathe at the same time. Can you get threw a whole row of knitting? (I usually knit king sized blankets.)
What will end up occurring is a mental awareness of better posture (keeping your ribcage elevated) and keeping your abdominal muscles tight. The more you tighten your tummy and hold (isometric exercise) the better your abdominal results will be. (tighter muscles that help support your lower back) The longer you can hold your isometric exercise the more intensely you will be working your abdominal muscles. With this simple isometric exercise of holding in your abdominal muscles and you can start seeing results in a few weeks. (a tighter flatter tummy)
So knit away and have fun but remember to sit tall and tighten your tummy. As time goes on this will become easier and easier for you to accomplish. When you start out you may not be able to hold this contraction for long. Time will pass and you will be able to hold the contraction of your abdominal muscles longer and even tighter which will work your abdominal muscles even more intensely.
Don’t forget to stretch after you finish knitting. “Stretches for knitters and crocheters” contain a number of different stretches to help you reduce your tight achy muscles from hours of knitting.
Ellen is a certified Fitness Practitioner and Personal Trainer and has been teaching obtainable lifestyle changes for over 20 years.
Ellen writes and produces fitness DVD’s of the IsoBreathing program. The DVD’s are now being sold through the IsoBreathing website world wide.
Ellen writes for her monthly newsletter, North shore counseling and wellness and New Orleans Wedding Magazine. She has been awarded Innovator of the Year 2006 by City Business and 2008 Best Of Mandeville in Exercise Programs by USLBA. www.isobreathing.com and she can be reached at Ellen@isobreathing.com