Creating art can involve a lot of hunching, twisting, and bending; there is a lot of physical strain on your body as an artist.
Repetitive stress and long hours can take a toll on your well-being. Your body is your biggest asset as an artist, so we’ve selected five exercises to help you stay healthy and creating for as long as possible. These exercises don’t take up much time or space so you can do them from the comfort of your studio.
If you're getting into the studio after a long day of work, consider these movements as a time for you to focus, transition toward creativity, and maintain your health for a long future full of making artwork.
Plank it Out
You probably already know how to do a plank, but we can’t help but reiterate how beneficial this exercise is in building core strength. If you need a refresher, or to check your form, here’s a useful video about the planking technique. Whether you spend your day standing at an easel or throwing clay—a strong core is important for all artist’s posture and physical health.
Stretch Like Superman
Lower back pain afflicts a huge number of people and can contribute to a variety of health problems. Superman back extensions help strengthen and lengthen the muscles of your lower back. Lie face down on the floor with your arms outstretched. Raise your arms and legs off the floor and hold for one-second intervals before slowly lowering until you're laying flat again. Repeat this movement 10 times, and then rest. Pair this motion with planking to help evenly strengthen your core. Cape optional.
Break Out the Jump Rope
Jumping rope is an excellent way to get your heart pumping and blood flowing. Keep a jump-rope in your studio and you can do this on the sidewalk or in the parking lot. Start by jumping rope for 60 seconds at a pace that feels comfortable to you. If you’re feeling uninspired but don’t have time to go for a walk get out the jump-rope to literally jumpstart your body.
Drop and Give Me 20
The world record for most non-stop push-ups is 10,507. While this probably can’t be beaten in your studio, even a few repetitions of this simple motion can provide a strenuous workout for a variety of muscles. Push-ups work your core, shoulders, and arms ... and are a great all-around workout. Working all of these muscles at once is a good way to signal to your body that it's time to refocus. Doing push-ups takes very little space and you can easily vary the muscles worked by changing the position of your arms and legs.
Get (Foam) Rolling
Ok, so this one isn't strictly an exercise, but it's important to do in order to prevent injury and increase mobility. Foam rollers can function as a self-massage tool, and although rolling can initially be uncomfortable, you'll feel more limber after. Keep a foam roller in your studio and use it to release the tension caused by muscle stress and fatigue. Position your targeted muscle group on the roller while maintaining a straight spine. Then, do 5–10 repetitions on each side. Before finishing, pick the area that is most painful and remain on that spot without rolling for 30 seconds.