Strong and Flexy Hands for Jewellers

Why Hand Health Matters to a Jeweller

With thanks for writing and creating this (as well as for keeping me in functioning condition) to Melanie Matulka @yogaandmobilitywithmel

In the world of jewellery-making, the meticulous precision, creativity and artistry of the hands that shape and create are an often overlooked but crucial element.  For jewellers, hand, wrist, and finger mobility and strength aren’t just vital tools, but the heart and soul of jewellery making! As any jeweller knows, the hands are not immune to the strains and challenges of the craft.  In this blog post, we are delving into why maintaining the health and agility of your wrist and hands are essential to anyone who relies on their hands in their daily work AND how you can aide this process with simple but effective movements to prime and prep your hands and wrists for making magic happen. 


Jewellers, along with many other professionals and artisans, understand the importance of their hand health. However, for jewellers, it’s particularly crucial due to the nature of their work:  

Repetitive Movements:

The repetitive and intricate nature of jewellery-making can put considerable strain on the hands and wrists. Without proper care, this strain can lead to overuse injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis, or repetitive strain injuries. Keeping the wrists, hands, and fingers mobile and strong can help reduce the risk of such injuries. 

Enhancing Dexterity:

Hand and finger dexterity is essential for various professions, such as artisans, musicians, surgeons, and more. Jewellers rely on precise and coordinated hand movements. Regular mobility and strength exercises improve dexterity, aiding in skill refinement and performance.

Grip Strength:

A strong grip is important for anyone who uses their hands regularly. Whether you’re gripping tools, lifting objects, or even carrying groceries, grip strength is a fundamental aspect of daily life. 

Pain Free Joints:

Hands that cramp hands and weak wrists can get in the way of completing work efficiently and comfortably. Mobility exercises can help alleviate stiffness and discomfort, while strength training can support better agility and wrist positioning. 

Jewellery-making requires a level of precision and attention to detail that is second to none. Mobile and strong hands and wrists enable jewellers to execute intricate designs and manipulate delicate materials with accuracy. 

Whether it’s beating the crap out of something with a hammer or setting stones, jewellers need mobile and strong hands. These qualities are essential for accomplishing the creative process with ease. 

Let’s break it down and start with some simple and practical warm up movements for your hands and wrist.

How to improve finger mobility:

FINGER Controlled Articular Rotations (CARs)

Watch here for in depth video of finger CARs

Or read below for a detailed description:  

Let’s begin by giving your fingers some well-deserved attention! Developing finger dexterity is the key to mastering precise tasks and enhancing your skill or craft.

HOW TO improve finger mobility: 

To make it simpler, you can use a countertop for support, or you can perform these exercises while seated or standing. Grab an object you can hold from the workbench, like a blower, or find a tennis ball or any ball will do.

Maintain a 3-4 out of 10 grip on the object throughout. Ensure that the front of your knuckles stays in contact with the ball or object.

thumb cars 2

Thumb CAR

middle finger cars 1

Middle Finger CAR

1. Thumb Rotations: Start with your thumb and perform as large rotations as possible while maintaining the grip on the ball. Rotate your thumb 3-4 times in one direction and then switch to the opposite direction.

2. Finger by Finger: Continue with the pointer finger, middle finger, ring finger and pinky. Then switch to your other hand.

Observe which fingers moved smoothly and which encountered difficulties. Were your movements fluid and coordinated, or did they feel choppy? Identify areas for improvement.

Finger CARs are an excellent warm-up routine to include before your workday. Consistent practice will gradually enhance your finger mobility and independence. Stick with it, and you’ll notice significant improvements in your dexterity over time.

How to improve wrist mobility:


Watch here for in depth video of wrist CARs

Or read below for a detailed description:  

Let’s now shift our focus to warming up your wrists. Wrist mobility is not only essential for daily activities but crucial for jewellery making.

HOW TO improve wrist mobility:

For added support, you can use a countertop. Rest your weight on the elbow of the wrist you’re working on and use your opposite hand to hold your forearm. It’s helpful to maintain a 3/4 out of 10 grip on the object from the previous exercise.

To perform wrist rotations effectively, keep your wrist pointing upwards at all times. Concentrating on your wrist, envision a laser beam focus. Using your opposite hand to grip your forearm minimises unnecessary movement. 

horizontal flex elbow wrist cars 2

1. Begin with your arm at a 90-degree angle, parallel to your work surface. While securely holding your object, initiate wrist rotations in the largest circles possible, ensuring your wrist doesn’t move from side to side or drop towards the floor. It’s harder than you think!  

Go though these rotations slowly and with intense focus, completing 3-5 rotations in one direction before switching the opposite direction.  

flex elbow wrist cars 1

2. Next, bend your elbow, bringing your wrist closer to your shoulder, and repeat the rotations 3 -5 times in both directions. Then, switch to the other wrist.

Wrist discomfort can be incapacitating, which is why prioritising wrist mobility is essential. This not only prevents discomfort but also reduces the risk of injuries, ensuring smooth, pain-free movement in your craft and daily activities. 

How to perform a simple wrist stretches & wrist curl through:

Wrist curl through

Watch here for in depth video of simple wrist stretches and wrist curl through

Or read below for a detailed description:  

Let’s explore some deceptively simple yet highly effective wrist stretches. You might be surprised by how tight or weak your wrists feel, but fear not, we’ve got a solution.

simple wrist stretch extended 1

Extended wrist stretch

simple wrist stretch flexed 2

Flexed wrist stretch

How to perform a simple wrist stretch:

1. Regardless of your starting position, extend one arm forward and flex your wrist by pointing your fingers toward the floor. Utilise your opposite hand to gently pull your hand and fingers backward, feeling a wonderful stretch along the top side of your wrist. Maintain the stretch for 15-30 seconds, and then switch to the other wrist.

A few key pointers: Ensure your shoulders are relaxed, avoiding any elevation towards your ears, and keep your arm straight without bending your elbow.

2. Next, extend your wrist by pointing your fingers upward towards the ceiling. Once again, employ your opposite hand to gently pull back on your fingers, creating a stretch along the underside of your wrist. Hold this stretch for 15-30 seconds, and then repeat on the other wrist. 

These uncomplicated yet highly effective wrist stretches can work wonders for your wrist mobility. Consider incorporating them into your daily routine, performing them multiple times a day for optimal results. Your wrists will thank you!

How to perform a wrist curl through:

For the grand finale of our warm-up routine, we’re combining the finesse of your fingers, wrists, and a dash of arm movement – it’s the icing on the cake, and it’s one of my personal favourites. I’m confident you’ll love it too! 

curl through wrists extended 1

Start elbows bent and wrists fully extended

curl through wrists flexed 2

Make a fist and flex the wrists

curl through elbows bent wrists flexed 3

Bend the elbows to the sides and curl wrists behind and down

curl through arms extended wrists flexed 4

Keep wrists flexed and arms straight

How to perform a wrist curl through:

1. Start in a standing position with both elbows flexed, bringing your hands up to shoulder height, wrists and fingers fully extended. Visualise your fingers like ‘jazz fingers’ or as if you’re shooting Spider-Man’s web from your palms. This extended position will generate an intense stretch through your fingers and back of your wrists.

2. Now, gradually begin the curling process: first, curl your fingertips, followed by the finger joints, and then the knuckles, forming a tight fist with your hands. Simultaneously, flex and curl your wrists inward, so your fists point towards you, creating a stretch along the top, or the front side of your wrists.

3. In this tightly flexed wrist position, initiate the next phase. Begin by moving your fists beneath your arms, extending your elbows out to the sides, and reaching your flexed wrists behind your body and downward. Maintain this flexed wrist position throughout the movement. Continue until your arms are fully extended, and wrists are flexed to their capacity.

4. Now, reverse the motion by bending your elbows, bringing your fists back forward and beneath your arms. As you do this, rotate and extend your wrists while bringing your elbows closer to your sides. When your hands return to shoulder height, fully extend your wrists, slowly uncurl your fist and finger, and return to the starting position with ‘jazz fingers’ feeling the stretch once agin through your fingers and wrists.

Phew, that was quite the sequence to explain. If you’d like a visual demonstration, click the video above. This movement is truly remarkable and one of my personal favourites, seamlessly ending stretch, strength, and mobility for your fingers and wrists. 

Stay tuned!

Next Up, strengthening..

Stay tuned as the next part of this blog will include more movements to strengthen the wrists and hands. 

Melanie Matulka 167

About Melanie:

Melanie is our movement maestro here at Lucy Walker Jewellery Studio! With more than a decade of experience and a deep understanding gained from her own injury recovery, she offers a holistic approach to help clients move better and feel their best.

If you want to get strong, flexy and improve your mobility, you can follow her at:
Instagram @yogaandmobilitywithmel