Imaginary Skies Art by Carina Bruce-Kadow

Weightlifting for Artists!


So… I started weightlifting again two months ago. Been working hard on losing quite a bit of weight for a medical thing, and cardio on a low calorie diet is a recipe for muscle-loss. And well, muscle-loss is bad. It makes so many minor and major health issues worse, including many of mine. And well, best way to put muscle back on is… swinging heavy stuff around. Lifting weights.

But the real reason I enjoyed it so much lately is because it has been so good for my art.

Strength Training for artists? Why?

Weightlifting equipment fancy edition: Dumbbells!
Unnecessarily fancy weightlifting equipment: Dumbbells! You can always use water bottles instead.

Because you still need muscles to sit or stand at your desk, that’s why.

You know those shoulder and neck issues you get when hunched over concentrating on drawing for too long? I had them so often: Even with the most ergonomic setup possible, I rarely could work longer than an hour before my shoulder gave out. And the very second I lifted my arm, the joint clicked.

All that’s gone. My posture is better than ever now my back’s stronger. My legs don’t fall asleep as fast anymore. I can stream for longer without breaks.  The tendons in my drawing hand I had hurt years ago ceased acting up that much.

Weightlifting’s like an insurance for a good art career, because it keeps my hand and shoulders smooth. But it’s the mental boons which really surprised me.

The whole „lift thing! Rest now!“ pattern’s very meditative, just like running.  Rest time’s perfect for folding clothing or writing blogposts, I get a lot done that way. And the lifting itself? I love the feeling of my my muscles working and getting sore, and getting clean reps in is so, so satisfying. It’s something where my body works with me instead against me, and well… Weightlifting gives me a feeling of power and control, and I really, really needed that lately.

Plus, it’s nice to have a hobby that’s just for me. One I am not doing for or with other people.

But most importantly…

I can do weightlifting at home

I hate gyms. Some people thrive in them, I am not one of them. Maybe one day when I get over my body issues I’ll enjoy them, but for now, they’re a minor version of hell to be avoided at all costs. So, I use an app called Home Workout and our couch’s ottoman as weightlifting bench. My dumbbells I bought of amazon, but before that I just used full water bottles. This way I can art, train, art with the least bit of downtime. It’s GLORIOUS.

Weightlifting’s a wonderful sport. You don’t need much to start out, just some heavy stuff you can grip safely. Just be mindful to do the movements right.

By Carina
Imaginary Skies Art by Carina Bruce-Kadow