Music may not be a sport, but it still takes a physical toll on our bodies. And unlike athletes, musicians often do not pay attention to the strain that musical instruments place on our backs, necks, wrists and more. To enjoy a long-term musical career, it is important that you keep yourself in good physical shape. This will allow you to maintain your playing for longer, and stay healthy without experiencing discomfort.
To help you with this, here are 5 quick, easy and highly beneficial exercises you can do to reduce tension. Do these before a show, when you are practising or even every morning when you wake up, and you will greatly reduce your chances of injury so that you can continue playing music comfortably for years to come.
Hold your hands out in front of you with your fists closed and then slowly rotate them in a circular motion. This will help prevent tendonitis, as well as help with blood flow. This exercise is especially useful for musicians that mainly use their wrists, such as guitarists and drummers.
A very useful exercise for fingerstyle instrumentalists. Stretch each of your fingers on both hands individually by pressing them against the palm of your other hand and pushing them upwards.
This exercise helps alleviate tension in your elbows and forearms. Simply place your hands together in a prayer position and squeeze them tightly while pushing your arms downwards. Hold for 15 seconds.
This is a great exercise for easing neck tension, which is a common occurrence among violinists. Turn your head all the way to the left while keeping your back and shoulders straight. Hold for 5 seconds before returning to a neutral posture, and then turn your head all the way to the right and hold for another 5 seconds. Repeat for 10 repetitions.
Place your arms in a relaxed position at your sides, and then gently shrug your shoulders upwards towards your ears in a circular motion. Complete 10 repetitions or more.
These 5 exercises are a great way to reduce cramping, pain, stiffness and other common issues that musicians face on a regular basis. If you do these regularly as part of your warmup routine, you will begin seeing the benefits almost immediately.
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