Stretches for Musicians
Playing an instrument doesn’t feel the same as playing a sport. When you play a sport, you’re on your feet, you might be sweaty and out of breath, you feel your muscles burn and ache. Playing an instrument is usually done sitting down, breathing slowly and carefully, and using fine motor movements in your elbows, hands, wrists, and fingers.
While you might not feel the muscle tightness and exhaustion in the same way you do when playing sports, in reality you are putting your muscles through intense, strenuous work. Before you start any practice session, you should begin with a few stretches, just like you would at sports practice. This will protect your muscles and keep them healthy, limber, and strong for years to come.
When stretching, make sure take slow, deep breaths and stretch gently. Stretching too hard can pull a muscle and cause more pain than when you began.
You can check out this website for picture demonstrations of all the stretches described below: Musician’s Health Stretches
These are best done in a doorway.
1. Grab onto the edge of the door frame and pull yourself away from it to stretch the back side of your shoulder.
2. Put your palm against the door frame and twist your body away from your hand to stretch your forearm and inside shoulder/armpit area
Hold you arm out straight in front of your with your hand pointed up like you’re giving a high-five. With your other hand, gently pull the fingers backward toward yourself. Do this with the fingers pointing downward as well.
Put one hand on top of your head and gently pull your head toward your shoulder on either side.
Pull each finger back individually. Don’t forget your thumb!