Prevent injures #1 | stretching and warming up

As I proPrevent injures #1 stretching and warming upmise in my earlier post, I’m going to continue this series of talking about how to keep up our physical health, as musicians. so today i decided to extend a bit into two things that are necessary in the process of avoiding  injuries and pain.

 Stretching

this is the first thing you should be doing to preserve your muscles health. This recommendations could work not only for musicians but everyone else, like somebody that works in an office or you have a work where you spend many hours being sit or standing or just repeating a movement over and over.


 

The muscular areas that we are going to teach you how to stretch in this post will be the following:

  • sternocleidomastoid
  • trapezius
  • Triceps
  • Wrist extensors
  • Wrist flexors
  • Scapula

Fuente

So we’ll start with stretches of the Cervical area, with three simple exercises.

  1. First we are going to start moving our chin towards the chest and up again. Do this move really slow to avoid contractions and be aware of relaxing your body while breathing. Repeat 4 to 5 times.
  2. The second exercise to stretch we are going to do is to stretch the sides of your neck. Sit with your feet flat on the ground. Extend your left arm to your left knee. Place your right arm into the top of your head and tilt it to the right with minimum pressure, hold it for 5 seconds and then lift your head, and repeat it on the other side for about 4-5 times. Do this really slow and concentrate on breathing to relax all your muscles.
  3. And the third exercise consist on gently turning your head from the front (normal position) to the right, so your nose is over your shoulder. Hold for a few seconds and go back. To this to the other side and repeat it for 6-8 times.

Fuente
 

The next exercises we are going to work for stretching our back

For this exercise you need to be sitted, bend raised your arms into 90 degrees angle, keeping arms and neck still, squeeze the scapula, drawing them closer and hold. Return to neutral and then repeat for 5 times. This exercise is important to help us keep up a great posture.

The second exercise is really simple to do, you only need to stand, and do a lateral flexion of your body, start by flexing to the right, pushing your pelvis across the side you bend and hold for a few seconds. Then go to your starting place and stretch the left side. Do this 4-5 times each side.

 


Fuente
 

Now we are going to stretch the muscles in our arms.

Let’s start for our triceps. Pull your right elbow behind your head with your left hand, apply medium pressure and feel the muscle heating up while stretching. Then go back and do the same with the other side for about 4 times.

Now we are going to continue to stretching the supraspinatus by putting your right hand in the left shoulder and then the left hand in the right elbow and tilt it to the left, keeping the elbow parallel to the ground. Do this on both sides for about 4 times.

Followed by this we will stretch the flexors and extensors of the wrist.
We stretch our right arm to the front and with the help of the left hand we carry the hand in (towards the forearm),and hold for some seconds, then procedure with the left arm.
Now we do the exercise the same way but taking the palm of the hand up and stretching towards the arm. do this for 4-5 times on each arm.

And the final stretch to finish this routine consist on touching your toe. Stand straight and go down relaxing your back and then stretching the more you can, if you are flexible enough you could touch your toes, if not, there is no problem. Just feel how your muscles warm up and get ready to study!

It seems like a long stretching routine but, it’s really simple and you will finish without noticing in a couple of minutes.

Now, let’s get into warming up. There is nothing better to warm up than play some open strings and then scales and arpeggios

To warm up your left hand, start by making a C major scale only using your third and fourth finger, you would start feeling the muscles work immediately while doing this.
The second thing for warming up is to make some trills.
For me its a fun way (and necessary) to get those fingers into work. Start making the trills in a medium speed and build up the tempo to have a faster trill. You can practice this only in first place, I will take you just a few minutes, don’t avoid them.

After doing the previous steps of warming up you can begin with the double stops. Thirds, octaves and tenths are necessary. You better not avoid them because they are like some friends, if you don’t get in contact often, they would forget about you. BELIEVE ME, you don’t want to start meeting them from zero.

Yay you!!

You are done with warming up! Now you’re ready to jump into the magical world of music, without worrying about getting injured or having pain (if you do it right)

What should you look to make it right?
Breathing
Relaxing
physical conscience
Posture

Don’t forget to stretch AGAIN, after you finish the practice session, and you would be done and most importantly satisfied for the effort and work you put into it.

That was it for today’s post, if you find it useful, don’t forget to leave my some support or doubts if you have it. We will continue to extending this series in a future post  very soon.

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Músico, flautista, arreglista y escritor. Since 1995. Caracas, Venezuela

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