Your body is your most important instrument. Whether your second-lining, playing a cello concerto or suiting up for St. Josephs Day, keep your body in tune with regular warmups and healthy practices!
Like any other skilled physical activity, playing an instrument should be preceded by a warm up. to prepare your body and reduce the risk of injury.
Don’t have a warmup or stretch routine? Refer to the British Association for Performing Arts Medicine’s handy Don’t Cramp Your Style factsheet:
Pro Tips to Keep You Fit to Play
- Never play through pain- stop before discomfort begins!
- Try doing a series of warm-up exercises before a gig! (see above)
- After a gig, try cool-down exercises for a few minutes to help your body unwind (stretching, breathing, yoga, etc)
- Make sure you’re using correct posture and technique! Bad technique may become a habit and lead to health problems. Expert advice from a professional or instructor may help.Never play through pain- stop before discomfort begins!
- Take regular breaks while practicing. Set a timer, every now and then take a few minutes away from playing and relax your muscles.
- Lifestyle can affect your playing- make sure you’re eating healthy and getting good sleep.Vision and hearing can affect your neck and upper limb posture; have them tested periodically.
- A mix of regular exercise and relaxation will help you avoid playing-related tension that leads to pain & stiffness. Choose exercise routines you enjoy and find techniques to help you relax. Talk to the doctors at the NOMC for advice on safe exercises and effective relaxation techniques.