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Injury Prevention for Musicians - Part 3

Maddy Roop

March 18, 2019

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Join us in learning about body awareness in part 3 of our Injury Prevention Series for musicians. Have you ever felt strain or tension in your shoulders, back, or legs while playing your instrument? It could be because of posture! In this video, Maddy will give us some great tips on body awareness and some exercises to practice to improve dexterity, coordination, and strength.

Here at Real School, we are advocates of healthy posture. Good posture can help alleviate strain and reduce injuries. Being aware of our body helps to promote healthy posture, increase our coordination skills, and reduce stress.

This blog will focus on body awareness. The first step to better posture is becoming aware of yourself. Try these simple exercises to help promote coordination and strength, and in the process help you become more aware of your body and how you hold yourself. They're also a fun and active way to warm up before your lessons!

Screen Shot 2019-03-18 at 2.28.38 PMExercise #1: Balancing on one foot

Posture is foundational, built from the bottom of the body upwards. Great posture starts with the feet, and this exercise helps to kickstart better balance and overall coordination.

It's simple! Balance on one foot with the other foot extended out in front of you. Don't lift it too high. The higher the lifted foot, the more difficult it is to keep your balance. When you get the hang of it, move your foot behind you and test your balance this way. The muscles in your foot will begin to activate, so if you feel some tension down there don't worry. That's normal. Switch feet and balance on the other foot.

The human body is asymmetrical, so don't expect each side to balance the same. One side might be easier to balance than the other. Just go with it.

Exercise #2: Tennis ball squeezes Screen Shot 2019-03-18 at 2.30.20 PM

This exercise is for pianists, violinists, guitarists, woodwinds, and brass players. Any players that use their hands! Dexterity and coordination are incredibly important, and this is a simple exercise to help increase your hand strength and become more aware of critical movements in your hands.

Grab a tennis ball, and squeeze as hard as you can for 10 seconds. Then release. Gently and slowly stretch your hand, and then repeat the exercise 5-10 times. Remember to stretch your hands after each time, and go at a pace that's comfortable for you.

Screen Shot 2019-03-18 at 2.31.20 PMExercise #3: Finger taps

Calling all musicians who use their hands! Wait...isn't that all of us? This is a neurological, multi-tasking exercise and will help improve your focus on fine motor skill development.

The best part: you get to do this while watching your favorite tv show or while reading a book!

Tap your fingers in different patterns. Try simultaneously tapping both thumbs, forefingers, middle fingers, ring fingers, pinkies, and then back again. Create different patterns with your fingers, but try to be consistent and deliberate. This sounds super simple, but it may be a little more challenging than you think. Just be aware that your tapping may drive other people crazy. Like your parents, or your teachers, or your friends, so don't get too carried away!

I hope these body awareness exercises are fun and helpful. Don't be afraid to keep trying new things to improve your posture and prevent injury.

I'll bring you guys some more tips very soon! Thanks for reading. Stay real. Rock on. Peace out!

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