In theory, the bow hand glides back and forth like a paintbrush on a canvas, the bow hand having the smooth flexibility of the brush's bristles.
In reality, it takes a lot of work to achieve that natural-seeming motion. Holding a rather long and somewhat heavy stick at a funny angle while balancing a fiddle on the shoulder, then moving the two hands in completely different ways but somehow in tandem -- this is awkward work!
If you isolate the bow hand, its job boils down to the ability to balance and control a stick in your hand, without dropping it. A few very simple exercises can make a drastic difference in your right-hand flexibility, but the exercises require a lot of repetition over time. You won't see the effect in one day, nor will you be able to immediately apply the exercises to the bow hand. Why? These are active exercises, but much of their application is as passive strength and flexibility. In other words, if your bow fingers are springs, you first must actually create the springs, then strengthen them. When you then use the springs, it will in reaction to the motion of the stick. Rather complex! But the first step is to create those springs, to explore and strengthen the flexibility in your bow fingers and hand.
In the video below, I describe and demonstrate four basic exercises for developing bow-hand flexibility. I hope you find them helpful!
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