While waiting between a set of concerts recently, I noticed one of my colleagues standing at the corner of the room, the palm of each hand on an adjacent wall, leaning her body into the corner.
"It really stretches your shoulders!" she explained, as I approached. I tried it - wow, it felt good!
Stretching before (and after) playing can help avoid playing-related pain and injury, but I confess that I don't always do it. I know a number of violinists who faithfully perform a stretching ritual before playing, and it does help.
For a while I had a neck injury, which led me to a physical therapist who gave me a set of exercises specifically for helping muscles in my neck. Those exercises cleared up my problem, but then I stopped doing them!
How about you? Do you have a set of exercises to do before playing? What are they? How did they evolve? What issues do they address? Or have you never really tried stretching before playing? Please participate in the vote and then share your ideas and experiences about stretching before playing. Below I've linked to some of our best stories about exercises for injury prevention.
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