Fitness exercises? How will that help me become a better improviser, or improve my tone?
In this special guest post by Jasmine T. from TakeLessons, a variety of activities detail how your music performance can benefit when you take part in fitness exercises for musicians.
Studies have also shown that being active helps to clear our thinking and focus more on challenging mental tasks.
Here's the article…
10 Essential Fitness Exercises for Musicians
by Jasmine T. from TakeLessons.com
As musicians, it can be easy to forget that it’s not just our mind that matters — our body plays a role in learning music, too! And just as it’s important to find a great teacher to guide us toward reaching our goals, it’s also vital that we remember how to take care of ourselves.
Here are 10 fitness exercises, stretches, and activities you can do to stay in tip-top shape, for all types of musicians — from singers to guitarists to wind instrumentalists and more!
What it is: Fitness-oriented classes that focus on breathing, alignment, strength, balance, and opening up the body
Best for: Everyone
How to get started: Choose between heated and non-heated classes at a local studio or with a private yoga instructor; look for vinyasa-based classes that link breath to movement.
Learning how to properly and deeply breathe isn’t just important for singers! Taking full breaths is known to reduce stress and improve concentration. Breathing slowly and deeply, especially during challenging yoga poses, will help you to do so during stressful moments, calming both your mind and your body.
See also: 15 Yoga Poses with Powerful Benefits for Singers [Videos], Yoga for Musicians via Yoga Journal
What it is: Exercises that strengthen the muscles in your torso, including your abdominals and back muscles
Best for: Vocalists, pianists, wind instrumentalists
How to get started: You can incorporate core work in many different workout formats, but especially in Pilates, yoga, and kickboxing classes. Or create a routine for yourself that includes planks, crunches, and oblique work.
Put simply, you need a strong core to hold yourself upright. It’s not just about having a six-pack; having a weak core can put strain on your back and ultimately cause chronic back pain. Core strength also helps improve your balance and stability — super important for all the sitting and standing we do!
What it is: Exercises that help maintain proper alignment of your spine
Best for: Everyone
How to get started: This is usually incorporated heavily in barre and yoga; you can also try doing some simple exercises at home, such as wall sits or shoulder rolls — anything that encourages your shoulders back and down, your chin slightly tucked, and your feet parallel with each other.
Sitting at a computer all day, being hunched over our phones, and slouching in general can wreak havoc on our posture. Over time, our spine begins to morph into the wrong shape — chin jutting forward, shoulders hunched, feet forming a v-shape. Not to mention that a performer with poor posture just doesn’t look as confident or as professional!
See also: Posture and Breathing, via Brass Musician Magazine
Want to read more?
Click here to read the rest of the article, where you will learn how these exercises can help you perform more efficiently and consistently.
Many people feel that they don't have time to exercise or get fit. If you get in the habit of planning your days ahead of time, you will find you can fit in some time throughout the week to be active. Your body will thank you for it!
Many musicians also feel they don't have enough time to practice. The same good habit applies here too; plan your week of practicing ahead of time, and use my Ultimate Practice Planner to help you.
As many productivity experts say, “if it's not in the schedule, it's not getting done.”
You can get a free copy of my Planner, along with my Weekly Newsletter, where you get practical tips to improve your musical performance delivered to your inbox every Tuesday, by clicking below.