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Think about what your arms and shoulders are doing when you play your instrument: a lot of what we do involves bringing the arms forward, rotating them,and often holding them asymmetrically. And just think how much time you spend in this position. Hours, right? Unless we counteract these movements, over time this repetition can lead to changes in our bodies, undermining the natural alignment which is needed for good posture and ease of movement and eventually leading to possible physical problems and pain. I find that stretches which involve the shoulders are the ones where musicians notice the most immediate relief, precisely because these are the parts of our bodies which bear the brunt of our work.
This posture opens and relieves tension in the shoulders, stretches the upper chest and has a twisting element to it too. I find twists particularly relieving, maybe because, as a flute player, I’ve spent years playing in an asymmetrical posture and twists help neutralise the spine…perfect!
You can do them before you practice, or in breaks or after you’ve finished playing. They’ll all help to stretch and move different parts of your shoulders and work to retain movement and flexibility there.
Always listen to your body when doing stretches and don't push too far. You shouldn't feel any pain whilst getting in to a stretch or yoga posture. If you do come out of the pose.
Not all exercise programs are suitable for everyone. Check with your doctor before beginning any fitness or health programme. Perform these exercises at your own risk. Sally is not responsible or liable for any injury sustained as a result of doing any exercises found here.