The following photos and stretches are from Dr. Jameson's book "Repetitive Strain Injuries: Alternative Treatments and Prevention." For a more detailed description and for more full-body stretches, follow the link on the home page to purchase the book.
General rules on stretching:
- If the body parts being stretched become painful - then STOP! This is your body's warning signal that the soft tissues are injured.
- Stretches should last about 15 to 20 seconds each. Each one should be a slow gradual movement with the stretch occurring as you breathe out.
- NEVER bounce back and forth when you stretch. You can injure yourself.
The Shoulder Area
The above and below stretches effect the shoulder region. Pull your body away from the arm. You'll feel the above stretch in the back by the shoulder blade and in your arm and forearm. The stretches below you'll feel in the front of the chest - these are great for all musicians, especially guitarists, pianists, and string players.
Forearm Stretches (below): These stretches help to relieve tension in your forearms and wrists. These are very important for any instrument with a fretboard - especially guitarists. Great for pianists too!
Perform these stretches below just like the ones above - except go the opposite direction with your wrist.
Don't forget to stretch those fingers! They take a beating playing any instrument!
The thumbs are critical to stretch - especially in guitarists on the fretting hand.
Hope you enjoyed the routine. Start doing these daily and you'll see a difference in your performance!