As a health professional and a musician, I feel as though it is my duty to help bring awareness to the music world about how to effectively take care of themselves. I started blending my passions of music and health (two areas that are often considered to be worlds apart) when I started to experience pain from prolonged playing. From time to time I still experience tightness or soreness but I can keep the symptoms at bay with a simple 15 -20 minute exercise routine. Today I am going to tell you fellow drummers the three part warmup that I utilize to alleviate tightness in my wrists in order to be proactive in the maintenance of my physical health. Try it out!
- Rudimentary Warm up (5-10 minutes) I Like to put on Sugarhill Gang’s “Apache” and play single stroke and double stroke rolls during the verses and variation of ratamacues or paradiddles during the choruses. This gets my speed up, brain working and movement coordination all on par.
- Stretchhhhhhhhh the flexors and extensors! (5 minutes) You’re thinking’- “Da-fuk?” Yeah, your forearms, buddy. Those things that get all glued up when you don’t stretch…. you know? Throw on “Rock Show” by Blink 182 and when the hook or chorus is going place your hands on your throne, palms down and fingers pointed back towards your body and gently lean back, keeping your arm straight (but don’t lock your elbow). You should feel a nice stretch through the inside of your forearm. Then, when the verse comes up, switch so that the back of your hands are now down and you stretch the outside of your forearm when you lean back. Make sense? Cool. Almost there.
- Breathe! (5 minutes) Personally, this is the time to bust out your soft rock jams – I’m a big fan of “Vultures” by John Mayer. Address the areas that are tight. Since we are focusing on wrists today we will stay on the upper body (because the whole limb is a connected device so when your wrist shows symptoms, the root may actually be in the elbow, shoulder or even the neck..). Start with shoulder rolls, slowly roll your shoulders up towards your ears, squeezing your shoulder blades together as you slowly drop them in a circular fashion. Try 10 rolls each direction. Then you can put your arms out beside you, one palm facing up, the other facing down. Looking towards the palm that’s up, take a deep breath in through the nose and upon your exhale, turn to look toward the other hand while rotating the palms. Essentially your matching your breathing with a spiral movement of your limbs. This is super effective in releasing any tension through the upper back! Don’t be alarmed if your fingers start to feel tingly, that’s just the electricity and energy you’re starting to harness. Try about 10 breaths either way to start out.
Now you should be all warmed up. Go check out my video series on my Youtube Channel later this week for the videos that match this particular warm up and be sure to subscribe and share this article with your friends who are suffering from a lack of TLC in the ways of self-care!
Thanks for reading! Feel free to add your favourite stretches or routine to this post in the comments. I’d love to hear what puts you in a good place pre-show!