As a musician, you likely spend much of your time practising. While this is a great habit to have, it can also be detrimental to your health and, in turn, the very music you’ve been working on so hard. This is due to the fact that playing an instrument doesn’t necessarily require a lot of extreme physical movement but can occupy the majority of your free time – leading some musicians to go through life in a very sedentary manner.
Of course, everyone knows that exercise is good for a person’s health. However did you know that consistent exercise might actually help make you a better musician too?
Here are six ways regular workouts can help you become a better performer.
1. Better Breathing
Regular cardio exercise can have a huge positive effect on a person’s ability to breathe efficiently. This is especially true when the cardio is combined with a good core-strength regimen.
Obviously, better breathing is helpful to singers and those who play wind or brass instruments. However, it can actually be immensely helpful to nearly any performer because easier breathing allows a more energetic and controlled performance.
2. Improved Posture
Any pianist will be quick to tell you just how important posture is when playing the piano. That said, posture is a very important part of playing practically all instruments. Good posture allows a musician to play for longer stretches without suffering from fatigue or backaches. It also helps with breathing and concentration – both important parts of offering the very best performance possible.
Fortunately, even the worst posture can be improved by regular core exercises and other muscle-strengthening workouts. For example, planks, crunches, and yoga can be very beneficial.
3. Strengthened Muscles
Many instruments require the user to have a certain amount of muscle strength in one area or another. For instance, the saxophone can demand quite a lot of arm strength in order to be played for an entire set.
All musicians can benefit from strength-training exercises. Try lifting small dumbbells in a variety of ways to build and maintain muscles in your arms. The weights don’t need to be heavy, but after several repetitions, it should become more difficult to complete the exercise.
4. Increased Coordination
We all know how important coordination is when it comes to playing a musical instrument. Drummers, for instance, must have the ability to use multiple limbs to play various drums and rhythms simultaneously. On the other hand, a guitarist may want to have the coordination to jump up and down while playing.
Exercise can help musicians further develop and fine-tune their coordination. The best workouts for this area include balancing exercises – such as standing or hopping on one foot – or jumping while completing a 360-degree turn.
5. Sharper Thinking
Regular exercise helps keep your mind clear, essential for learning new music and performing it well.
Almost any form of movement can help in this area. That said, outdoor workouts such as jogging or yoga in the park are especially beneficial.
Dance forms that require dancers to remember challenging combinations are also ideal. Some good examples of dance forms that improve thinking processes include country line dancing, ballroom dancing, and clogging.
6. Inspired Music-Making
Perhaps the most amazing thing exercise can do is offer inspiration. Exercise releases endorphins in your brain which help stimulate happy thoughts and push signs of depression out the door.
The happy mood brought on by these endorphins is a great source of inspiration for many artists. If you are in a rut and feeling uninspired, try going for a run or walk. You might be surprised how much it helps.
As you can see, exercise offers a whole host of benefits to musicians. So what are you waiting for? Get up and get moving!
Do you have a regular workout that you find helpful as a musician? Do you have tips or tricks for others who are looking to start exercising?
Share with us in the comments!
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