Mobility For Musicians

stretches for musiciansEveryone knows that before you start your flute practise, you need to warm up your chops for a good tone.

If you spend a few minutes preparing your embouchure for a good tone, why not spend a few minutes preparing your body for good playing?

If you spend many hours seated while practising or in rehearsals, then your hip flexors and your back will probably get quite tight. And of course if you play the flute, your shoulders and thoracic spine are going to be under stress the whole time.

Musicians need to stretch their muscles. They also need to improve mobility.

This is a simple mobility sequence that helps combat poor posture and strained muscles from hours of practise.

If you struggle with any movements, you can of course adjust to suit your current mobility. What I like about this, is that each movement naturally flows into the next. You cover a lot of movements that improve mobility in your hips and back, and most people (including myself!) are stiff in these areas.

You can do this before your practise, in a break during your practise, or in the evening at the end of the day.

I call this the Big Mobility-Plex and it goes like this:

Inchworm, Push up, Back extension, Spiderman, Thoracic rotation, Side lunge, Spiderman, Thoracic rotation, Side lunge, Inchworm, Roll up.

Watch the video, and I’ll break it all down for you.

Inchworm – Start with straight knees (wide foot stance if you are inflexible, narrow stance if you are flexible), bend at the hips and put your hands on the ground. Walk them forwards until you are in the upright push up position.

Push up – I like to do this one keeping my elbows tucked into my body. If you are not great with push ups on your toes, go only as low as you can. In time you’ll improve.

Back extension – Let your hips sink to the ground and push your upper body up as far as you can with your arms.

Spiderman – In the upright push up position, bring your right foot forward to just outside your right hand, then let your left knee touch the ground.

Thoracic rotation – Raise your right arm (same side of which leg is forward) up so it is perpendicular to the ground. Rotate your upper back so you are looking at your hand in the air. Then bring your arm back down to return to the spiderman position.

Side lunge – Stay low, and twist your body to face your left side side so you are now in a side lunge position with your right knee bent and left knee out to your side. Then twist back to return to the spiderman position.

 

At this point bring your leg backwards so you are in the upright push up position again. Repeat the Spiderman, Thoracic rotation, and Side lunge, on the other side. Then keeping your knees as straight as possible, walk your hands back towards your toes (reverse Inchworm), and then stand up by rolling up through your spine.

Repeating this 2-5 times will improve your mobility. You can, of course, add other movements to make this an even longer sequence. Give it a go and let me know how you find it, and if you come up with some other good variations, be sure to let me know 🙂