Warm up to prevent injury and increase range of motion – For Guitar

Warm-ups prepare us to perform at our best while minimizing risk of damage to our muscles, ligaments and nerves. This is especially important if you are playing for long periods of time, doing more intense activities like bar chords, awkward patterns, or intense bends and leads.

These are intended for guitarists but would be helpful and appropriate for anyone who uses their hands and wrists a lot throughout the day. However, everyone has different causes of tension, pain, or injury and this may or may not be helpful for you. Go slow and adjust as you see fit. If a particular movement feels wrong to you, trust your body and move on or substitute a more comfortable movement.

Warm-ups may seem time consuming, but they’re far less time consuming than injury!

Remind yourself to breathe deeply and release excess tension often throughout warm-ups and throughout practice sessions.

Disclaimer: This is not medical advice. Go slow and be careful and gentle with yourself.

Pre-Guitar Warm-Up:

1. Increase blood flow to the hands/upper body

    • Light cardio
    • Heat (water bottles, heated blankets etc.)
    • Arm-swings
    • Shoulder rolls
    • Shaking the hands


2.  Self-massage

    • From neck down to the hands, both sides.  Ribs, chest, shoulders and upper back as well.
    • Gently push on and pull/stretch sore and stiff areas (trigger points) to help release them and get blood flowing through them


3.  Strengthening Exercises for Upper Body


    • Gets muscles activated and warm to reduce risk of injury to wrists and hands
    • Work areas such as Biceps, Triceps, Back, Chest, Forearms and Wrists
    • Suggestions: Forearm pronation and supination, pushups, rows, triceps dips, shoulder flexion, curls, etc.  


4.  Stretch

Do stretches in this order:

    • Side to side stretch
    • Shoulders
    • Triceps
    • Neck
    • Forearms
    • Hands


What other exercises do you do to warm up and stay strong? Feel free to comment below:





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