Beat Lab Health Series: Stretches for Producers, Musicians, and Everyone!
Back pain. Wrist pain. Neck pain. Many of you feel one of these nuisances daily. Some of you feel them all, maybe it’s more of soreness for others. Regardless of your occupation, it’s quite a common feeling. Whether it involves producing in the box with a keyboard and mouse, setting faders on a mixing board, or recording sweet licks with a guitar in your hands, you are not immune to experiencing soreness, especially if you work for long periods of time.
Fortunately for us all, soreness and pain can be greatly reduced with a little bit of effort. You’ll find relief largely through stretching and taking breaks. In this article, I will cover a series of stretches targeted at relieving areas of tension common to musicians, producers, and any desk-worker.
Below you’ll find a number of short videos we compiled with some fantastic stretches. Most of these stretches do not require much space to them so, if you have a tight studio, that isn’t a problem. There are also stretches for those who have limited mobility in their legs, which have “(*LM)” next to their corresponding videos.
Picture your favorite producer working in their studio. Are they sitting? Well, that’s a common approach to producing— lots of sitting. While this may feel comfortable, sitting for long periods of time has been found to take a toll on the back.
To combat the damage caused by sitting, do the short exercises in the videos below. The more consistently you stretch, the less pain you will feel (although you might feel more pain when you first begin this regimen). The back is comprised of several different muscle groups, so the videos cover the various regions of the back.
A lot of upper back stretches can be done standing or sitting, which is great for those working in cramped studios. These videos below will show you the various options for relief.
Lower back stretches
The lower back receives a lot of pressure from daily activities, like sitting, which is why I included this section. The lower back really needs as much attention as you can give it. One thing I notice after stretching my lower back is that I feel lighter and much less tense. I hope you enjoy these exercises as much as I do!
The stretches in the video below are mostly done on the floor. If you have space and the ability, give them a try!
Most of the stretches in this video can be done on a yoga mat or the floor. For the bedroom producers out there, one of the stretches even requires laying on your bed! Continue below if you ever experience wrist pain, the most common injury for chronic computer users.
Music production demands constant wrist use, which can lead to some heavy fatigue and potential damage if breaks aren’t taken. While studies have found that keyboard and mouse use isn’t directly linked to Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, it is known to cause upper extremity disorders. Why is this important?
Physical therapy and the implementation of wrist rest and ergonomic workplace practices are not effective against carpal tunnel; however, they do generally alleviate symptoms caused by keyboard use. So, stretches can greatly reduce wrist pain.
The stretches in the videos below are a mix of wrist, hand, and arm stretches that can all be done sitting; so, those on a time crunch can take a couple of minutes to destress and alleviate some pain.
Unless your desk is completely ergonomic and you look directly forward at your computer screen, chances are you put a good amount of stress on your neck when you produce. Playing instruments, like piano and guitar, call for lots of looking down at your instrument— especially if you’re just beginning to learn it, or you’re playing a piece that’s demanding. Things you might not expect to hurt your neck do exactly that; a major culprit is looking down at your phone. Our bodies were not created to deal with neck strain like that.
Take care of your neck with the exercises below!
This video contains some great and simple exercises that can all be done while sitting. Some of the exercises in this video cater to those with limited mobility in their legs, however, the last couple of stretches might not.
How do you feel? Better? You should if you make it a daily practice to do these before and after you produce. Consistency is key! Taking care of our bodies is easy to brush aside when we’re only interested in catching the tightest grooves. But those grooves won’t be tight if your body is, you need to stay limber. Stay tuned for the follow-up to this article in our health series which will cover ergonomics.
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