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Are You Ready to Push the Reset Button?

In Fitness, media/podcast/interviews, Motivation and Success, Resources, Workshops by AngelaLeave a Comment

Yesterday on our podcast, Jen and I talked about some exciting things we have coming up! My exciting thing is the Covid Comeback Challenge!

You can secure your spot here, or hit that Contact Me button and tell me what instrument you play. Let’s do this!

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    Live,Instrument Specific Online Workouts!

    In Uncategorized by AngelaLeave a Comment

    You may not be performing on stage at the moment but practicing can still wear tear on your body. I’m here to help! In 1.5 hours I’ll will walk you through an instrument specific workout that will keep you strong, healthy and injury free throughout your career as a musician.

    What you’ll learn:

    • Proper form
    • Workout order
    • How to mobilize, stretch and activate
    • What specific exercises you need to do for each instrument to help you avoid injury, increase strength and endurance and correct muscle imbalances.

    Each workout is designed specifically for YOUR instrument and includes:

    • Mobility
    • Specific strength exercises
    • Basics of form and strength training technique
    • Progressions and Regressions
    • Options for if you have equipment, access to a gym or no equipment at all
    • a downloadable PDF of the workout
    • The recording of the workout so you can watch it at your leisure.
    • Live Q&A

    I will be hosting my Live Workout series most Tuesdays and Thursday at 10 AM CST with bonus “Essential Excercises” workouts on Sundays at 5:00 PM. If you can’t attend the session, not a problem! I will send you a recording following the workout to cover everything you need to know about the strength training you need!

    Essential Exercises Workouts:
    In these workouts we will go through my book and cover the basics of form and the bare bones exercises you need to be doing in any workout as a musician. These will be based off my book “The Musician’s Essential Exercises” – we will be going through the book, explaining and doing the exercises and also going through and doing the workouts in the back so you can feel competent going forward with any workout you do, knowing what is appropriate for you.

    These workout are separate from the instrument specific workouts.

    You do not need the book but it is helpful. These workouts are not included in the Buy 5 deal, but 1 workout IS included if you buy all as a package.

    Upcoming Live Workshops

    • Oboe – Thursday, Sept. 24
    • Essential Exersises (Q&A) Sunday Sept 27th 5:00 PM CST
    • Flute – Thursday Oct. 1
    • Timpani – Tuesday Oct. 6
    • Harp – Thursday Oct. 8
    • Keyboard – Tuesday Oct. 13
    • Bassoon – Thursday Oct 15
    • Audio Engineer – Tuesday Oct 20
    • Horn – Thursday Oct 22
    • Violin/Viola – Tuesday, Oct 27
    • Conductor – Thursday Oct. 29
    • Trombone – Tuesday Nov. 3
    • Trumpet – Thursday Nov. 5
    • Guitar – Tuesday Nov 10
    • Cello – Thursday Nov 12
    • Essential Exercises (Q&A) – Sunday Nov. 15 5:00 PM CST
    • Organ – Tuesday Nov 17
    • Bass – Thursday Nov 19
    • Tuba – Tuesday Nov 24
    • Percussion- Tuesday Dec 1
    • Clarinet -Thursday Dec 3
    • Saxophone – Thursday Dec 10

    DISCOUNTS AND BUNDLES!

    All instrument specific workouts are on sale for $49 until 2 days before, then they go up to the full price of $79.

    For a limited time only, buy 5 & get 1 FREE! Enter coupon code BUNDLEDEAL at checkout!

    All video access: You can get access to all 20 instrument specific workouts plus 1 Essential Exercises video for the discounted rate of $1200, which is 5 free classes and a savings of $400! That’s all 20 classes (both live AND recorded) and 20 instrument specific workout PDFs, plus the Essential Exercises class of your choice. Enter coupon code “ALL” at checkout. And don’t forget, there is the option to pay in installments, so you can space things out as you need to without waiting on the content.

    FAQ

    Why 1.5 hours?

    This gives us the optimal amount of time without being rushed to be able to not just do a workout, but explain the how and why and lead you through it all.

    Will we be working out the entire time?
    Doing? Yes. Working out like you would normally do in a gym? No!

    Do I need any equipment?
    These are structured with little to no equipment, but I will definitely show you options if you do have equipment!  Foam roller, lacrosse ball, exercise bands, dumbbells are all things I may use.

    What if I can’t make the workout time?
    All the workouts will be recorded so you can watch and re-watch anytime you want.

    Will you see me?
    Only if you want me to! You have the option to show your screen or not, totally up to you. If I can see you, I have the opportunity to see you in real time, giving you feedback on how you’re performing the exercise and answering your questions.

    What happens after I make my payment?
    You’ll be sent an email with the Zoom registration details, Make sure you click on that to register for the class! When you’ve done that, you’ll get the Zoom class link.

    What if I have more questions?
    Great! Let’s set up a time to talk! Email me at angela@musicstrong.com.

    Lets Do This!

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    “Get Off the Couch to Get on the Road”: #152 Podcast Interview with The Business Side of Music

    In Uncategorized by AngelaLeave a Comment

    Are you a musician? Do you listen to podcasts? If so, The Business Side of Music should be on your playlist radar! Recently I had my second interview with them

    Did you know that when playing your instrument, that there’s actually a question of ergonomics? Beyond getting the best sound possible, is there a better way to hold your instrument? Is your posture the best for you when performing? Are you standing or sitting correctly? How about that pain-related playing you experience after long hours of practicing or performing. Are the bad habits you’ve picked up over the years, or even in the past year of the pandemic lockdown, fixable. Does the imbalance of your instrument cause you physical pain? Angela McCuiston is here to explain it all to us.

    We talk about taking care of your body, along with taking care of your hearing, all things that musicians (or anyone who works in the music industry, for that matter) should pay close attention to.

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    The Business Side of Music Podcast – get it wherever you get your podcasts!

    I highly encourage you to subscribe to their podcast. These guys interview a smorgasboard of the big names in the biz, and if you’re a musician, you’re in business for yourself, so you should definitely learn from these guys who know it all!

    We covered a few things, my book: The Musician’s Essential Exercises (in both print and ebook), the Covid Comeback and the group coaching program coming soon I think I’m going to call “Fitness for Musicians” – please help me come up with another name) let’s go through, quickly, with some links!

    Things we mentioned in the Podcast

    Covid Comeback

    So things have evolved since the podcast and while the program has been out since December, I’m REALLY excited to announce a partnership with Hyperice for the 12 week challenge. For anyone who signs up for the 12-week challenge, not only will you get 1-1 training sessions with me included, you’ll also get a Hypervolt Go! percussive massage gun for FREE as well as detailed recovery days using the gun and their free IOS app (Android coming out within 30 days). LOVE to share all the fun details with you here!

    Group Coaching

    This is a BRAND NEW concept. It’s not a workout – what it IS is a program designed to equip you to know yourself and understand your body and what it needs to prevent injury and take care of yourself. As I said, it’s not a workout, but it IS a community, with group coaching and great content that I’m super excited to share with you. I could go on but I’d rather let my video explain it. If you are interested in knowing the 3 Steps to Prevent Injury, Increase Stamina and Increase the Longevity of Your Career as a Musician You can click here to get details! After you’ve watched it, send me an email to learn more and see if it’s right for you!

    If you prefer to get your podcasts visually…..

    The video so you can watch us is coming soon – in the meantime, you can still “watch” it on YouTube, or right here.

    3 Steps to Prevent Injury, Increase Stamina and Extend Your Career As A Musician

    In Uncategorized by AngelaLeave a Comment

    I have been working on something brand new!  It’s a program that involves group coaching, community AND content done on your own time, with a series of quick wins to teach YOU how to avoid injury and increase the longevity of your playing career and the 3 core problems that stop most musicians from getting there.
     
    When you’ve watched it, if you’d like to find out more, drop me a line in the comments below and I’ll get you all the details on the program!!
     
    I CANNOT tell you guys how excited I am about this!!
     
    3 core problems
    • Triangle:   core = goal

    • outside edges:    3 core problems

    • Inside circle:      what we want

    • outside circle:     3 steps to achieve each goal

    (I know it’s not pretty – but your outcome will be!)

    Does this strike a chord for you? (pun intended! HA!)

    I recently did a survey of musicians asking them if these were accurate and 100% of them answered they were!  I thought maybe there would be some dissent, but no. Because when you think about it and really get down to what it means to be “FIT” as a musician and what prevents us from getting there, these are the core issues and what we want.

    This is a program that is launching SOON and I really want you to join us.  I also want to TALK TO YOU to find out more about you, your frustrations, wishes, desires, goals and problems and also what did or did not speak to you with this.  If you have concerns, questions, ideas, I totally want to hear from you!  PLEASE book a call with me here….or if email is the only way, by all means, send me an email!

    And for the rest, if what I said speaks to your underlying concerns, if you’re ready, click the button below and let’s do this!

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    Fixing Ulnar Nerve Entrapment With Strength Training

    In Corrective Exercise, Fitness by AngelaLeave a Comment

    So lately I’ve been dealing with a lot or problems – it started a year and a half ago with some tingling in my fingers and then as I did more pushups (with no prep work), wore a 50-60lb backpack around the Atlanta airport for two days, crammed for a recital ON ALTO FLUTE things got REALLY ugly. I got shooting electrical pains down my arm, I felt like my right tricep and teres major/minor (back side of shoulder) were constantly contracted, and if I did something wrong my entire right upper quadrant would seize up with searing pain, tingling and numbness.

    Fast forward a year and chiropractic care definitely helped, but I wasn’t working out. I didn’ tknow what to do, what things would make the problem worse or better as there seemed to be no rhyme or reason to it. So I was told to rest….for a year. Terrible advice for that long especially for a hypermobile person. After a year, the shooting pains were gone but the numbness remained so I got an MRI and lo and behold, it wasn’t necessarily thoracic outlet syndrome, it was coming from my neck. Disk degeneration, retrolysthesis and spondylolisthesis with a bit of stenosis thrown in for good measure.

    Yeah, rest was the worst.

    (I know this isn’t an MRI, this is my latest xray though, notice the yellow lines at the backs of each vertebrae, there should be a curve backwards, not forward, also notice the lack of space between certain vertabrae…let’s just say a neck is not supposed to look like this – this is where my nerves are being compressed. Dont’t get whiplash kids, and definitely don’t get it 3 times….

    neck xray

    What I needed was traction and strength.

    I’m finally getting that and making progress and after that, a hamstring injury from too much cycling and oh yeah, breaking my foot *sigh* I”m just now getting back into smaller daily workouts and finding what works for me.

    So imagine my annoyance when I start to get a tight, painful, weak and crampy feeling in my forearm, on the opposite side, the ulnar nerve side.

    I then realized that remember the site of pain isn’t necessarily the source of pain? Bingo. Let’s do some strength training around the shoulder….voila! Much better! Now the trick is to keep it up – do this throughout the day, several times a day, and see if it doesn’t get better!

    Just in case you happen to not be on Instagram, you can subscribe to me on YouTube and get it there just fine as well!

    So the exercises I did were:

    • mobilize the forearm, bicep and chest tissue
    • nerve flosses
    • external banded rotations
    • Banded scarecrows
    • Banded rotator cuff activation to press
    • Supine Y’s
    • Miniband Lateral Raises
    Smash that subscribe button!

    I hope you found this helpful – leave a comment on either channel and let me know! And if you’re looking for something more specific, let’s talk. Here’s some links to stuff I used in the video.

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    What About Workout Clothes?

    In Fitness by AngelaLeave a Comment

    So I’ve been wearing the same workout clothes forever, I used to get them at the Champion Outlet which has now gone defunct and that means I’m on the lookout for some new gear!

    So imagine how excited I was to be contacted by Kevin over at Elite Sports / Born Tough … they make some fit, flattering, fierce and super comfy looking gear, which is important! If you only go to the gym in your oldest, frumpiest sweats and oversized t-shirts because you’re going to sweat in it (and who cares if it gets dirty?) let me tell you, you’re missing out. There’s something very empowering about liking the way you look, ESPECIALLY in the gym, it gives you extra confidence!

    So I’ve ordered a grey top and black leggings, and I can’t wait to see how they fit! And if you’ve wondered where I get my embroidered workout gear, I get my own stuff and have it embroidered with the MusicStrong logo – will be sure to post pics here later so you can see how it looks – and maybe we’ll order a bunch if you guys like ’em!

    They also make gear for dudes – take a look at their products if you’re looking for some new gear!

    Show for women online Here

    Shop for men online Here

    They even have some sweet bags – check it out!

    But just to make it easy, here’s where you can find them!

    Website
    https://www.elitesports.com/
    https://www.borntough.com/

    Instagram
    https://www.instagram.com/elitesportscompany/
    https://www.instagram.com/borntoughofficial/

    Facebook
    https://www.facebook.com/officialelitesports
    https://www.facebook.com/borntoughofficial

    Have a look around and drop a comment below to let us know what you think!!!

    Update!

    So the jacket and leggings came in (and I got the ones pictured above), happy to tell you about how they fit a 5’3″ lady!

    The fabric is nice and soft and the grey is a flattering shade, though be warned, it is very form fitting so excellent for those who like a closer fit and have a muscular shape. The jacket and leggings definitely run very small and the arms and legs are very long, which is great if you’re tall or if you like to cover your hands. Pocket in the leggings is a nice touch, too!

    The sizing on their website is true and accurate – as a shorter person between 5’3″-5’4″, there is a lot of extra material on arms and legs. Also, I’m currently sitting in the 155lb range so even though I got a Large, both items are too small for me to wear (the pants show everything, and you do need to wear underwear, the jacket I can zip but it’s just too small, unfortunately). I really like the seams and cut of these so I was disappointed in that, but I think if you have lower body fat this will be a great fit for you!

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    Tuned and Strong Podcast: Ep. 11 Healthy Habits Part 1: Nutrition

    In Fitness, media/podcast/interviews by AngelaLeave a Comment

    Healthy habits can be a touchy subject. (If you’re finding this post and you HAVEN’T seen the podcast yet, why, sit right here and take a listen then click the YouTube link and hit that subscribe button!)

    This episode was a really interesting one and we wanted to be able to give you more resources than YouTube will allow us to put in the show notes. The episode started with referencing this book:
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    We are going to delve into that more fully next episode, but it did spur on the conversation around habits, nutrition, exercise and motivation – which led to another book I referenced was “The Power of Habit” by Charles Duhig. I cannot recommend this book highly enough! There is some incredible insight into the psyche of habits and habit change here. And besides being informative, it’s a good read – very quick and easy to digest despite the science.

    Another book I reference quite a bit (and may or may not have when it comes to this episode is this one: Extreme Ownership (How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win) Is another book I highly recommend and goes well with this article I wrote several years back.

    3 Lean Body Secrets No One Has Told You

    The Top 10 List….

    I also referenced the Top 10 List to Get From Where You Are to Where You Want to Be.

    Top 10 List: https://musicstrong.com/2021/01/top10/ and the full list is at the bottom of Tip #10: https://musicstrong.com/2013/06/10-2/

    As I mentioned, I also have a Facebook group called “I Am Music Strong” that I would love for you to join! If you’re interested, you can find it here – we’re going through the 10 tips week by week, it’s a fun dialogue!

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/554585251681261

    My quick journey into disordered eating

    I also shared about my trials with binge eating disorder and figure competing. While I haven’t written an article about it, I figured it would give a little more context if I shared the pictures. Did I look good? I sure thought so. Did I feel good? NOPE. And I’d spend the next several years trying to get back to this and ballooning ever higher. For reference, I’m about 5’3″ and this day I weighed 114 lbs, was wearing a size 2 I think.

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    How To Foam Roll

    In Corrective Exercise, Fitness by AngelaLeave a Comment

    So you have a foam roller, but do you know what to do with it?

    I like to call a foam roller “the poor man’s massage therapist”. While in no way can a foam roller take the place of an LMT, it definitely can help keep your tissues supple and mobile.

    Guidelines:

    1. use this as a routine by itself or as the very first part of your warm up.
    2. With the exception of the thoracic spine, roll slowly looking for tender areas. When you find what you consider to be the most tender area, hold pressure directly in the middle of that spot until pain subsides.
    3. Pain should never be above a 7 on a 1-10 pain scale.
    1. Roll thoracic spine
    2. Thoracic extension (stretch)
    3. Roll Lat
    4. Open book mobilization
    1. Roll Calves
    2. Roll Quads and Hip Flexors
    3. Roll TFL (not IT Band!)
    4. Roll adductors (inner thigh)
    5. Roll glutes

    I cover all of these in my book “The Musician’s Essential Exercises” and even more in my instrument specific workouts. Stay Music Strong!

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    Fitness for the Non-Athletic Musician

    In media/podcast/interviews, personal training by AngelaLeave a Comment

    So you may or may not know that I have a podcast.

    Along with Dr. Jen Kabbas (a clarinetist and strength coach of Tuned and Toned Performance) we created the Tuned and Strong Podcast . You can find our full playlist of each episode here on YouTube

    Do you have to be an “athlete” to benefit from fitness training as a musician? After we got the comment “I love this new community of musicians who are talking about the physical aspects of playing, but I admit I get discouraged because so many stories are of people who already enjoyed a level of physical activity and just needed to learn how to channel it into staying conditioned for their instrument…I struggle just to want to move my body at all.”

    Musicians seem to fit into one of two categories (usually)

    1. non-athletic and/or don’t do much exercise
    2. LOVE exercise and are always doing something

    But with what we see on social media (especially Instagram and YouTube) there can be a lot of pressure to look, move, act and EXERCISE a certain way – and that isn’t necessarily appropriate for musicians. Just wanting to feel secure in your body and wanting to move your body is ALSO a worthy goal!

    That statement hit home, so we address that topic fully as well as being fit vs. looking fit.

    Love to hear your comments and ideas (and don’t forget to hit that subscribe button!). And if you’d like some more specific help reach check out My ebook(or print book) or my downloadable workouts – you most definitely do not have to be an athlete to benefit from them.


    Stay Music Strong!

    Women’s Health, Cancer, Exercise and the Flute

    In Uncategorized by AngelaLeave a Comment

    Not all health issues musicians face are overuse injury related. Women’s health and cancer can be an intensely private issue, but where do you turn when you’ve had a hysterectomy, breast cancer, lymph node removal, hernia mesh, etc. and want to get back to playing your instrument (in this case, the flute)?

    Questions: will I be able to support or play as I used to? Are there exercises I can do to strengthen the deep core muscles and the pelvic floors? How long will the hot flashes last? I’m bleeding, is that normal? How long until I can play again? Do I need to worry about lymphedema? And a whole host of other subjects.

    My colleage, Dr. Sandra Cox, FNP and I gave a presentation on this very thing. Dr. Cox starts us off and I take over about 33:45, talking mostly about Lymphedema, adhesions, exercise, and all how is affects how you play your instrument (flute or otherwise).

    Topics covered:

    • hot flashes
    • gas pains after surgery are no joke!
    • lymphedema
    • fatigue and/or “chemo brain”
    • reconstructive surgery
    • thyroid surgery: dry eyes, dry mouth, etc.
    • yoga or calisthenics?
    • childbirth concerns as it relates to playing
    • playing with a baby present
    • Pain medicine options
    • C-section and getting back to playing
    • Mastectomies, Lumpectomies, Bladder Surgery

    If you would like the handout, please let me know!

    I know these are very real issues – I welcome your thoughts and dialogue. Feel free to comment below or send me an email at angela@musicstrong.com – your stories may be more similar to someone else’s story, and I’m compiling them, anonymously, and I hope to share my finding soon, so please share!

    Podcast Interview with The Thriving Rockstar

    In Uncategorized by AngelaLeave a Comment

    A year or so ago a guy named Alex Raykin contacted me out of the blue and asked if I’d like to be interviewed on his podcast. I checked him out and it turns out he had just interviewed one of my other friends in the business, Rusty Osborne – who specializes in helping musicians lose weight and look great for the stage.


    We had a great conversation and I hope you enjoy listening/watching it! Leave us with your comments below on your thoughts!

    Podcast Video

    Podcast Audio

    * Show Notes For This Episode: https://www.thrivingrockstar.com/epis…

    Welcome to Thriving Rockstar, a podcast where we have broad conversations with seasoned artists on topics ranging from health, relationships and lifestyle to social media and entrepreneurship.

    Angela McCuiston is a Certified Personal Trainer and Corrective Exercise Specialist, Senior Fitness Specialist and Cancer Exercise Specialist and owner of Music Strong, a business that specializes in personal fitness training for musicians. She is also an avid flutist with a Masters of Music in Flute Performance from Florida State University. Among other accolades, Angela is a member of the Army band, completing 16 years with the 129th Amy Band in Nashville, TN before moving to the 313th Army Reserve band at Restone Arsenal where she is a soloist and in charge of the band’s social media.

    She recently published her first book: The Musician’s Essential Exercises, with plans to branch out into instrument-specific volumes in the near future.

    Her expertise and accolades are too many to list here. Enjoy this episode with Angela McCuiston! Angela’s Instagram :https://www.instagram.com/musicstrongfitness

    Thank you for watching! Please subscribe and help this podcast grow by liking, and leaving a comment too. Hit that notifications button! If you have any questions, suggestions or input, please drop us a line at https://www.thrivingrockstar.com/contact We will always keep this podcast free and would to grow it into a major multi-camera studio production. We need your help to make that happen. Support us on our website at https://www.thrivingrockstar.com where you can get great merch, use our affiliate amazon links for great podcasting, & health gear as well as many of the books that have had a huge impact on me. You can also simply donate to us on our support page—every dollar helps!

    Instagram: @alexraykin

    Facebook @alexraykinofficial

    Twitter @alexraykin

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    Get Off the Hamster Wheel: a Top 10 List to Change

    In Fitness, Motivation and Success, Nutrition by AngelaLeave a Comment

    It’s NOT a quick answer. We didn’t get to be in the state we are overnight, and it will take longer than overnight to change that. Most of the things we have done to get us here have become habits and it takes time to change those habits.

    So, if you really want to change, give yourself as long as you need to do these, one at time. Don’t skip, you’ll only cheat yourself, and you have time. Try to do too much and you’ll be back where you were.

    I’m excited for you, friend! And if you need anything, let me know. Rooting for your success!!

    Contact Me