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part2 exercise


ep 12

Healthy Habits Part 2: Exercise


This week we talk about the different types of coaching, exercise programs and how to find the one that suits you best!

ep 12

We WERE going to be talking about the exercise psychology using the book "No Sweat" by Michelle Segar - but Angela's library audio book had to be returned and she only got the paper book a day or so before the podcast so she didn't have time to read it! That means we'll be covering it next week. part2 exercise

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rebuilding ability


Forgiveness in Fitness with Hillary Lester


In this episode Angela and Dr. Jen meets Hillary Lester and talks about her struggles and journey related to fitness and music.

Tuned and Strong has a candid conversation with composer, Hillary Lester. We cover how type A personalities don't always transfer so well to the fitness scene, how to find your space in the fitness world, the benefits (especially elevated mood and increased confidence) and then have a much needed conversation about the state of mental health among musicians.

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Uncovering The Effortless Musician Within, with Christine Clancy


In this episode Angela and Dr. Jen meets Christine Clancy  of (Effortless Musician). They talked about how "Effortless Musician" started, what is it about and what it offers.

Christine Clancy had a myriad of interests that didn't seem to go together: a flutist who got her bachelor's degree in neuroscience, she is the first American to be certified in Timani - where it all made sense. In this episode, we go deep, uncovering how much isn't your fault as a musician when it comes to the learning process (especially how it relates to the body and phsyical learning) as well as some pedagogical techniques and changing language to learn that tension isn't all bad.

If you've been looking for that bridge between anatomy, nerdy science, pedagogy and music, this is it!

Episode Reference:

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the stay amazing show

In this episode, Ricardo and I discuss how musicians can get their bodies ready now that many venues and recording studios are back in business. All musicians, no matter the genre, should listen to the advice of an expert. Your body is your number one instrument. Respect it as you would your music. My book: The Musicians Essential Exercises is a solid reference for everyone wanting to take excellent care of their body.

You can catch the entire episode here:


In Podcast, Uncategorized by AngelaLeave a Comment


Tuned and Strong Meet The Functional Musician


In this episode Angela of Music Strong and Dr. Jen of Tuned and Toned Performance meets Austin Pancer (The Functional Musician). They talked about his struggles and reasons he started "The Functional Musician".

Austin Pancer, known as The Functional Musician is a bass trombonist ad Certified Personal Trainer and Corrective Exercise Specialist with the National Academy of Sports Medicine. After blowing out his forearm and then shoulder through overuse on the trombone and being told by multiple doctors that "maybe you should consider a career change" he did...and then decided to fix him self which transitioned into helping other musicians.

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

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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

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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!!
job security


core = goal

outside edges

3 core problems

inside circle

what we want

outside circle

3 core problems

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’t know 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….


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!


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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

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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?

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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!


Can’t wait to wear this gear!

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!




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


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:

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.


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

Top 10 List  and the full list is at the bottom of Tip #10

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!


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.

fitness posing
fitness posing

2008 Dexter Jackson Figure Classic – lady to my left in the turquoise won. Probably helped that she was coached by Dexter’s wife…