As you may know, I am a proud member of the 129th Army National Guard Band. What this means is that I am in the Army, but it’s a part time job for me. I “drill” with my unit one weekend every month and for two weeks in the summer. Right now is that two-week time period, called Annual Training, or AT, for short. Our AT this year is a tour of the state of Tennessee. We’re playing concerts, doing parades, recruiting, etc. and having a good time of it.
Our schedule is such that we are on the road almost every single day for more than two weeks. We get to a place, play the gig, stay at a hotel and leave the next day, save three cities where we are staying for more than one night. This rigorous schedule poses its challenges and also its opportunities when it comes to fitness and how to take care of yourself to play your instrument to the best of your ability. To meet the demands of this schedule, it takes more than good health, you have to know how to take care of yourself, and through the next few days, I hope to have a couple of blog posts about the different stretches, workout routines and exercises that can be done to not only counterbalance the effects of being confined to a hotel, but confined to the road/bus/car for long times.
A few things that have come up as I’ve been playing:
After riding in a bus for several hours, your whole body is going to be somewhat stiff. Couple that with then having to go sit in a chair for a few hours and play a concert and you’ve got a possible injury coming your way.
A few stretches to be done when you get off the bus:
- Dynamic: calf stretches, high-knees, leg swings
- Static: Psoas stretch, Calf Stretch, Hamstring Stretch, Quad Stretch
Upper body stretches: SCM stretch, doorway stretch, lat stretch
- Dynamic upper body: arm circles, neck circles
Stay tuned for more descriptions and exercises.