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#1998165 - 12/12/12 02:33 AM Workouts/excercise you find that doesn't interfere
TrueMusic Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/30/12
Posts: 254
Loc: San Diego, California
Question to you guys here: What workout or exercises do you find treat your body well while being serious about the piano? [To clarify, not piano exercises, fitness oriented exercises...] The last year I've been a bit lazy in the exercise front and want to rebuild some of that discipline over my winter break, but figured it could be good to check here what exercises you think don't interfere with your playing.

My first thought goes to swimming. I surf fairly regularly and I've never found that to "interfere" with my playing [although I wouldn't want to give a concert right when I get out of the water! Hands are too cold, :P] But I don't think swimming would do much to piano playing.

Obviously, I imagine any sort of heavy weight lifting would generally be a bad idea because of the stress on the hands and arms. For some reason I also feel that running might not be the best, but that could be my own excuse cause I hate running.

I dunno, interested to see what you all think here!


Edited by TrueMusic (12/12/12 02:46 AM)
_________________________
Piano/Composition major.

Proud owner of a beautiful Yamaha C7.

Polish:
Liszt Petrarch Sonnet 104
Bach WTC book 1 no. 6.
Dello Joio Sonata no. 3

New:
Chopin op. 23
Bach WTC book 2 no. 20

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#1998175 - 12/12/12 02:55 AM Re: Workouts/excercise you find that doesn't interfere [Re: TrueMusic]
trigalg693 Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/08
Posts: 656
I don't work out (I'm fat on the inside, as a friend put it so cleverly one time), but I'd think that arm exercises are the most useful, because piano playing uses arm muscles.

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#1998177 - 12/12/12 03:21 AM Re: Workouts/excercise you find that doesn't interfere [Re: TrueMusic]
TrueMusic Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/30/12
Posts: 254
Loc: San Diego, California
Hmmm. for some reason in my head those could be bad, not good. I feel like doing arm specific workouts would add tension and if anything hinder playing. Piano playing doesn't require strength as much as it requires proper body movements/use of muscles/gravity.

I guess, another clarification, I'm not looking for the best workout plan for the piano, I don't think there is one in particular because piano doesn't require much physical fitness, I just wanna know what you guys have found doesn't hinder your playing.
_________________________
Piano/Composition major.

Proud owner of a beautiful Yamaha C7.

Polish:
Liszt Petrarch Sonnet 104
Bach WTC book 1 no. 6.
Dello Joio Sonata no. 3

New:
Chopin op. 23
Bach WTC book 2 no. 20

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#1998181 - 12/12/12 03:37 AM Re: Workouts/excercise you find that doesn't interfere [Re: TrueMusic]
Derulux Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 5321
Loc: Philadelphia
No physical training regiment will hinder your playing if that regiment (and your piano practice/technique) are done correctly. In fact, you will see many benefits.

Three quick things to keep in mind:

1. If you have any sort of ache/pain/pull/weakness/issue with your fingers, hands, wrists or forearms, get that checked out before putting any additional stress on your body. Additional training could exacerbate inflammation and worsen any preexisting conditions.

2. I highly recommend, at least at the start, that you do your training after you do your piano. You will find your muscles weaker and less coordinated immediately after a workout as they work to repair, rebuild, and strengthen. Until you learn what your body can handle, and until you adapt to this feeling, your piano sessions will be less productive if you try to do them after your workouts.

3. Make sure your "rest" is sufficient for the amount of work you're placing on the body. If it's not, see #1.
_________________________
Every day we are afforded a new chance. The problem with life is not that you run out of chances. In the end, what you run out of are days.

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#1998183 - 12/12/12 03:53 AM Re: Workouts/excercise you find that doesn't interfere [Re: TrueMusic]
MarkH Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/16/08
Posts: 857
Loc: Seattle, WA
This topic comes up occasionally. You can do a search for it and come up with multiple previous versions of it. Sometimes they are specifically about weights, and other times they regard any type of high impact exercise.

The general consensus among those who do X exercise is that it does nothing bad to their playing, while those who don't do X exercise often perceive a possibility to damage playing. It's hard to know truth, because we don't have experimental controls for ourselves.

My own bias is that I lift weights relatively intensely at least 3x/week, and run about the same (although I haven't for a while, being new to the Seattle rainy season - I need to find a suitable replacement). I think most any form of exercise is really similar to piano in the sense that injuries come about by being too aggressive, pushing too quickly, not being aware enough of your body, etc. I've never had an exercise-related injury that affected my playing. There are certainly times after a particularly intense lifting session that my arms and shoulders feel a little too tired to really push myself at the piano (but that's easily avoidable, and when that's going to happen, I know I'm pushing myself that much and I'm consciously making the trade off). On the other hand, after a long, tiring practice session, I find that nothing relieves my tired back and arms better than lifting weights.

TLDR - do whatever exercise draws you. Be careful about it, use good form, listen to your body and stop if there's any indication of injury, and there's not likely to be any major change to your playing as a result of your exercise.
_________________________
Currently Studying: Bach - English Suite No. 5; Beethoven - Op. 27 No. 1; Chopin - Op. 27 No. 1; Chopin - 3rd Scherzo

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#1998192 - 12/12/12 04:51 AM Re: Workouts/excercise you find that doesn't interfere [Re: TrueMusic]
Bobpickle Offline

Gold Supporter until July 10  2014


Registered: 05/24/12
Posts: 1383
Loc: Cameron Park, California
Originally Posted By: TrueMusic
Obviously, I imagine any sort of heavy weight lifting would generally be a bad idea because of the stress on the hands and arms. For some reason I also feel that running might not be the best, but that could be my own excuse cause I hate running.


Running would be fine. I lift heavy weights for 1-2 hours 4 times a week and besides sometimes making me too tired to want to practice (or do much of anything else) after, I've never felt hindered by it. Practice good form in all things you do and you're unlikely to encounter injuries or such problems.

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#1998286 - 12/12/12 10:59 AM Re: Workouts/excercise you find that doesn't interfere [Re: TrueMusic]
CraigG Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/23/09
Posts: 162
Loc: Canada
I do CrossFit workouts six days a week, which include some seriously strenuous exercises, such as:

- Olympic lifts, squats and deadlifts with seriously heavy weight
- Stuff with kettlebells, medicine balls and gymnasic rings
- Running, rowing, skipping and jumping

In short, everything which you would think might introduce tension or risk some physiological problems.

My opinion? The idea that there are exercises which should be avoided due to concern that they will have an adverse effect on one's pianistic ability are complete and utter nonsense.

Find something you like and do it well. You will not have any issues (unless you have an underlying condition which might be exacerbated by certain exercises, such as arthritis).
_________________________
Ignorance is not a point of view.

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#1998350 - 12/12/12 12:41 PM Re: Workouts/excercise you find that doesn't interfere [Re: TrueMusic]
Entheo Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/12/04
Posts: 1117
Loc: chicago, il
take a spin class - music, rhythm, cardio... see what you think.
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diary of an amateur pianist

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#1998363 - 12/12/12 01:04 PM Re: Workouts/excercise you find that doesn't interfere [Re: TrueMusic]
bennevis Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 5154
I just do whatever I feel like, and enjoy, be it running, climbing, swimming, kayaking. I also do weights once a week at the gym, which I believe helps my playing (increased power and depth of tone) when it comes to those massive pounding chords in Rach 3's big cadenza.... grin
_________________________
"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."

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#1998366 - 12/12/12 01:05 PM Re: Workouts/excercise you find that doesn't interfere [Re: Entheo]
piano joy Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/28/11
Posts: 807
Loc: Florida
For general good fitness, I try to do a combination of (on different days, of course) cardio, light/moderate weights and stretching/core strengthening.

Cardio: spinning, swimming, running (not me, too hard on my joints), race walking, dance, etc....

Weights: well, self-explanatory
And, please note, there is a chemical/biological basis for the healing/growth benefits of weight training - feel free to PM me for more details....

Stretching/core work: yoga is great, tai chai (spelling?), any exercises that strengthen your abdominal muscles- and this is HUGE for pianists, as this also helps stabilize the back!

Variety is key, can't keep doing the same thing over and over and over again. Same as in life. smile
_________________________
I don't care too much for money. For money can't buy me love.
-the Beatles




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#1998576 - 12/12/12 08:40 PM Re: Workouts/excercise you find that doesn't interfere [Re: TrueMusic]
SoundThumb Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/28/10
Posts: 341
Loc: San Diego, CA
Yoga is now taught in many different ways, but my instructor stresses developing core strength, balance, flexibility and mind/body focus. None of these interfere with playing the piano, and I think they are all of benefit. His main point is, "I am just an instructor teaching you how to do it. This instruction is of no use if you don't go home and practice it every day." Gets to the fundamental point, the most useful exercise is one you enjoy enough to do it routinely.


Edited by SoundThumb (12/12/12 08:41 PM)

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#1998693 - 12/13/12 12:27 AM Re: Workouts/excercise you find that doesn't interfere [Re: TrueMusic]
Bluoh Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/20/11
Posts: 421
Loc: Canada
There are so many different types of yoga-- hatha (hot), relaxing, intense, whether you want to hold poses or move through sequences quickly with your breathing... It's totally great. smile

Instead of weights, I go through yoga/dance inspired sequences, e.g. downward dog into tricep pushup into cobra, repeat.

There's also one where you do an ab exercise for 8 counts, roll over to plank for 8, roll back and repeat on other side. The second set, you'd lift one of your legs each time, and the third, you'd pulse your leg.

Great for your core, my friend from dance shared this with me.

Have you tried cross-country running? It's better than just being on a treadmill wink

Dance is great too. Builds coordination, strength, and lean muscles. Incorporates music, too.

Swimming is super awesome-- works your entire body with no stress on your joints.

Soccer might be good for you because there's a lower chance of straining or hurting your hands. wink

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#1999149 - 12/13/12 09:17 PM Re: Workouts/excercise you find that doesn't interfere [Re: Bluoh]
Michael_99 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/28/12
Posts: 935
Loc: Canada Alberta
Exercise is good. Any exericse is good. No exercise is not good. I just love walking. When I play the piano for a while, I like to go outside and go for a walk around the neighbourhood to get some fresh air in my lungs so I can go back inside and play some more piano.

I never learned to play basketball until late in life. It is the most awesome sport and exercise. It is cheap, shorts,
t-shirt, no t-shirt, runners, a ball and a hoop. Co-ed or not co-od, inside outside, half-court, full-court. When you are running around the basketball court, or half-court, you can't help but lose weight.


Edited by Michael_99 (12/13/12 09:21 PM)

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#1999282 - 12/14/12 06:32 AM Re: Workouts/excercise you find that doesn't interfere [Re: TrueMusic]
bennevis Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 5154
Though I belong to a gym, I don't use it for aerobic exercises, only for weight training (and swimming). I'm always surprised that some people would rather do their exercises like walking/running, cycling and even soccer and tennis, in stuffy enclosed buildings surrounded by other sweaty bodies, rather than in the fresh air, even when the sun is shining and the birds are singing.

For me, there's nothing more uplifting to the spirit than running in the lovely countryside amidst flora and fauna (deer, squirrels and rabbits in the UK; bears, moose, rattle snakes and other predators in USA..... grin), wearing minimal clothing. Even in winter, in the snow, I'd just wear vest and shorts (and gloves and hat) when I run - I just have to run faster to stay warm......
_________________________
"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."

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#1999298 - 12/14/12 07:45 AM Re: Workouts/excercise you find that doesn't interfere [Re: bennevis]
CC2 and Chopin lover Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/12/06
Posts: 1981
Being both a pianist and a Doctor of Physical Therapy, I can tell you that your colleagues here on the forum have all given you some sound advice regarding the benefits of exercise for general health, as well as for furthering your piano goals. There have been many myths over the years as to there being exercise that "hinders" athletic performance. I remember when I was working in an Outpatient Rehab Clinic many years ago that worked with many high level athletes, the baseball players would always come in and be very reluctant to perform any kind of resistance, (weight), training, because they had been brainwashed by their coaches and "trainers" that it would make them bulky, slow and unable to perform at a high level. Fast forward several years.....anyone ever hear of Barry Bonds, Mark McGuire or some of the others that have since shattered all kinds of batting and pitching records, (performance enhancing drugs not withstanding)? Anyway, the point is, all exercise is good if performed in a balanced way, and without being taken to extremes, where the danger of overuse or repetitive injuries could be an issue. You should make sure that your program includes four "types" of exercise. Those for cardiovascular fitness, strength training, stretching, and, the most frequently overlooked, postural training. Everything should be done in a "balanced" way. This means that, for every exercise that trains, or stretches, the musculature on one side of a joint, you do something equally on the other side. Most injuries are incurred because of muscle imbalances that result in what we like to call "postural dysfunction". In simple terms, muscles on one side of a joint get short and tight while those on the opposing side get overstretched and weak. This results in the bone alignment being compromised and placed in a mechanically disadvantageous position. The end product is excess wear and tear and chronic inflammation of soft tissues, (muscles, tendons and ligaments), cartilage and bone. If you have concerns about where, and how, to begin a complete and effective exercise routine, especially if you have been prone to injuries in the past, it is a good idea to visit a Physical Therapist who is Orthopedic Certified. He/she will perform a thorough one hour evaluation, determine your specific propensity for injury, point out postural dysfunction you may have, and create an exercise protocol that will focus on your particular functional, and fitness, goals. The worst thing you can do is nothing.


Edited by CC2 and Chopin lover (12/14/12 07:47 AM)
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#1999299 - 12/14/12 07:52 AM Re: Workouts/excercise you find that doesn't interfere [Re: CC2 and Chopin lover]
piano joy Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/28/11
Posts: 807
Loc: Florida
Thanks, CC2 !!

I loved the part about "postural training" !
Been there, experienced that....
_________________________
I don't care too much for money. For money can't buy me love.
-the Beatles




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#1999303 - 12/14/12 08:01 AM Re: Workouts/excercise you find that doesn't interfere [Re: piano joy]
CC2 and Chopin lover Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/12/06
Posts: 1981
You're very welcome PJ!! I can honestly say that, in all the years that I have been in practice, 98% of all injuries I have treated have been because of postural dysfunction. I would take it one step further by saying, without hesitation, that the most pervasive driver of pain and chronic musculoskeletal ailments is poor posture.
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Piano Technician/Tuner

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#1999932 - 12/15/12 05:09 PM Re: Workouts/excercise you find that doesn't interfere [Re: TrueMusic]
Birgitte Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/15/12
Posts: 11
Loc: Norway
I like and recomend Rock Climbing, outdoors or indoors. Ofcourse you would feel tired in you arms and hands right afterwards. But you get a lot stronger, giving you more arm muscles and letting more blood flow in to your arms. This would prevent injuries and may actually improve your technuiqe. Well, the most important is that you enjoy it, and be careful with long lasting static moving (shame for a sailor like me frown ).

Have fun!

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#2000096 - 12/16/12 01:50 AM Re: Workouts/excercise you find that doesn't interfere [Re: TrueMusic]
Maxtor Offline

Bronze Supporter until Jan 01 2013


Registered: 08/14/11
Posts: 182
I like to lift weights and jog at least once per week, depending on my work schedule. I find that doing the same weightlifting exercise two days in a row can be bad (after day 1, muscles are sore; but after day 2 the joints are sore).

Other than the well-qualified opinion of CC2, I would guess that the single best thing to improve your piano practice safety is to take a short break every half hour or so. I also wholeheartedly support CC2's comments about the importance of posture.

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#2000239 - 12/16/12 12:44 PM Re: Workouts/excercise you find that doesn't interfere [Re: CC2 and Chopin lover]
Entheo Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/12/04
Posts: 1117
Loc: chicago, il
Originally Posted By: CC2 and Chopin lover
I remember when I was working in an Outpatient Rehab Clinic many years ago that worked with many high level athletes, the baseball players would always come in and be very reluctant to perform any kind of resistance, (weight), training, because they had been brainwashed by their coaches and "trainers" that it would make them bulky, slow and unable to perform at a high level. Fast forward several years.....anyone ever hear of Barry Bonds, Mark McGuire or some of the others that have since shattered all kinds of batting and pitching records, (performance enhancing drugs not withstanding)?


CC2, some excellent advice in your post but your point about bonds, mcguire et. al is wrong. it was specifically BECAUSE of the PEDs (steroids, HGH, testosterone) that they were able to maximize their strength without becoming muscle-bound, retaining flexibility and reflexes. it's reported that bonds' hat & shoe size grew as a result of HGH -- not more workouts in the weight room. pictures of bonds as a professional athlete before & after steroid use are easy to find.

as a cyclosportif and someone who has followed professional cycling closely for over 30 years i have witnessed the introduction of the blood boosting drugs (EPO) into the peloton in the early 90s as we watched the average speeds for stages & climbs go up in ways that could not be contributed to improvements solely in training or equipment. fortunately, in professional cycling, the numbers are returning to a more 'normal' range with the introduction of the biological passport & more sophisticated blood tests (for EPO, CERA, clen, & plasticizers indicative of blood transfusions). unfortunately i believe that professional tennis now faces the same problem baseball & cycling faced in the 90s.

for those of us exercising for health a balance of cardio and weight training has obvious benefits to our work, play and well being. for those trying to press the envelope via the use of PEDs, the landscape is littered with tragic stories of personality disorders (e.g. 'roid rage), infertility, heart attacks, strokes, liver damage and death.
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diary of an amateur pianist

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#2000614 - 12/17/12 08:30 AM Re: Workouts/excercise you find that doesn't interfere [Re: Entheo]
CC2 and Chopin lover Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/12/06
Posts: 1981
Entheo,
I believe you misunderstood my post. I was not, in any way, condoning or justifying the use of performance enhancing drugs. My point was that these player's strength training, using progressive resistance exercise (weight training), enhanced their performance. Of course, in their particular cases, the effects were artificially enhanced by these drugs, at the risk of many other adverse health effects. As far as your contention that the drugs were responsible for keeping them flexible, limber and reflexes fast and nimble, what physiologic science do you base such statements on? What is your definition of "muscle bound", and please explain, from a metabolic perspective, how a PED prevents this. I look forward to learning from you.


Edited by CC2 and Chopin lover (12/17/12 08:34 AM)
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Piano Technician/Tuner

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#2000631 - 12/17/12 09:47 AM Re: Workouts/excercise you find that doesn't interfere [Re: TrueMusic]
Entheo Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/12/04
Posts: 1117
Loc: chicago, il
CC2,

i didn't mean to imply that you condoned PEDS only that you had underestimated their importance in the performance of baseball players during the steroid era ("peds notwithstanding").

as i'm sure you know, anabolic steroids increase the rate of protein synthesis within cells, specifically muscles. in a study published in the new england journal of medicine 1996 (plenty of studies online, "steroid effects on muscles"),

"Among the men in the no-exercise groups, those given testosterone had greater increases than those given placebo in muscle size in their arms (mean [6SE] change in triceps area, 4246104 vs. 2816109 mm2; P,0.05) and legs (change in quadriceps area, 6076123 vs. 21316111 mm2; P,0.05) and greater increases in strength in the bench-press (964 vs. 2161 kg, P,0.05) and squatting exercises (1664 vs. 361 kg, P,0.05). The men assigned to testosterone and exercise had greater increases in fat-free mass (6.160.6 kg) and muscle size (triceps area, 5016104 mm2; quadriceps area, 1174691 mm2) than those assigned to either no-exercise group, and greater increases in muscle strength (bench-press strength, 2262 kg; squatting exercise capacity, 3864 kg) than either no-exercise group. Neither mood nor behavior was altered in any group."

for an athlete this represents free muscle mass. of course, how the athlete takes advantage of this in relation to their sport is the question. in sports like baseball and boxing much care is given to not over-training with weights and becoming what is known as being "muscle-bound", where the muscles become tight & constricted and speed, flexibility/ROM and reflexes are negatively impacted (body builders don't have to worry about this; they embraced steroids for the additional mass). i am contending that trainers were/are able to take advantage of the benefits of the steroids by tailoring the workout programs to increase power while limiting the normal contraindications. these programs are, understandably, less readily available, but descriptions are available in books such as canseco's and hamilton's (the latter having to do with cycling).

is my contention correct? i submit the decline in home runs subsequent to the congressional hearings, e.g.
http://www.beyondtheboxscore.com/2009/9/21/1045928/total-mlb-home-runs-this-century
_________________________
diary of an amateur pianist

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#2000640 - 12/17/12 10:22 AM Re: Workouts/excercise you find that doesn't interfere [Re: Entheo]
CC2 and Chopin lover Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/12/06
Posts: 1981
I think we need to separate several concepts. Let me clarify. The literature you are citing speaks to the known physiologic effects of testosterone and synthetic forms of it. It speaks specifically to increases in muscle size and strength. What they do not have any affect on is muscle length & flexibility, which is addressed with a stretching regimen and elongation of the muscle and tendon fibers. They also do not play any role in reflexes, which is dependent on nerve function and neural loops in the spinal cord. The term "muscle bound" refers to the muscular imbalances that are created when the muscles on one side of a joint are overtrained in relation to those on the opposite side, causing the larger, stronger muscles to overpower the opposing muscles and thereby pulling the attached bone toward them and inhibiting the bone's movement in the opposite direction. A good example of this is when the bicep complex is over trained in relation to the triceps. The result is that the radius and ulna are pulled into flexion at the elbow joint by the stronger, and usually "tighter", (shortened), bicep complex, thereby limiting the joint's ability to move into extension (straightening of the elbow). The person then appears to be walking around with his/her elbows constantly bent. This is usually coupled with the shoulders rounding forward, as the result of the over training of their pectoralis (chest)group in contrast to the muscles of the upper back that retract (pull back) the shoulders. As long as full, functional range of motion of a joint is maintained, then the person will not be "muscle bound", no matter what size the muscles. Only when the muscle size, or imbalance, reduces function by reducing range of motion does it become an issue. So, my point is that the testosterone, or any other PED, is directly responsible for growth of the musculature over and above what can be achieved by weight training alone. The other aspects, such as those caused by muscle size, strength and length imbalances, ("tightness", inflexibility, "muscle bound", poor reflexes), are all the by products of incorrect or incomplete training practices. The drugs have no relation to these.


Edited by CC2 and Chopin lover (12/17/12 02:34 PM)
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#2000875 - 12/17/12 08:46 PM Re: Workouts/excercise you find that doesn't interfere [Re: CraigG]
ChibiSF Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 222
Loc: Long Island, New York
Originally Posted By: CraigG
I do CrossFit workouts six days a week, which include some seriously strenuous exercises, such as:

- Olympic lifts, squats and deadlifts with seriously heavy weight
- Stuff with kettlebells, medicine balls and gymnasic rings
- Running, rowing, skipping and jumping

In short, everything which you would think might introduce tension or risk some physiological problems.

My opinion? The idea that there are exercises which should be avoided due to concern that they will have an adverse effect on one's pianistic ability are complete and utter nonsense.

Find something you like and do it well. You will not have any issues (unless you have an underlying condition which might be exacerbated by certain exercises, such as arthritis).


Nice! Another CrossFitter! How long have you been CrossFitting? What's your Fran time? Haha.
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Conservatory of Music @ Brooklyn College
Piano Performance, Class of 2014

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#2000894 - 12/17/12 09:45 PM Re: Workouts/excercise you find that doesn't interfere [Re: ChibiSF]
piano joy Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/28/11
Posts: 807
Loc: Florida
This brings up a good point I've often thought about.

Piano, as wonderful as it is, does involve a lot of SITTING.
And ,these days, so do a lot of occupations!

Which makes it even more important to MOVE that body!
I think there was a study fairly recently that showed sitting for 4 hours or more at a time increased one's overall risk for..gosh, what was it? Cardiovascular disease? Something like that!

so, OP...play piano and do something for fitness so you can actually continue to play piano for as long as possible ! smile
_________________________
I don't care too much for money. For money can't buy me love.
-the Beatles




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#2000944 - 12/17/12 11:50 PM Re: Workouts/excercise you find that doesn't interfere [Re: ChibiSF]
CraigG Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/23/09
Posts: 162
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: ChibiSF
Nice! Another CrossFitter! How long have you been CrossFitting? What's your Fran time? Haha.


Maybe a year or so. I actually don't focus much on the time thing because I find it too easy to sacrifice good form for a low time. But the variety of exercises simply can't be beat! Ever try a Turkish get-up with a glass of water balanced across your knuckles?
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#2001633 - 12/19/12 09:52 AM Re: Workouts/excercise you find that doesn't interfere [Re: TrueMusic]
Thrill Science Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/11
Posts: 514
Loc: California
I see a personal trainer three times a week for one hour, and I do "aerobic" exercise on my own for three hours.

Because piano performance requires a lot of sitting with arms up, anything to increase your "core" strength, lower back, abs, back, buttocks, is very useful to prevent fatigue and pain especially when playing for long periods of time.

Just avoid getting callouses on your hands! Despite my trainer's dislike for them, I wear gloves!
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#2002753 - 12/21/12 04:05 PM Re: Workouts/excercise you find that doesn't interfere [Re: TrueMusic]
wower Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/13/10
Posts: 242
Loc: Calgary
Originally Posted By: TrueMusic
My first thought goes to swimming. But I don't think swimming would do much to piano playing.

Obviously, I imagine any sort of heavy weight lifting would generally be a bad idea because of the stress on the hands and arms. For some reason I also feel that running might not be the best, but that could be my own excuse cause I hate running.


I felt compelled to respond because I do all three sports which the OP rejects but tweeted the thread because it seems most are on the same page - that pretty much any exercise is a good exercise - and there is some excellent advice I will take away to keep myself motivated (I found CC2's especially insightful).

I think the human body is meant to move (somewhat vigorously) everyday. Feed the brain, feed the body, so to speak. I've been living this philosophy for years now, so-much-so it's become habit. I practice swimming, running and weight lifting more because I like the sport and it gets me out the door but I see a connection to piano in each. For the record, all such IMO etc. modifiers need apply.

Running, like most reflexive repetitive motions, is a rhythmic activity coordinated in the brain's cerebellum (at the back of the head). I have cultivated better focus, determination, self-motivation - I could go on and on - through years of long-distance running. In recent years I have especially enjoyed improving my trail running abilities. It takes very intense focus to smoothly coordinate one's movement to run safely.

Though I do tend toward enjoying long distance swimming as well, recently I have been enjoying the benefits of High Intensity Interval Training and the kind of narrow focus it takes for 1 or 2 min. Most joints in the body are two-way but the shoulder is wonderfully ocular. Depending on what piano methodology one subscribes to will dictate how important one sees the role of the upper-arm torso. Strong upper-arms, chest, and shoulders are only one thing, for virtuosic playing at the piano I think one also needs supreme coordination and sensitivity in that part of the body. Swimming cultivates this in a low impact way. Plus I find the back stroke just so darn relaxing.

Weight-lifting has been a great introduction to the muscles of the body and movement in different planes of motion. It has been very easy to put this knowledge to use coordinating at the piano. I think yoga would have many of the same effects and probably be safer but - alas! - the day is only 24 hours long. No close calls yet with the hands even remotely and I consider myself a total klutz. The results with the girls after a couple of years of weight-lifting have been a welcomed plus.

I know these three sports - plus badminton occasionally - seem to be at cross purposes but I really do enjoy them and it gets me active everyday which is my main goal by far, however I do hope I've desirable some possible connections to piano. So enjoy surfing and good luck with the personal trainer! I'd love to have the luxury! smile




Edited by wower (12/21/12 09:20 PM)
Edit Reason: spelling!
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#2002785 - 12/21/12 05:30 PM Re: Workouts/excercise you find that doesn't interfere [Re: Thrill Science]
MarkH Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/16/08
Posts: 857
Loc: Seattle, WA
Originally Posted By: Thrill Science
Just avoid getting callouses on your hands! Despite my trainer's dislike for them, I wear gloves!


What's wrong with some lifting callouses? I have some nice solid ones at the base of fingers 3, 4 & 5 on each hand. My fingertips are still soft and supple, so they don't affect my playing. Plus they protect my hands on the rare occasion that I go back to the farm and dig post holes, etc. And the ladies seem to like them too - I have a broader touch palette of soft and rough as the mood strikes wink
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Currently Studying: Bach - English Suite No. 5; Beethoven - Op. 27 No. 1; Chopin - Op. 27 No. 1; Chopin - 3rd Scherzo

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