Do you play an instrument? Are you a professional or amateur musician?
Why you need Pilates
How do you get good at playing an instrument? You practice. For hours a day, every day, for months and years and decades. You get really good at it.
And you’ve also spent all that time in one, often lopsided, very much not ergonomic position. You’ve become stiff, developed various aches and pains – most likely, your low back, your shoulders, your neck, your forearms and/or your wrists and fingers hurt.
But you can’t stop doing it, because now, you’re really good at it. It’s your livelihood and your passion. It’s who you are. And you spend long hours sitting in a car or on a tour bus chasing your dreams.
So you keep creating more tension and imbalance in your body.
All of which impairs your ability to perform as well as you know you can! So frustrating!!
At this point, you’re likely to do one of three things:
- Assume it’s just part of getting older and live with it/pop painkillers. Result: You just keep slowly deteriorating.
- Decide you need to do something about it and spend oodles of money on chiropractors and massage therapists. Result: You keep doing that with limited results, but now you’re totally dependent on this form of relief.
- Start an intense get-in-shape program – bootcamp or hot yoga or CrossFit … Result: You have all these imbalances. So you get injured or tear a muscle. Now, you’re totally frustrated.
And if you’re unlucky, in all three scenarios, you could wind up having to have surgery. Which puts you out of commission for a while and often creates more problems than it fixes.
(A quick aside: I am NOT against Western medicine when used judiciously. But doctors only have their toolkit, and that happens to be a “car repair”-type approach.)
Enter Pilates: It gives you the tools to restore your body’s natural harmony. And get pretty fit in the process, I might add!
Things I see in many musicians (that we can fix with Pilates)
Just off the top of my head, here’s what I often see:
Guitar, banjo, and mandolin players – forward head posture, shoulder rounded forward on one side, tight hip flexors, low back pain. Some neck pain. Frequent pain in the forearms, wrists, and fingers, esp. thumbs.
Fiddle players – lopsided shoulders, shoulder of the bow arm rounded forward strongly with limited range of motion, neck pain, impingements in the upper back and neck area. Neck stiffness. Forearm and wrist pain.
Piano players – forward head posture, thoracic kyphosis (rounded back, can progress to a hump in extreme cases), low back pain, very tight hip flexors.
Touring musicians of all kinds – low back pain, circulation issues, forward head posture (with ensuing neck and back pain, headaches and sometimes migraines), tension headaches.
Yup. We can prevent and/or fix all of that.
What’s different about Pilates
Isn’t Pilates just like yoga? Or just for skinny, spandex-clad 20-year-old privileged white girls?
Pilates was CREATED for physical rehabilitation. It was also invented by a GUY – who was a boxer and a gymnast. Who smoked cigars and drank beer.
“Change happens through movement and movement heals.” – Joseph H. Pilates
So. Pilates is for EVERYONE. Because it is infinitely adaptable to EVERY body.
- builds awareness – the necessary prerequisite for change
- realigns the body – when the body is out of alignment, injury inevitably ensues (timeframes vary though)
- makes you stronger – not only in the big, showy muscles, but also in the ones that support you (depending on how you count, the human body has 650-840 muscles!)
- gives you mobility and flexibility
- improves posture – making you instantly look and feel taller
- creates stability – i.e. “control of mobility”
- strengthens your core – your abs AND your entire torso
- injury-proofs your body
So basically, it helps you build a healthy body. Side effect: It’s also going to look better. A lot better.
And that’s good for any stage presence, right?
How do I know?
I’m not a musician myself. But I’ve been surrounded by instrumentalists for the past 35 years and am married to one.
I fixed my own chronic pain and injuries with Pilates. And have helped numerous musicians of all ages and genders find relief – and get fit in the process.
I can help you do the same.
Ready to get on the Pilates train – or still not convinced it’s right for you?