11 September 2013

Training the pianist

I don't know why I didn't think of this sooner, but better now than never, I suppose.  A friend came to me with an exercise related question, and being the guy I am gave great advice that turned out to work in her favor.

I then had the stroke of genius to help all of my musician friends by writing this post.

Valentina Lisitsa plays one of my favorite renditions of Beethoven's Moonlight  Sonata
One of the guiding principles of The Movement is working within our limits to expand them.  This is preferable as opposed to trying to do some shit you may or may not be able to do and risking injury.  Without having met Valentina, let's use what we can figure out as a starting point to help out with training piano players.

First thing is first.  She is a concert pianist.  spends a good portion of her life in the position above--flexed/translated neck, flexed hips, knees and shoulders are the obvious examples.

If you are a piano player, here are some things you might consider as starting points for your training.

If your movement quality is really shitty, you might try push ups done on your knees (also called girl push ups though I am not a fan of the term).  I suggest these to work out the arms first, and focus on extending the wrists, and elbows in the event that you might be too limited to mess around with anything else.

If you're extra fucked up, you might try using the machine to do some partial rows and work up to full rows (starting from full extension and pulling back) and then moving towards the knee pushups.

From there, perhaps full pushups with the body straightened and/or goblet squats to parallel or higher depending on how you sit on the piano bench.  Better, us a bench/box at the gym to figure that out.

Sara Daneshpour playing Tchaikovsky
This is by no means a definitive list on how to train if you are a piano player.  I just made the hypothetical assumption that the player is untrained and started from there.  Depending on your age, activity level and time spent playing, your mileage may vary.  Stay tuned for more.

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