2017 was our 20th year online!

Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 3 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments.
Over 100,000 members from around the world.
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

Shop our online store for music lovers
SEARCH
Piano Forums & Piano World
(ad)
Best of Piano Buyer
 Best of Piano Buyer
(ad)
Faust Harrison Pianos
Faust Harrison 100+ Steinway pianos
(ad)
Wessell Nickel & Gross
PianoForAll
Who's Online Now
49 members (Curt-S, dire tonic, Earlyriser, antune, clothearednincompo, barbaram, beeboss, Anglagard44, 11 invisible), 1,368 guests, and 489 robots.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
(ad)
Estonia Pianos
Estonia Pianos
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Hop To
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 123
C
Full Member
OP Offline
Full Member
C
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 123
Obviously, exercising is healthy for everyone, pianists being no exception. Doing some cardio is undoubtedly of benefit to our bodies and minds. But what about strength stuff? Sure seems like significant weight training would be a risky endeavor for a serious/professional pianist to undertake, but what about body weight exercises (pushups, pullups, yoga poses, etc). I've googled around, but mostly just see anecdotal (and therefore often contradicting) thoughts. Which, of course, I also welcome here. But what are everyone's thoughts on this? Too much strain on the wrists and elbows, or something that could actually be beneficial to us "small-muscle athletes?"

Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 607
G
500 Post Club Member
Offline
500 Post Club Member
G
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 607
hmm.. i don't see how weight training could be a risky for a pianist. even a serious/professional one.. weight training, if done correctly, is one of the safest physical activities imo.. if your scared of free weights, go for the weight machines..

i read Arnold Schwarzenneger's book "The Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding" and in it, he mentions concert pianists in the context of weightlifting.

in fact, i think arnold was a pianist himself.. just kidding on that one.

Last edited by Gatsbee13; 12/21/15 10:14 PM.
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 14,691
B
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
B
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 14,691
Originally Posted by CleverName
Obviously, exercising is healthy for everyone, pianists being no exception. Doing some cardio is undoubtedly of benefit to our bodies and minds. But what about strength stuff? Sure seems like significant weight training would be a risky endeavor for a serious/professional pianist to undertake, but what about body weight exercises (pushups, pullups, yoga poses, etc). I've googled around, but mostly just see anecdotal (and therefore often contradicting) thoughts. Which, of course, I also welcome here. But what are everyone's thoughts on this? Too much strain on the wrists and elbows, or something that could actually be beneficial to us "small-muscle athletes?"

Cardio is always beneficial. Especially if you are playing Rach 3, Brahms 1 or 2, or Busoni concertos - you don't want to run out of steam towards the end wink.

As for strength training, pianists should be careful about doing anything that has the potential to cause injury - and that includes push-ups (with hands flat on the ground, the wrist is in hyper-dorsiflexion, straining the flexor muscles). And that includes yoga.

I've been doing 'natural' cardio (running, hiking, climbing etc) and 'artificial' strength training (weights and apparatus at the gym) for decades, with not a single injury. The only time I've come close to an injury was in a yoga class (populated by lithe hyper-flexible ladies, apart from yours truly attempting to impress said ladies...... cry).


"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."
Joined: May 2015
Posts: 205
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
Joined: May 2015
Posts: 205
Originally Posted by bennevis
Originally Posted by CleverName
Obviously, exercising is healthy for everyone, pianists being no exception. Doing some cardio is undoubtedly of benefit to our bodies and minds. But what about strength stuff? Sure seems like significant weight training would be a risky endeavor for a serious/professional pianist to undertake, but what about body weight exercises (pushups, pullups, yoga poses, etc). I've googled around, but mostly just see anecdotal (and therefore often contradicting) thoughts. Which, of course, I also welcome here. But what are everyone's thoughts on this? Too much strain on the wrists and elbows, or something that could actually be beneficial to us "small-muscle athletes?"

Cardio is always beneficial. Especially if you are playing Rach 3, Brahms 1 or 2, or Busoni concertos - you don't want to run out of steam towards the end wink.

As for strength training, pianists should be careful about doing anything that has the potential to cause injury - and that includes push-ups (with hands flat on the ground, the wrist is in hyper-dorsiflexion, straining the flexor muscles). And that includes yoga.

I've been doing 'natural' cardio (running, hiking, climbing etc) and 'artificial' strength training (weights and apparatus at the gym) for decades, with not a single injury. The only time I've come close to an injury was in a yoga class (populated by lithe hyper-flexible ladies, apart from yours truly attempting to impress said ladies...... cry).


Ahhhh. And that's how people get hurt doing yoga. You have to be tuned in to what your body is telling you at all times (not what other people's bodies are telling you...heh heh). I lifted weights for years, but now I do yoga. Done correctly, you should never have an injury, or experience pain...it's actually a very gentle way to build flexibility, strength and balance, if you're patient! Keeping my core strong is great for sitting at the piano for a couple of hours without feeling fatigued.

Joined: May 2003
Posts: 2,596
R
2000 Post Club Member
Offline
2000 Post Club Member
R
Joined: May 2003
Posts: 2,596
Well, I do know one well-known concert pianist who works out in the weight room, and he looks it, and plays just fine. I'm sure he knows exactly how to use the weights properly.

Me...no weights, but don't try to take my bike away from me! One thing I've noticed as a pianist is that handlebars with just one grasping position don't work for me. I need to keep my hands moving, so drop bars are key -- I can move around and relieve pressure in so many ways.

Joined: Jan 2015
Posts: 1,932
1000 Post Club Member
Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Joined: Jan 2015
Posts: 1,932
When I re-started Piano, I experienced some aches and pains in my torso and lower Bach (ha ha). Probably from sitting too rigidly.

After some research I adapted some of my own dance exercises to re-activate a lot of the back and shoulder muscles (which had forgotten how to be part of the piano playing process). No heavy lifting - just full body movements, kinda of like tai chi / yoga / calisthenics. it helped a lot I can now sit in front of the piano for 2-4 hours now without discomfort. And I play better when I incorporate those movements into my normal exercise routine.


We are the music makers,
And we are the dreamers of dreams.
Joined: Jan 2014
Posts: 3,542
P
3000 Post Club Member
Offline
3000 Post Club Member
P
Joined: Jan 2014
Posts: 3,542
Lifting weights won't give you any problem


Poetry is rhythm
Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 6,057
6000 Post Club Member
Offline
6000 Post Club Member
Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 6,057
Originally Posted by bennevis
...The only time I've come close to an injury was in a yoga class (populated by lithe hyper-flexible ladies, apart from yours truly attempting to impress said ladies...... cry).


Sounds like your ego was to blame, not the yoga.


Learner
Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 9,156
W
wr Offline
9000 Post Club Member
Offline
9000 Post Club Member
W
Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 9,156
He was not a pianist, but the violinist Yehudi Menuhin was very much into yoga, and was instrumental in helping to popularize it in the West.

Joined: Oct 2015
Posts: 271
G
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
G
Joined: Oct 2015
Posts: 271
I know a concert pianist who plays senior hockey as a hobby. He was good even before, but I think his piano skills have improved since he started with hockey training.

Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 976
N
500 Post Club Member
Offline
500 Post Club Member
N
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 976
Weight training to strengthen the upper back muscle is very beneficial for shoulder pains.

Joined: Jan 2014
Posts: 798
500 Post Club Member
Offline
500 Post Club Member
Joined: Jan 2014
Posts: 798
Sure haven't had any problems playing the piano because of lifting weigts.

On the contary, it makes me feel (and possibly perform) better.

Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 6,268
J
Unobtanium Subscriber
6000 Post Club Member
Offline
Unobtanium Subscriber
6000 Post Club Member
J
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 6,268
Originally Posted by Groove On
When I re-started Piano, I experienced some aches and pains in my torso and lower Bach (ha ha). Probably from sitting too rigidly.

After some research I adapted some of my own dance exercises to re-activate a lot of the back and shoulder muscles (which had forgotten how to be part of the piano playing process). No heavy lifting - just full body movements, kinda of like tai chi / yoga / calisthenics. it helped a lot I can now sit in front of the piano for 2-4 hours now without discomfort.


It's very important to move and bend your spine every way it can move. The discs have no blood supply, the only fluid exchange they get is from motion.



-- J.S.

[Linked Image] [Linked Image]

Knabe Grand # 10927
Yamaha CP33
Kawai FS690
Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 3,390
3000 Post Club Member
Offline
3000 Post Club Member
Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 3,390
I'll put in a good word for ballet here. Great for core, back and shoulder strength and flexibility, awareness of what the body is doing, relating to rhythm and thinking about being musical in a different way than we do when we are busy making music.


Heather W. Reichgott, piano

Working on:
Beethoven - Diabelli Variations Op. 120
Beethoven/Liszt - Symphony no. 7
Tommy (whole show)

I love Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven and new music
Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 1,283
I
1000 Post Club Member
Offline
1000 Post Club Member
I
Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 1,283
I train martial arts and have done so as a teenager, then in my 30s up until now. And competed in a good bunch of full contact amateur matches in different disciplines. My hands get a bit sore every now and then from hitting the bag (which i try to not overdo)and i've broken a couple of bones in it over the years (never a finger though), and i really haven't noticed any problems or my playing being affected by it (i used to play guitar quite a lot in teens). My teachers have always been not cool with it but they finally accept that it does not affect my playing the way they could have thought.

I did climb for 4- years and i remember my hands , well my fingers to be more exact, felt it much worse than it ever felt with combat sports/martial arts.

And obviously, the benefits of a very active and complete sport would always outweigh any other potential cons. I really haven't had any other sports that kept me focused and going to the gym 4-5 days a week. Team sports never did it for me and i'v done running and swimming , but it took quote a lot of will to keep them up.

Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 6,057
6000 Post Club Member
Offline
6000 Post Club Member
Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 6,057
Lately, it seems I've been doing quite a bit of snow shoveling.
Think it'll help my piano playing?


Learner
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 5,853
B
5000 Post Club Member
Offline
5000 Post Club Member
B
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 5,853
Know your limits, listen to your body, use the right muscle groups, and you'll be fine. I had a wrist problem about two years ago that seemed to be cured by moderate weight training. Most exercises or training programs will be good for you if done correctly, so make sure you get some guidance if it's the first time you're starting a new routine.

Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 6,268
J
Unobtanium Subscriber
6000 Post Club Member
Offline
Unobtanium Subscriber
6000 Post Club Member
J
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 6,268
Originally Posted by izaldu
... i really haven't noticed any problems or my playing being affected by it ...


Same here, except if I go to the piano immediately after some other strenuous use of my hands and arms. Proprioception seems to take a little while to recover.



-- J.S.

[Linked Image] [Linked Image]

Knabe Grand # 10927
Yamaha CP33
Kawai FS690

Moderated by  Brendan, Kreisler 

Link Copied to Clipboard
(ad)
Pianoteq
Steinway Spiro Layering
(ad)
PianoDisc

PianoDisc
(ad)
Piano Life Saver - Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
(ad)
Mason & Hamlin Pianos
New Topics - Multiple Forums
Recital #63 - Call for Submissions
by Sam S - 08/01/21 05:58 AM
Under-piano pedal wood replacement
by Js367 - 08/01/21 01:25 AM
Everett upright Regulation
by wenhen90 - 07/31/21 06:57 PM
Marx
by dolce sfogato - 07/31/21 04:05 PM
Self-teaching and looking for good exercises
by TORaptors2019 - 07/31/21 03:46 PM
Download Sheet Music
Virtual Sheet Music - Classical Sheet Music Downloads
Forum Statistics
Forums42
Topics208,312
Posts3,118,026
Members102,295
Most Online15,252
Mar 21st, 2010
Please Support Our Advertisers

Faust Harrison 100+ Steinways

Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver

 Best of Piano Buyer

PianoTeq Bechstein
Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

Virtual Sheet Music - Classical Sheet Music Downloads



 
Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
| Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter | MapleStreetMusicShop.com - Our store in Cornish Maine


© copyright 1997 - 2021 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.5