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Core training for musicians

Musicians, like athletes, rely on their physicality to excel in their craft. While countless hours are dedicated to practicing their instrument, the importance of physical fitness – particularly core strength – is often overlooked. This article explores the connection between Pilates, a comprehensive exercise regimen focusing on the whole body, and musical performance. Specifically, it delves into how core training for musicians can enhance their ability to play and endure the demands of their art.

But why?

Senior woman leading a group exercise class with a focus on core strength and stability

Your core comprises the muscles in your abdomen, back, and pelvis, and it plays a pivotal role in virtually every movement your body makes. Core training for musicians is not just about developing a set of attractive abs; it's about cultivating strength, flexibility, and stability. These physical attributes are essential for musicians who spend long hours lifting, standing, or sitting in positions that require sustained effort and concentration.

Whether you're a cellist, pianist, or flutist, how you sit and stand affects how you play. Musicians with a weak core may find themselves slouching, leading to poor technique and even injury over time. However, a strong core supports better posture, which is crucial for musicians. Core exercises enhance the ability to maintain proper alignment and movement, reducing the strain on the arms, legs, and back. This is especially important for musicians who perform standing up or those who carry heavy instruments.

The benefits of building a strong core for musicians

Musicians often report feeling sore from playing their instrument, experiencing pain in their arms, legs, and particularly their back. For example, cellists might suffer from back pain due to the demanding posture they maintain while playing. Integrating Pilates or stretching for cellists with back pain into those players’ routines can alleviate some of these physical discomforts, and have a profound impact on performance.

Moreover, core strength contributes to improved endurance – especially critical while performing. While it’s obvious how this is crucial for wind and brass players, it  is equally important for stringed instrument players. Violinists, violists, cellists, and bassists benefit from the improved breath control, and increased strength, flexibility, and stability that a strong core provides.

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