Pump It Up: Stretching It!

Pump It Up: Stretching It!

Playing the drums makes you spend even more time than usual in a seated position, which isn't good news for our structural health. As that intricate network of lower body muscles becomes tighter and less pliable over time, it can create a "tug-of-war" effect that causes lower back alignment issues and decreases overall flexibility. This can lead to muscle cramps or pulls, and fatigue or injury to the back.

Here are three stretches you can do regularly to help combat the effects of "chronic sitting."

STANDING HAM STRETCH

1. From a standing position, extend your right foot forward, keeping your knee locked so your leg is completely straight.
2. Place both hands on your right thigh, then slowly bend your torso from the waist, in line with your right leg. You should feel a light stretch in the right hamstring.
3. Hold this position for five to ten seconds, then return to your starting position and repeat on the left side for one complete set.

"SEATED" HIP FLEXOR STRETCH

1. From a standing position, bend and turn your right leg so the outside of the right ankle is pressed against your left leg, just above the knee. Hold the ankle in position with your left hand and, if necessary, hold on to the back of a chair (or some other stable piece of furniture) with your right hand for balance.
2. Slowly bend your left knee so that you crouch into a semi "seated" posture. You should feel a light stretch in your right hip.
3. Hold this position for five to ten seconds, then return to your starting position and repeat on the left side for one complete set.

KNEELING GROIN STRETCH

1. From a standing position, step back with your right foot and kneel on your right knee. Adjust your left foot so it's flat on the ground at a 10:00 position.
2. With your torso upright, slowly move your left knee beyond your left foot. This should cause the heel to raise slightly as you feel a nice stretch throughout the groin.
3. Hold this position for five to ten seconds, then return to your starting position and repeat on the right side for one complete set.

QUICK TIPS

1. Never stretch "cold" muscles. Take a short, brisk walk, or do a few deep knee bends or lunges. Do anything to increase blood flow to the legs before stretching.
2. Make sure your stretches are always slow, gradual, and easy. Never use quick, bouncy movements!
3. Start off with only one or two sets of each stretch to give your body time to acclimate to these movements.