Playing guitar is one of the most strenuous exercises one could do with their fingers, hands and forearms. However, it's amazing how so many guitarist's skip the stretching and warm-up phase of their practice schedule.
You would never run a few miles or play a game of basketball before stretching right? So I hope you see how important this stretching routine is before you virtually run a marathon with your fingers.
I learned these stretches from Aaron Shearer. For those of you who don't know who he is, he is perhaps the most well know classical guitar teacher in the world. His hands were virtually crippled very early into his concert career and that set him on a path to help guitarist's from getting the same repetitive stress injuries he did.
Good playing form is obviously essential to prevent injury as well, but before all of that it is essential to get your hands ready to play.
Take these exercises slowly and be sure not to try to stretch to far in the beginning. You will notice very quickly however, how much more loose and flexible and relaxed your hands feel after the stretches.
Remember, everybody's hands are different, so take this video and adapt the exercises to work for your hands. Basically, just don't push it to far.
OK, have fun!! Cheers!!
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