The more fluid your body movements are, the more likely you are to achieve an easy, coordinated playing style. Professional musicians (and even students) can experience debilitating pain if they play with overly clenched muscles for long periods of time. A warm-up routine helps prevent tightness and enhances your playing.
Often in violin practice we concentrate on small details. Make time to ensure that fluid movements of the whole body support the fine motor actions so often called for in violin playing. There are many approaches to help you develop ease of movement. See Introduction to The Violin & Your Body
Try these excellent physical exercises for violinists, to wake up your body during a practice session:
Play with bent knees
Take your shoes off and play while balancing on a wobble board
Play with your shoulder blades (but not your feet) against a wall
Play without shoulder rest
Play chin off; that is without the head/jaw resting on the chin rest
Move the violin vertically up and down while playing (the action we use for leading)
You can also use your warm-up time to concentrate on aspects of left-hand technique that are helpful but less common, such as artificial harmonics, left-hand pizzicato and unusual scales such as whole-tone scales or double-stop scales in 4ths and 5ths.
The Violin & Your Body - Introduction
- Warming Up by Simon Fischer
- Practising the Violin Mentally & Physically by Louis Kievman