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 clenched muscles for long periods of time. A warm-up routine helps prevent tightness and enhances your playing.

There are many approaches to help you develop ease of movement. The Alexander Technique has influenced this warm-up routine.

The book used for a headrest should be of an appropriate thickness to support the head without strain. Lying comfortably on the floor allows gravity to take your body back to a resting state.

Avoid neck strain by rolling over when you want to get up.

When we rock from side to side, we transfer our weight from one foot to the other. This sideways rocking action will cause each heel to lift in turn.

When you do shoulder rolls and arm swings, keep your trunk and head steady. For single-arm swings, swing your arm diagonally across the front of your body.

Fixing your gaze can cause tightening in the body. This figure-of-eight exercise is an Educational Kinesiology exercise and develops independence of your eye movements.

The arm stretch balances the tendency in violin playing to collapse inwards and forwards. Lead this action with the 2nd finger, and open the hand wide.

Other excellent physical exercises for violinists have come from physiotherapist Bronwyn Ackermann. Use these to ‘wake up your body’ during a practice session.

Take your shoes off and balance on a wobble board.
Play with your shoulder blades (but not your feet) against a wall.

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