Some of the characteristics that a piano player needs to excel at are focus, flexibility, and endurance. The hands of a piano player are the main tools when it comes to tickling those ivories with vigor. Of course, since a pianist has to practice non-stop, their hands, fingers, wrists, and forearms get greatly impacted by all that effort. That is where certain hand exercises come in the picture, which can be done in order to relax the hands when playing the piano. With these exercises, the techniques of the fingers, hands, and arms will get greatly enhanced and will develop nicely. Continue reading to find out the importance of these hand exercises and what they are.
Relax Your Hands While Playing The Piano
Having strong hands and fingers that improve one’s dexterity, control, and flexibility are an important asset to have, if you are a pianist. If you want to become a professional pianist, or already are one, then you should understand how important it is to take care of your fingers, hands, and forearms. The only way you can improve your piano playing skills is by performing these hand exercises.
With strong fingers and hands, performing certain complicated hand techniques will become a lot easier when you play the piano. The finger muscles are the main focus when it comes to controlling and performing the desired sounds. An experienced pianist will tell you how much pain they have to endure in their hands from practicing and playing the piano for a very long time. The human hand consists of 35 muscles and a lot of those muscles are connected to the forearm muscles. Not having a proper technique, forgetting to stretch prior to a playing session, and even simple nerves are some of the factors that can result in discomfort and tension within those 35 hand muscles, causing frustration.
Prevention is always better than the cure. Hence, performing these hand exercises before playing your piano each time will guarantee easier and longer piano playing sessions. Plus, you will avoid getting injured or prevent any serious condition from forming in the first place.
5 Exercises That Will Relax And Strengthen Your Hands
1. Stretching The Fingers (Warm Up)
This exercise should be performed prior to your piano playing session and should be used as a warm up exercise in order to relax the muscles within your fingers. Not warming up your fingers before playing the piano will just hinder your performance. Your fingers will feel stiff while playing and this is going to greatly restrict their movement. Hence, warming up your fingers before you start playing is highly important. In order to do this exercise, close the fingers in the hand and do it tightly. Hold that position for about three to four seconds and repeat this step a couple more times. Once you are done with that, stretch your fingers one at a time and hold each one for three seconds.
2. Lifting The Fingers
When you lift your fingers up at a high level, it gives you more control and improves your flexibility. You are working to establish controlled finger movements; hence, this also helps in creating a rich sound while you play the piano. Lifting the fingers high, particularly the inner ones, can be a bit difficult, but this exercise does help a lot. In order to perform this exercise, first place your fingers on top of a flat surface and lift them up one at a time as high as you can. Hold for five seconds before moving on to the next finger. Once you are done with that exercise, lift all of the fingers and hold that position for five seconds. Perform the same exercise on your other hand.
3. Rotating The Wrist
For this exercise, you need help from a chair. Place your forearms on a chair in a way that’s supporting your wrist as your fingers are hanging freely. Next, bend the wrist backwards and lift the hands towards yourself. After that, bend the wrist in a downward position. This exercise should be repeated 10 times, at least. Once you are done with that, place the elbows at rest. Next, try rotating the forearms as the palms face an upward direction. You should be holding this position for 5 seconds. Next, repeat this exercise, but this time your palm should be facing downwards.
4. Bending The Wrist
In order to perform this exercise, your arm should be extended in front of you. Once you extend your arm, also extend your hand. Then use your other hand by placing it beneath the fingers of your extended hand and pull those fingers backwards. Breathe deeply as you hold that position for about three seconds. Next, release the fingers and push them down towards you this time. Again, breathe deeply as you hold this position for another three seconds. Repeat this exercise on your other hand.
5. Making A Fist
This is a simple and easy exercise that requires you to make a fist as you wrap your thumb around the rest of your fingers. Then squeeze the hand until it feels tight enough and hold it for about five seconds. Next, stretch the fingers outwards and hold this position for five seconds as you breathe deeply. Then, repeat this exercise on your other hand.
Always remember to be gentle when performing these exercises. Stop the moment you feel any pain in your fingers or hands so that you don’t risk any injury. The last thing you need is more pain in your hands and fingers. Your main goal should be to improve your flexibility, prevent injury, and create a solid foundation when it comes to your technique. When done correctly, these exercises can help you achieve your piano-playing goals.