Posted by: Glenelg Guitar Studio | January 16, 2022

Stretching for Guitarists

When I talk about stretching for guitarists’ it’s normally about increasing the stretch or fret area that you can cover with your fingers. Generally adults can hit 4 frets with their 4 fingers.

However, today it’s not about reach but all about body stretching. If you’re doing your daily practice and not stretching before or after, or both, the start of a new year is a good time to get started.

We sit in one position for extended periods during practice sessions and place a lot of demand on our bodies, so it’s important to break practice into smaller periods, say 15 minutes at a time.

After 15 minutes get up and walk around to get the body moving. Some people like to do a couple of simple arm and shoulder stretches as well during this break. It will depend on your body, your playing position and core strength as to your stretching needs but each body will benefit from working out a short routine of exercises to do.

There is loads of advice about stretching on the internet and YouTube, however Ian (a student of mine) has found one of interest that will suit most students. Check out this LINK to see if you can incorporate some simple stretches into your routine.

I know many of you are already stretching daily, but check out the ones Ian sent me as you may not have seen some of these before-I know there are a few that were new to me. For me it was exercise 6 “The Cossack”.

Please let me know if you find this page helpful and/or what your favourite stretch is.

Finally, my final thought on the subject of stretching and exercise is a saying I came across recently:

Did you know 14 muscles are activated when opening a bottle of wine? Fitness is my passion!



  1. Leigh I read with interest the Blog about Stretching Exercises posted recently. We have had a number of conversations in lesson about the importance of stretching & exercising.

    You may recall I developed thumb soreness while playing Barre Chords prior to Christmas. Unfortunately it appears to be part of my ongoing arthritis challenge which I have to find ways to manage it. Playing guitar is so beneficial as part of that helping to keep my fingers strong and flexible.

    So I did some Google searching and typically there is so much information available. I sorted through them and this what I found most useful and worthy of sharing.

    This Grace Music site provides a great introduction for guitarists about warming up and hand strength:

    The page contains a few links and one of them takes you to a Healthline site which has an excellent page providing a great range of exercises to stretch wrists and hands:

    Healthline also has a number of other specific exercise pages particularly for arthritis sufferers like me.

    This page popped up on a specific thumb search and has some great specific exercises for thumbs which I have been using:

    Click to access Thumb-Intrinsic-Strengthening_0915.pdf

    This guy Tomas Michaud has an interesting website with a great guide to guitar practice, good posture, building strength and resting when it hurts:

    The other thing I have done over summer is purchase a dedicated guitar seat. Since have my hip replacement I have been perched on a kitchen stool because it took about 6 weeks to get a reasonable comfortable right angle bend at the hip with room for my guitar. I have a Fender 351 Studio Seat which keeps me in keep in that more upright position helping to maintain an upright posture with great lumber support.

    That sums it all up I look forward to seeing you on Wednesday.

    Regards Peter.

  2. Hi Leigh,
    Thank you for that. I have printed it out for easy reference. It’s going to be very helpful. Regards, Julia

    • Hi Julia,
      Thank you for your email.
      I’m glad you found the information helpful.

  3. Thanks Leigh. Very useful exercises, it’s just a matter of remembering to do them!

    • Hi Colette,
      Thank you for your email and I’m glad you found the exercises helpful.
      PS I really enjoyed your playing of “Spanish Study” at your lesson on Saturday. Keep up the good work Colette

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