Now that I’m working on practicing my music again, the biggest thing I’ve noticed in playing the saxophone is my lack of upper body and arm strength. I sit at the computer and type for long hours. And yes, while I’ve been known to carry a 50lb sack of feed every so often and I pull the wagon and dump the buckets with horse feed in them twice a day, for the most part, my shoulders and arms do not get a work out.

I find that I can only play saxophone for five or ten minutes before my arms and shoulders start to complain. Now my shoulders have always been clicky from carrying big book bags throughout my school years, and one of the things that carpal tunnel and fibromyalgia bring are a lack of strength in the hands and arms. Clearly that needs to change.

In going through mom’s boxes today I found a funky little tube band with two foam black handles. Clearly that’s a stretching device and one with pretty light resistance. So I’ve started pausing when I type to do ten reps of pulling it and after doing ten in front of me, behind my head, over my head, and then holding one side above my head and pulling the other down like pulling on a bus’ bell cord, my shoulders are like “hey, we just worked”. Great.

Since my rhomboid and trapezius muscles are the ones that get so tight with the fibromyalgia, I hope that this will help with stretching them out as well. I believe I still have some of mom’s resistance bands around here too, and there’s a set of 2lb dumb bells too. So I don’t need to go out and buy anything.

I’ll keep you posted on what I’m finding out and hopefully this will help with the saxophone practice too.

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