Muscle Seizing/Fatigue at Gigs

kevindrums

Junior Member
During some gigs, in the third set, I experience Muscle Seizing/Fatigue usually in my right leg, but sometimes in my arms as well. I should add we do lost of fast paced rock songs and I hit hard at times.

I believe the Muscle Seizing/Fatigue is due to hydration, so I try to keep hydrated by drinking gatoraid and water (before and during gig, ) and stay away from alcohol. I should add that it is hard to drink between songs in the middle of the set when the band is keeping the pace moving between songs to keep the dancers on the floor...

Then I think, how does Max Weinberg do it, when he has close to zero time between songs cause Bruce is usually starting a new song when the band is still in the big rock ending of the current song???

A natural-path friend of mine suggested magnesium, but at the last gig, that didn't help either.

Any suggestions??
 

BradGunnerSGT

Silver Member
I sometimes get cramps in my feet towards the end of the night, and we don't even play particularly hard or fast music. It really sucks to go into a killer song right at the end of the 3rd set and have your foot turn into a pain-filed pretzel. I had to run across the street and grab a Gatorade really quickly to counteract the cramp. Sometimes it is my left foot and sometimes my right.

Eat a banana before the gig. Potassium gets leached out in your sweat, which can cause muscle cramps. If you play really hard stuff or if you sweat a lot, then drink a small gatorade between each set if possible.
 

Funkdoc

Junior Member
The only thing worse is getting cramp in my right hip when doing double bass, water does the trick for me though.
to combat fatigue in your arms, is it not possible to lower your crashes or toms so you're hitting the same level or slightly downwards, i once set my ride way too high, and before i realized, we'd started and i had to power though, no time to lower it, couldn't feel my right arm by the end
 

MisterZero

Senior Member
Yep, bananas for sure. I almost always have one or two bananas before a show. If I don't, I run the risk of cramping. Also, be sure to eat these in private or your band mates will make fun of you. :)

Drummers are the jocks of music. I read an article about the drummer for Pat benatar, or maybe Blondie, or some girl, I forgot. Anyway, they did a study on the athletisicm of drummers and found that the guy playing for this band had a heart rate equivalent to a speed walker. Drums are physically demanding, for sure. By the way, only drink Gatorade after you become dehydrated. My brother, a doctor, told me that Gatorade isn't good for you unless your depleted of electrolytes. otherwise, it's great.
 

brady

Platinum Member
I sometimes get fatigue in my right foot during fast Latin tunes.

I have just chalked it up to the leg not being comfortable at that particular tempo. John Riley refers to it as headroom on his Master Drummer DVD.

Once your comfortable play at a certain fast tempo it doesn't take so much concentration to play that pattern at a tempo where you would actually play it on a gig. You have all that tempo in reserve, so to speak.

Perhaps a thorough warm up plus working on your grooves at a faster tempo for a certain amount of time might help as well.

You should definitely keep yourself hydrated though.
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
Calcium, Magnesium and Potassium are all essential to reducing cramps. Although too much of any one them can inhibit the body absorbing the other. And simply taking them right before a gig is usually too late.

When I was gigging a lot, I had a Calcium-Magnessium-Zince supplement I would take one daily. That did help.

Gatorade can be great, but contains a lot of sugar and other artificial contents. But the main issue is by the time you feel you really need it, it's again already too late.

What I have found really helps above and beyond anything else (and I've tried dozens of hydration products) is Coconut Water.

It's all natural, and full of all essential minerals. I bike to work, and in the summer, most days are well above 90 degrees. Nothing hydrates me faster than Coconut Water.

Just beware some brands (particularly the one sold at 7-11) are not 100% coconut water, but most grocery stores carry brands that are 100% coconut water.
 

CreeplyTuna

Silver Member
Calcium, Magnesium and Potassium are all essential to reducing cramps. Although too much of any one them can inhibit the body absorbing the other. And simply taking them right before a gig is usually too late.

When I was gigging a lot, I had a Calcium-Magnessium-Zince supplement I would take one daily. That did help.

Gatorade can be great, but contains a lot of sugar and other artificial contents. But the main issue is by the time you feel you really need it, it's again already too late.

What I have found really helps above and beyond anything else (and I've tried dozens of hydration products) is Coconut Water.

It's all natural, and full of all essential minerals. I bike to work, and in the summer, most days are well above 90 degrees. Nothing hydrates me faster than Coconut Water.

Just beware some brands (particularly the one sold at 7-11) are not 100% coconut water, but most grocery stores carry brands that are 100% coconut water.
Wow, I might just try that. Love the taste of coconut, and it's a hella lot better than soda. Thanks!
 

HITMAN

Junior Member
One word.


Pre-hydrate.
exactly!
and eat something light. bananas are great, potassium helps keep you from cramping.

"Eat Those Bananas
Potassium is present in many foods including the well-known source of a banana. The concern here is the contribution of electrolyte imbalances that trigger muscle cramping. Potassium is an electrolyte that when the body craves more it may respond with an uncomfortable muscle spasm. Include more potassium rich foods such as bananas, oranges, potatoes, spinach, tomatoes, and avocado into the diet. You will not only be getting the wonderful nutrients available in such foods."
 

kevindrums

Junior Member
Wow, thanks for all the great replies, if there is any other wisdom out there, please respond!

I do pre-hydrate, a big bottle of gatoraid, but from the responses it seems water will do just fine and I do stretch, but mostly my back, not my legs, so I will do that too!

Potassium!! Never thought to try that and I will and will report back as I have a gig on Saturday.

FYI on Potassium: http://www.healthaliciousness.com/articles/food-sources-of-potassium.php

Thanks again...
 

Otto

Platinum Member
Check out Max's Drum Stroke(hands and feet)...

...not really getting his force from large muscle groups....

That might help you target your development - finding power with minimal effort.
 

crash

Member
Muscle fatigue is due to tension. You need to play relaxed. Once you use up your energy, it takes a while for the body to replace it. Try to stay away from Gatorade. It's loaded with sugar. Your digestive system will use water that you need for hydration to digest the sugar. In regards to supplements, it may take a while for them to become effective. There's some great advice in this thread. Good luck.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Good stuff posted. Avoid liquid sugar, it spikes your blood sugar levels which prompts an insulin release which brings your blood sugar levels crashing down = bad. The 5 hour energy shots, the Red Bull's with all the caffeine, the Gatorades with all the sugar, all crap for you. You want a nice steady blood sugar level that a proper diet of real food affords you. Water = good. Bananas = good. Not tensing up = good. Proper nutrition = priceless.

Alcohol, soda, junk food, energy shots....all bad for drumming.

Your body is exactly like an engine that runs best on a certain type of fuel. When you give it crap fuel, your performance suffers just like your car would if you put crap fuel in it.

The guys who play metal and the really high energy music need the best nutrition. Natural unprocessed raw foods with all the natural enzymes and roughage present makes for the best fuel for the human machine. Good clean water is vital as well.
 

HeavyDrummer

Junior Member
Hey guys!
I dealt with a serious tendonitis injury a few years back. I almost thought I'd never get to play again. But, luckily, through a lot of research and lifestyle changes, I over came it. Massage therapy, fixing my technique, and a proper diet all contributed to recovery.
There is a new website that is starting to address a lot of similar stuff that I learned on my journey to recovery. Check it out!

www.DrumerHealth.com

Happy Playing!
 

No Me Metro

Member
I agree with the prior posts that proper hydration (and diet) should resolve the issue.

I just want to add that hydration is a daily goal regardless of when your gig is scheduled. Try to drink as much water as you can everyday. Then, whenever you attempt any athletic feat (such as drumming), you can minimize the chance of becoming dehydrated.

Most people are in a dehydrated state all the time. Cramps, dry skin, and dark (yellow) urine are sure signs of dehydration.
 
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