is drumming valid exercise?

Spectron

Silver Member
I sat down at the kit yesterday and played for a good 45 minutes - worked up a sweat

I'm not overweight so I am not trying to lose lbs or anything but I believe drumming
can be good exercise - especially when you rock some double kick for more than
5 minutes! lol

But you don't have to get all metallica to get a good workout either - just play a steady mid-tempo groove for an extended period.

What are you guys thoughts?
 

Duckenheimer

Senior Member
I could drum metal for 8 hours a day and burn relatively few calories and never get decent cardiovascular conditioning. At a rock/metal gig I'd exert more and go wild, and tire a bit, but running a mile is much more intensive. It depends on your technique and how much spare cash for heads/joints you have going, but I wouldn't rely on drums for exercise.
 

Boom

Silver Member
It depends on how you go about it. I was a personal trainer/strength trainer for many years. I've been a wrestler/hockey player/ strength trainer/mixed martial artist...on and on for most of my life in some regard. I've trained brutally hard for most of my life.

And this will surprise most anyone. That drumming for 45 minutes at my shows has caused me more fatigue and physical damage than any of the above. Yes, again, reread what I've done most of my life. Anyone that has grappled...wrestling, jujitsu...etc will tell you just how demanding that stuff is.

Well, I literally play drums as hard as I can at shows from the start to the finish. I try to sprint from the beginning to the end. I use exaggerated motions for affect. I play aggressive music. And I'm crushed for days after every single show.

so, it just depends on how you play. If you play extremely efficiently using good finger technique and moller when you need it, drumming probably isn't exercise. But if you are using over your head arm movements and playing extremely fast but only using wrist and arms for it, the workout will be brutal.
 

wsabol

Gold Member
As far as a cardiovascular workout, probably not the best option. I wouldn't prescribe drumming to a someone at risk for a heart attack. But drumming does build muscle and increase stamina and endurance. It sharpness your mind's control over specific muscle groups by promoting coordination and muscle independence. Sounds like exercise to me.
 

Xero Talent

Silver Member
If you can burn a significant amount of calories drumming, then it's a valid exercise, although it's really a form of isometric exercise.
 

kettles

Gold Member
I can play drums for three hours but I sure can't run for three hours... Don't neglect exercise, going for a good run every two or three days has made my playing so much better.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
No, not valid exercise IMO. A mild form of exercise, maybe. Drumming is drumming and exercise is exercise. Sure you have to move, but the goals are way different. The more effortless your drumming is, the better. That doesn't work with exercise.
If you are working too hard playing, you're doing something wrong.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
You might want to have a look here before making up your mind http://www.clemburkedrummingproject.com/Research.html
In think the subject is hard to generalize. If guy A wildly flails his arms to play and guy B is very controlled playing more from the wrists and hands, guy B is going to burn way less energy. I think these articles are printed to make drummers feel like they are doing something incredible, which isn't the case.
 

Spectron

Silver Member
all I know is doing double bass for 30minutes straight is definately a workout for me
and it's a hell of a lot more fun than step aerobics!!!
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
As far as a cardiovascular workout, probably not the best option. I wouldn't prescribe drumming to a someone at risk for a heart attack. But drumming does build muscle and increase stamina and endurance. It sharpness your mind's control over specific muscle groups by promoting coordination and muscle independence. Sounds like exercise to me.
Considering the heaviest thing you will lift while playing are your thighs you may gain some muscle but only minimal. As for the sticks weighing only grams don't look for Popeye arms. Endurance is the main thing you will gain here. There was a report circulating at one time that a pro rock drummer would get his heart rate up to that of a european footballer at a concewrt and I have trouble with that. I have played both soccer and the drums and have never gotten out of breath or felt that I was going to fall over playing the drums. I realize that I am neither a pro drummer or European footballer. Playing soccer yes. I would suggest swimming or jogging for better cardio, and weight lifting small weights many reps for muscle work out. Don't look for a ripped in shape body playing the drums. And get your posture right if you plan on playing for long or you will retire early as Phil Collins did.
 

Arky

Platinum Member
I'd say drumming is "light" exercise. Actually doing some "real sports" will be the most direct way to get the muscles going and burn calories. You really have to play with enormous intensity to trigger some serious exercise effect. IMO it's more a dexterity/coordination thing.

I'm doing double bass a lot and I'm noticing the body gets used to it. The amount of calories actually burned might be the same but going at 200+ bpm for several minutes felt so hard about 1 year ago while now it's way easier. I remember my heart was pounding when I was pushing myself to hit 200 at that time. I haven't checked actually, but I assume my heart rate is so much lower nowadays when playing the same stuff/speed. But that's a similarity to sports as the body is adapting to the stress/resistance/whatever.

There's definitely no substantial aerobic effect. I did a 10 km run this evening, my Forerunner multi function watch showed 700+ calories (I don't care for calories but for the distance/time relation). Now that was a noticeable cardio exercise, even at a moderate pace. I can't remember I ever felt this cardio effect after some drums/double bass practice (and I'm practicing for hours, almost every day - but not at full speed throughout of course).

There was a time when I was thinking/hoping that drumming IS good exercise (e.g. to get rid of some fat in the belly region). Damn it's hard to get rid of fat even when doing some running, haha.
 
A

audiotech

Guest
It is as far as I'm concerned when I'm speaking with my doctor.

Dennis
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
There was a time when I was thinking/hoping that drumming IS good exercise (e.g. to get rid of some fat in the belly region). Damn it's hard to get rid of fat even when doing some running, haha.

Arky, thats the part that moves the least.lol
 

Boom

Silver Member
In opposition to what I posted earlier in this thread, my cousin was diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension when he was like 13 or something. Issue with the blood pressure in the lungs which makes the heart grow large (very unhealthy) as it works to push the blood through the lungs...anyway...he had to stop doing anything physical till he could get a transplant for the lungs and heart (he did eventually...quite a success)

Point is, he took up drumming during that period as that was the only thing he was allowed to do. He couldn't skateboard...but he could play drums.

So, in that regard, drumming would not be exercise at all. But again, depends on how you go about it as I said in my earlier post.
 

Big Foot

Silver Member
No.
Drumming is work, like building a house. I'm on job sites everyday w/builders that work hard all day. Most are fat and have no cardio fitness. However they are usually very strong and would gladly hurt me for calling them fat...
If it doesn't work for them, 8hrs a day, then drumming as exercise won't work for us.

Eat properly and exercise the BIG muscles in your body (ie. your legs) and get you heart pumping hard for an hour or so - that will do it.
 

Metamega

Senior Member
In my opinion, all it will do is build muscle stamina mostly. Yes every motion burns calories but after its routined it's not much exercise. Take for instance, I'm an electrician by trade. I just did a job for 6 months where I was in charge of the 4th floor. Their was no elevated the Whole job. For half the job, the stairs weren't even in leaving temporary stairs that hook onto staging. 4 of us lugged up and down for 4 months. You literally carry all the material up by hand as needed. Your carrying 60 pounds of wire a time, 100 000 feet of pipe 100 feet at a time and more. I way 195 right now and my weight should be about 180. I never lost weight those 6 months but gained muscle stamina. Same as when I first started off. You work above your head all day and my shoulders would burn. I could hold my arms up in the air all day and beat any of yah in a competition lol. You gotta push yourself more each time to really get a solid work out. I remember when I first started drumming how much my calf muscles would burn.
 

Arky

Platinum Member
Once again: not really.

I just did an endurance test: Playing on the double pedal & kick practice pad @ 200 bpm, for 40 minutes straight (with footwear, heel up - my 2nd test recently, yesterday I did 27 minutes). It was some workout for my legs/calves but my heart rate was about 110-120 (I'm guessing) during that/right after that test. Which is way lower than when I'm running (beginning from 140 even when doing very slow runs, to an average 150-160 and more at a faster pace). My legs feel as if I had done some garden work for, say, 1 hour. And I know from experience that garden work isn't too efficient in burning calories or fat neither.
 
Top