Stiff forearm


Senior Member
Can anyone suggest some simple warm ups or stretches I can do before a gig to stop my right forearm ceasing up and getting painful?

Nowadays I take a practice pad with me and play some basic rudiments on it for about 5-10 minutes before we go on so that I've warmed up a little without using up too much energy.

It sometimes happens at rehearsals but we usually have little breaks and chats between songs at rehearsals which is probably allowing me some recovery time, unlike at our gigs where we play 30 minutes of songs back to back.


Platinum Member
There might be some good infos on another current thread:

Re: tendonitis help! /practice routine!

Especially this link (taken from the above thread) might be very interesting:

Basically any reasonable 'general' warmup is a good idea before getting into the actual playing/practice. I've seen good warmups (although guitar related - but it involves the same muscle groups) by John Petrucci's "Rock Discipline" video, but also from Mike Terrana's video on bass drum technique. Just learn which stretch exercises help you to get warmed up (but do some general arm rotations or something similar even before that, to get the blood going before actually stretching), and stretch with care. I'm super careful when stretching muscles for the first time, then I would stretch the corresponding side (e.g. first right, then left). The next round of stretching can be more intense so I'm climbing up the stretch intensitv without getting brutal. Be reasonable. Stretching also gives you a better overall feel of motions, posture etc.

Are you working out? If so you might/should have quite some experience as to warming up, stretching and stuff like that.

When I have especially cold hands I might take some Chinese balls and rotate them for a few minutes. When I'm actually grabbing sticks I would do the first strokes really soft/weak and allow for the hands/forearms to warm up. You can rub your forearms and fingers to increase blood circulation. Anything is better than just get going - even with a practice pad. Invest a few minutes and you're good to go. If you're doing short rests in-between your practice this is also a good opportunity to stretch a bit. Also think of your back and legs - you need all your limbs for drumming.

As far as I know, stretching for some 10-15 seconds will "only" have a warm-up effect - which might be exactly what you're after in most situations. If you really want to actually stretch the muscles (and tendons - while muscles can stretch pretty much tendons only stretch for a few %) you'd have to keep the stretching position for more than that. Also according to some opinions, stretching should be done in a static vs. dynamic way, with some people disagreeing. I prefer the static version and haven't had any reason for doubting the static approach.


Junior Member
Pain probably comes from playing too loudly or too tensely. If you're hurting it's because your asking more of your muscles than they can give. Loosening your grip will probably make a huge difference, but if you're committed to playing really loudly, working out might help as well.