The Drummer’s Workout: Exercises To Improve Speed, Endurance, And Technique

Posted by Mike Schumacher

Drumming is a fun way to work out! There are many different styles of music that you can listen to while working out. Plus, the rhythm and beats keep you focused and engaged.

Many drummers workout regularly to improve their skills and performance. Unfortunately, this can sometimes lead to overtraining or injuries due to the lack of knowledge on how to workout properly.

To prevent this, drummers need a well-balanced workout routine with the appropriate exercises. This includes exercises for strength, endurance, and technique. All three of these areas need to be addressed in a drumming workout plan.

This article will discuss some exercises that will help you improve your drumming skills while also improving your overall health and fitness.

Endurance

The Drummer's Workout: Exercises to Improve Speed, Endurance, and Technique

The ability to play music at a consistent speed for a long period of time is a very important skill. Drums are typically played in sync with other musicians, so you need to keep up with the other instruments.

Drummers must have excellent endurance to keep the beat and maintain the music for longer periods of time. For example, it is harder to keep a consistent beat for a 5-minute guitar solo than it is to keep the beat for the entire duration of a song.

To improve endurance, drummers can do repeated sprints on the drums. Start with a short duration and build up how long you can sprint before fatiguing. Change up what beats you sprint on to challenge yourself even more!

Also, doing some lower body exercises like squats and lunges can help boost endurance.

Speed

The Drummer's Workout: Exercises to Improve Speed, Endurance, and Technique

Speed is the ability to move your feet and/or hands quickly. A good drummer needs to have good speed in their hands to keep up with the tempo of the music.

To improve speed, you need to work on your motor skills. For example, you need to be able to quickly move your fingers across the drums and hit them with a certain degree of force.

You can work on speed using exercises like jump ropes, running tracks, and climbing ropes. These exercises require you to move your feet and hands quickly, which translates well to drumming.

You can also do weight training exercises that improve your strength while moving your body. These include exercises like bench presses, shoulder presses, and lateral raises.
Whether you are doing weight training or not, doing exercises that increase your cardiovascular fitness is important for improving speed and endurance.

Technique

The Drummer's Workout: Exercises to Improve Speed, Endurance, and Technique

While there are many exercises you can do to improve your drummer’s technique, one of the most important is keeping a steady tempo.

Many songs have a specific tempo or beat per minute that they want. You need to be able to keep up with that!

As mentioned earlier, drummers must have adequate endurance due to the length of concerts and tours. Touring musicians may spend several hours each day practicing, rehearsing, and performing.

You will need to build up your stamina in order to maintain this lifestyle, which is why exercise options like running or cycling are good. They help you breathe more efficiently which is helpful on stage.

Another important technique is balancing both hands when playing. Many players tend to favor one hand over the other which can lead to tired hands and arms. Practice playing with both hands equally for better arm strength.

Drums and bass pedals

The Drummer's Workout: Exercises to Improve Speed, Endurance, and Technique

A lot of the songs you listen to and love to play are based off of a strong drum and bass rhythm. To improve your songs and love for the music, you need to improve your rhythm.

Drums are one of the most physically demanding instruments. Not only do you have to be skillful with your hands, you have to be physically fit too! You have to be able to consistently move your feet and hands quickly.

You will need to work on your foot speed, hand strength, and timing for this. Luckily, there are a few exercises you can do to improve these skills.

The first exercise is called footwork drills. These are exercises that help strengthen your feet and ankles so you can move faster without injury. You can find some helpful ones here.

Arms and shoulders

The Drummer's Workout: Exercises to Improve Speed, Endurance, and Technique

Working on your arms and shoulders is an important part of becoming a better drummer. Many drummers focus only on their legs, but the best ones work on all areas.

Your arm and shoulder muscles work to keep your sticks in motion to strike the drums. Strong arms help propel the stick faster to create a faster sound.

Enlarging and strengthening your shoulders helps with playing some drum sets where you need to move your arms more. More developed shoulders also look more cool!

To improve speed, you need to practice playing fast songs. This is good for you because you have to develop muscle memory to do this which helps overall performance. You can also practice hitting harder sticks which forces your muscles to work harder to keep control of them.

Neck and back

The Drummer's Workout: Exercises to Improve Speed, Endurance, and Technique

Working on your neck and back is an often overlooked area of drumming fitness. Having a strong neck allows you to keep your head and neck still while moving your hands and feet, which is an essential part of many drumming styles.

To improve this, try tilting your head to one side and holding for a few seconds, then repeat on the other side. You can also do this with the back of your neck by tilting down, then pulling up.

These are simple motions that take only a short time to do and will improve muscle strength. Add these into your daily workout to keep yourself strong and healthy!

Part Two: Drummer Specific Exercises

The following section will discuss exercises specific to drummers. These exercises will focus on strengthening specific muscles used during drumming.

Breathing

The Drummer's Workout: Exercises to Improve Speed, Endurance, and Technique

You should be breathing from your diaphragm, meaning you breathe in through your stomach and out through your chest. This type of breathing regulates your oxygen intake and helps with stamina.

When you are playing fast passages, you will need to breathe quickly. In this case, you want to breathe from the chest instead of the stomach, as if you were sprinting. This will help you maintain coordination between the rhythm and the breathing.

Breathing quickly can be hard to coordinate at first, but practicing will make it second nature.

Metronome practice

The Drummer's Workout: Exercises to Improve Speed, Endurance, and Technique

A metronome is a device that produces a steady, repetitive beat. Musicians use it to practice rhythms and timing. It can help you improve your drumming skills too!

Practicing with the metronome at different speeds challenges you in different ways. Slow tempo practice increases your endurance, while improving your ability to sync with the beat.

Increase the speed of the metronome and you will challenge your ability to keep up with the increasing beats per minute. Changing the direction of the beats challenges your directional rhythm skill.

There are many ways to use a metronome for exercise, but all of them increase your rhythmic awareness and improve your muscle coordination.

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