In addition to this lesson, be sure to check out an article I wrote on Guitarist Tendonitis.
Stretching and warming up is critical for any guitarist. Playing guitar can be very strenuous on your fingers, wrists, and forearms, so you need to make sure you take precautions to avoid injury. And of course, stretching is one of the best ways to do that.
In this lesson, we'll discuss 2 stretches you can do without your guitar. Try to get into a habit to always do these before playing. Here we go:
First stretch - Take your left arm and stick it straight out in front of you and lock your elbow. With your left palm facing away from you, take your right hand and bend your left hand fingers back until you feel a warm stretch in your left forearm. Don't do it too hard though, just enough to feel a little stretch. Hold for 5 seconds then release.
After that, do the exact same thing again, except have your left palm facing towards you instead of away from you. This will stretch the other side of your forearm. Hold for 5 seconds then release.
Once you've finished stretching your left arm, do the same with your right arm.
Second stretch - Take each one of your fingers individually and gently pull on them with your other hand. Do that to every finger on both hands. You may feel the finger slightly move out of the socket. Doing this will not hurt your fingers, but it will help the blood flow and loosen the joints. Proper blood circulation is key to preventing injury.