MG Muscle Tension Activity

Activity: Dealing with Undesirable Muscular Tension

This activity demonstrates the use of the progressive muscle relaxation technique (PMRT). When using this technique with a student, it should be performed twice for each of the student’s muscle groups, usually while lying on his or her back in a quiet area. The technique takes approximately 30 minutes when it is first used, but this time will decrease with experience.

Use the following instructions to experience the PMRT:

  1. Raise your shoulders and tip your head back a short way. This position maximizes the tension in your neck and upper shoulders.
  2. Hold this position for five seconds, noting the uncomfortable tension.
  3. Release the tension halfway, and hold the position for another five seconds.
  4. Tell yourself to relax, or take a slow, deep breath.
  5. Completely relax your shoulders and neck. Feel the tension and discomfort drain away, and focus on the contrast between the previous tension and the current relaxation.
  6. Fully concentrate on relaxing your shoulders and neck completely for ten seconds.

When the player can achieve relaxation in all muscle groups within 10 minutes, he or she can skip the first three steps and devote his or her attention to the relaxation component.

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