With all of Bakuhatsu's members being college students, we're all finishing Winter Quarter finals this week and then it's a week-long Spring Break. During that time, there's no mandatory practices or workouts so our Workouts Director, August Walker, has taught us a lot over the last couple weeks so we can exercise on our own and stay in top taiko shape. His advice is great for anyone who plays taiko, so here it is for all who might be exercising on their own or with a team.
What are key muscle groups/areas that people should focus on when wanting to exercise for taiko, and why?
"I find that the most important thing for taiko players is to be steady and focused, in body and mind. When you see a performance where every movement looks deliberate, or an unshaking yatai form, you as an audience become drawn in. That’s why I think that the core muscles, like your abdominals and obliques, are so important. While your core doesn’t move your body, it stabilizes it, letting the rest of your movements be beautiful and controlled. A strong core also means a strong posture, and a strong posture opens up the diaphragm, letting you breathe more deeply and really get oxygen to your muscles. There are just so many benefits."
What kind of schedule do you recommend for workouts?
"For me, it’s definitely doing a little bit of exercise every day. You can set yourself a goal, like do 100 pushups every day, and work to that goal throughout the day. Throw in a plank, some HIIT, or even go on a walk, and you’re really working on the kind of balance that you want for taiko. If you supplement this with bigger workouts once, twice, or even three times a week, you’ll see a big improvement. Keeping it consistent is what’s important."
Written by Shai Nielson, BTD Historian 2016-2017