I'm a music student at university, majoring in piano of course, and as I am now taking my playing more seriously the threat of injury while playing the piano is something that more and more I find myself worrying about. We pianists are different from most other musicians in that the characteristics of our instrument allows us to spend a great deal more time practicing it than you would be able to with almost any other type of instrument, or even for voice. But if we're not careful there are many problems that can arise from many long hours of practice, and in the end we might be doing far more harm than good by practicing! My personal view is that one should approach playing the piano like it's an athletic sport. Just as in sports you would spend time prior to actually playing to warm-up and stretch your muscles, so should you before you start flogging the scales at the piano. My warm up includes a number of Hanon exercises, as well as some of Dohnanyi's. I start off easily and not too enthusiastically, and then gradually as I feel things starting to lossen and become more relaxed and flexible, I'll speed things up. I might even play some old pieces or do a bit of sight-reading if I'm so inclined. It usually doesn't take very long, and then I find myself ready to actually start practicing repertoire or technique. Recently I've even thought about even doing stretches for my wrists, simply by using one hand to gently pull on the other. I also find that if I regularly practice every day for a good amount of time, then the less I need to rely on warming up to get ready to play. However, even not touching the piano for a day or two can cause me to stiffen up again and I'll need to spend more time warming up and getting back into the groove of things. So, what you do to ensure that you get the most out of your practice and avoid causing injuries? Any tips or tricks to help loosen up stiff fingers? Are there specific exercises that you use that you find particularly effective? Are there any Dos and Don'ts that people know for certain about? Thanks in advance for any input.