Hey so I've been playing the guitar around 5 years now, I had to stop for a year due to shoulder/back problems that caused me a lot of pain playing but fortunately after changes to my lifestyle, diet, and quality of life am able to play again. I am managing to do all my old technical exercises no problem except for the Finger Gym here. It seems after 2 minutes in my left arm(fretting hand) gets major tension going up my bicep into my shoulder/trap. I know a big problem in the past for me has been tension while playing and It's been my emphasis since starting again to sit upright(neutral spine) with neutral, calm wrists and in a relaxed state but something about the physical difficulty of the Finger Gym takes away my zen-like performance. I practice the exercise and afterwards do some stretching but the tension persists throughout the day.
There is no doubt that the finger gym helps me with my technique and ability but I find having to deal with stiffarm the whole day a real pain in the ass. As for my skill level I've completed the Intermediate Course on the site as well as knowing all my major/minor pent, major scales and minor scales along with some other theory picked up from High school band. As mentioned I've been playing nearly 5 years and don't find anything on the guitar to cause me too much tension besides the Finger Gym (hardly ever fatigue playing, just run out of ideas/boredom)
My question is: should I continue doing this exercise? Is it too early for me and should I just let it come with time? Is my posture off?( i know you can't tell that but if you think this could be the case) Any tips to let me do this exercise comfortably would be great!
Also as a side note I have spoken to both my doctor/physio and they have told me just to stretch after playing. I'm not looking for medical advice just advice on the Finger Gym
Thanks in advance, John