You’re a musician, specifically a singer who needs to incorporate breathing exercises and techniques into their vocal warm-ups. Breathing exercises are not just for singers who are starting, but also for every singer regardless of their proficiency level.
What Are Breathing Exercises?
Breathing exercises teach you voice control and warm up your lungs. Just as you stretch before running, you need to warm up your lungs before belting out a song. By controlling your inhales and exhales, you prepare your body to support your voice with full and deep breaths.
When you sing, you use 90% of your lung capacity, and that is a lot. Singing is a physically demanding activity. For this reason, you need to make breathing exercises a part of your daily routine. If you want, you can perform yoga or go out for a run to improve your breathing.
When Should You Perform Breathing Exercises?
You need to perform breathing exercises before you warm up your voice. In doing so, you will establish efficient, healthy, and full breathing that will help you with your vocal warm-ups and ensure you sing seamlessly throughout the rest of the singing practice or performance.
Why Breathing Exercises Are Important
Breathing exercises are important because they help you maintain a healthy singing technique and prevent you from losing your voice due to an injury sustained while singing. If you don’t perform any breathing exercises, your voice will have to go elsewhere for support.
It will depend on the muscles near your vocal cords for support, causing long-term strain and tension. If you continue to sing without performing breathing exercises, you risk permanent damage to your vocal cords.
We will share a few breathing exercises that you can perform to strengthen your respiratory system, especially your inspiratory and expiratory muscles.
Before you perform them, we want you to keep the following in mind:
- Relax your back, shoulders, chest, and arms
- Keep your feet slightly apart if you are performing a breathing exercise while standing
- Imagine you are breathing from under your feet or from your lower torso, as doing this will keep your chest and shoulders tension-free
- Imagine your spine is elongating when you inhale and exhale, especially on the exhale
- If you feel your body is becoming tense, gently stretch before you start the breathing exercise, as this will increase your awareness about your body and create a sense of physical freedom
Once you have this down, you’re ready to start the breathing exercises.
Top 5 Breathing Exercises for Musicians
1. Breathing Exercise: Inhale through Your Nose and Exhale through Your Mouth
You can perform this breathing exercise in a sitting, standing, or lying position.
- Inhale deeply through your nose as you count to three.
- Hold the inhale as you count to three.
- Exhale through your mouth as you count to three.
- Hold the end of your exhale as you count to three.
- Repeat the cycle three times.
2. Breathing Exercise: Lie Down On Your Back
You need to lie down on your back on the floor on an exercise mat, a thick towel, or a blanket.
- Lie down on the floor on your back with both arms at your side. Place your feet on the floor and slightly apart from each other. Your knees should point toward the roof. Ensure your lower back is flat on the floor.
- Inhale deeply through your mouth or nose as you count to four. You need to imagine your back becoming wider and longer on the ground under you.
- Exhale through your mouth or nose as you count to four while imagining the same scenario as you did in the last step.
- Repeat this breathing exercise three times.
3. Breathing Exercise: Straw Breathing
You will inhale and exhale as if you are drinking from a straw, and you can perform this breathing exercise in a standing or sitting position.
- Inhale through your mouth as if you are inhaling using a straw and count to four.
- Exhale through your mouth and count to four.
- Inhale through your mouth for a second time and count to four and exhale and count to four, and repeat this cycle a few times.
- Repeat the cycle of inhaling and exhaling three times.
- You can increase the counts by adding two each time to your original count. So, two four, six, and so on.
In addition to performing these breathing exercises, you can invest in a respiratory training device to improve your breathing.
4. Breathing Exercise: Hissing
You can perform this breathing exercise in a standing, lying down, or sitting position.
- Place your hands on your stomach to measure the air intake and release.
- Gradually breathe in through your nose.
- When you are exhaling, grit your teeth and use your tongue to control the release of air. You should hear a low and continuous hissing sound.
4. Breathing Exercise: Respiratory Training Device
You can use a respiratory training device to warm up your voice, improve your breathing, and strengthen your inspiratory and expiratory muscles. You can use the device two times each day for four to five days each week.
You can perform the breathing exercises before singing or perform after you use the device. The steps to using it:
- Three series of ten reps every morning and evening
- Gradually increase to performing three series of twenty reps every morning and evening
We recommend getting the Orygen Dual Valve. The user-friendly device can help you improve your breathing. By using it, you will find yourself breathing longer and singing better.
Don’t strain your voice and risk losing it because you failed to practice breathing using these exercises and supplementing them with a respiratory training device, Do both to witness your breathing improve and your respiratory muscles strengthen.