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Breathing Exercises for Your Voice

A healthy, moving, natural voice is supported by breath. Without a breath not much sound will come out.

There are three primary muscles of respiration to be aware of; the abdomen, the diaphragm and the intercostals. These breathing exercises for your voice will get you connected with them.

1. The intercostal muscles are muscle bands that surround and span between the ribs that lift and compress the rib cage in order to permit respiration.

Reach your right arm up and over your head. This lifts the ribs on your right side. Place your left hand across the ribs on the right side. You should be able to feel the spaces between the ribs. Those are your intercostals. Let a breath in. You should feel expansion of the rib case. Repeat on the other side. Then repeat the entire exercise. This time let out an “AH” sound on the exhalation.

2. The diaphragm separates the thoracic and abdominal cavities. It’s responsible for about 75% of our respiration. It works in concert with the surrounding structures.

Lie down on the floor. Place one hand underneath the sternum, on top of the diaphragm. Can you feel expansion and contraction as you naturally breathe? Now let a normal breath in and when you feel the expansion under your hand, have a sigh of relief.

3. The abdominal muscles help expel air.

Sit in a chair. Place one hand on your abdomen. Let a breath in through your mouth. You should feel your abdomen expand like a balloon. Now pretend someone came by with a needle and punctured the balloon. Let all of the air out slowly on an “S.”

Keep in mind there are many breathing exercises for your voice. The main point of these exercises is to help you feel your breath. If you have any questions about breathing exercises for your voice please contact me.