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ArtistWorks Vocal School Lessons: Physical Exercise and Weight Training for Singers

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[MUSIC]
Physical exercise is a very important
element to, of course, keeping your body
in
good shape, but it also assists your
voice.
If you perform at all, you know, you're
not going to always be
standing like a stick figure, and you will
need to move.
Now the more you move, the easier it is to
become what's called,
winded, where you're panting and stuff,
and then that's difficult, regardless
of using rib cage expansion, which helps,
but still, it becomes difficult to
control your breath because it's moving so
fast, cuz you're moving around the stage.
So getting enough aerobic exercise not
only keeps your muscles internally and
externally in good shape, but
it aids your breath control because your
heart rate begins to beat slower,
even though you're moving faster rather
than accelerating the heart rate,
which has everything to do with how fast
or slow you breathe.
By the way which is also why a sedentary
life,
meaning one where you're sitting most of
the time,
is not the best thing for anybody and
particularly for us as singers.
So try to get walks in.
A 20-minute walk a day is really good.
Look around, get some space, that's
helpful also
especially if you're working a sedentary
job during the day, and then
you have to practice at night, split that
up, get a walk in, make it a brisk one.
And then that leads us into other types of
exercises which are helpful as well.
But I wanna start this next little bit
with a story.
Back a number of years ago, I was training
a rock singer, and
he was fairly new, he was a really good,
accomplished musician elsewise,
and his band wanted him to step forward as
the lead singer.
And it was a pretty aggressive rock style
that they were using, and
he was having a, a lot of difficulty.
Okay, so I took him through my curriculum,
as I am doing you,
and he was really, his voice was just
coming out, and his range was growing,
and everything was wonderful, and then he
started coming in,
and I and I was noticing, he looked
different little by little by little,
and with that look change, all of a
sudden, his range was jamming up.
And I wasn't able to take him where I had
been taking him, and
his voice was getting more constrained,
and I did some troubleshooting,
and it wasn't this and it wasn't that,
and, okay,
what did, did that, and then I suddenly
looked at him really close, and
I realized his neck had grown I don't
know, it seemed like a couple of inches.
It was way wider, and he had these big fl,
flaps.
I, they, they weren't flaps, but, you
know, like his muscles were, like,
sticking out there.
And I realized his chest, his pecks where
all tight and big,
and his arms were getting bigger, and I'm
like, have you been working out?
And he said, yes.
I have been, and I can bench press I don't
know how many,
you know, pounds he was now all proud
about.
And I realized that the type of weight
training he was doing
was putting tremendous exertion on the
neck muscles.
And the bigger they got, the more they
pressed in on his vocal apparatus,
and the tighter his voice got, and the
harder it was for him to sing.
It was like, wow, big moment.
So, you can do weight training if you
want, and if you already are.
But as a singer, it's very important to do
the following.
One, don't press high weights.
Press lower weights that allow you to
breathe very freely, very naturally,
no holding of breath.
And for which you end up not feeling any
kind of strain in the neck.
The moment you feel exertion here, that's
the time to stop and
figure out what you need to do
differently.
It may mean reducing the amount of weight,
or
the way that you're actually concentrating
the arm movement.
So if you do weight training on your back
and
you're pushing like bench press type
things, it's better to
use dumbbells rather than the bar with the
big, rounded weights.
They tend to be too heavy, and they put a
lot of effort right here.
When you're doing any kind of weight
movement,
keep your attention through here so that
you can isolate these muscles.
You may all ready have found that where
you put your concentration is what
ends up working the most when you're using
that particular area of muscle group.
That muscle group I should say.
[LAUGH] So thinking from the pecs
helps to relax the neck and not also
involve there.
Play it smart when you're doing any kind
of weight training.
Don't involve your neck or throat.
Keep those weights low.
You can do more reps, you know, more sets.
Put a break in between each set, but lower
weight.
Word to the wise.
[MUSIC]