Hello happy singers!
I am Katarina, the founder of How 2 Improve Singing. One of the reasons why you run out of breath or sing with tension may be your inefficient chest position during singing. In today’s video, I am going to show you a simple breathing exercise for singers that will help you maintain correct singing posture so that you can effectively manage your breath and sing with freedom. Stay tuned.
Finding a medium-high chest posture is not that difficult. But maintaining it can be challenging, especially for those of us who habitually hunch over.
Let me recap what we know about correct singing posture, more specifically medium-high chest posture:
A medium-high chest posture is important for efficient breathing because it allows your ribcage to open, your lower ribs to move freely and your diaphragm to descend fully. This is essential for sufficient and efficient breath for a given sung phrase.
(If you did not know this, watch my other video, in which I talk more about chest position. Click on the link at the end of this video.)
This medium-high chest position should not change substantially throughout the exhalation phase, when you sing or breathe out. Your goal is to prevent collapsing of the chest when singing. If you notice that your breastbone is moving in and down (even a tiny bit) during singing, you are not keeping correct posture for singing. If you collapse your chest every time you breathe out, you will have to work hard to breathe in again and again. By the end of the song or exercise, you may feel exhausted. This fatigue may then lead to insufficient breaths, running out of air or even tension or strain.
Keeping your chest open is easier said than done, especially for those of us who sit at the computer a lot, who slouch on comfy couches or habitually slump over.
Here is a simple breathing exercise to strengthen the muscles that keep your chest up and open.
Step #1 Get a mirror.
Use a mirror to check for the movements of your breastbone. The mirror will give you immediate feedback on how you are doing. Watch for the slightest down or inward movement of the breastbone. You do not want to see this (show examples of what not to do).
Step #2 Find a medium-high chest posture.
Use the Hands-up technique to find the medium-high chest posture. Check out my other video, in which I demonstrated this technique.
Step #3 Inhale silently.
As you inhale, your torso is expanding in all directions: forward, sideways and even backward.
Step #4 Exhale while keeping your chest open.
As you are slowly exhaling focus on your breastbone. Imagine having a string attached to your breastbone pulling up. Watch yourself in the mirror and don’t let your chest collapse. Exhale for as long as you can while keeping your chest up.
Do a few repetitions every day and you are good to go. This exercise will help you strengthen the muscles that keep your chest up and open. It may take some time and slight discomfort while developing their strength.
In today’s video, I shared a simple breathing exercise for singers to strengthen the muscles to maintain a medium-high chest posture. But this is just one aspect of good breathing technique. To help you understand if you are breathing correctly for singing, I prepared a complete breathing checklist for you. Click the link in the description below the video to download your free breathing checklist.
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Lin to the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T3We8dpBAkA