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Ab workouts for better support
September 24, 2014
3:34 pm
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DeffStarr
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Ok, so we all know you don't have to have washboard abs for our support to be there, but am I wrong in thinking we have to strengthen them in order to have stable support?
Strengthen also being that we have to train them better.

MJ never had washboards abs that I know of and neither did Pavorotti, but if we are to advocate a firm lower ab contraction, as if pulling your waist to tighten your belt, is there anything to help strengthen this?

I feel mine is rather weak that's all.

September 24, 2014
3:42 pm
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OwenKorzec
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I think stomach vacuums work the correct muscle although I haven't tried that exercise yet. I also think that that diaphragmatic exercise Phil demonstrates is very similar but connected to sound, so you could just do that exercise a LOT and I think it will strengthen them a good degree, and certainly get your abs well coordinated in singing at the least.

September 24, 2014
4:04 pm
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TommyTheHat
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Everything involves the muscles of the body in someway. Even blinking your eyes or swallowing. Breathing utilizes various muscles but is also a coordinated effort of various muscle interactions. Exercises for these types of body functions aren't like exercising to build bigger biceps. Well, they are to a degree but a bit different. These are being strengthened to more or less build muscle memory and an ease for performing a function. There's a bit more to it and too much for me to explain Smile But I would say that it is almost like punching. The technique of punching, although it requires a certain amount of strength and definitely the use of muscles, building bigger arms, biceps and triceps really has little to do with punching harder.
Support is a control of breath which is separate from "abs." The lungs and diaphragm muscles are internal under the abs that people associate with washboard abs. The ribs are involved to a degree also and their ability to expand comfortably, but all of this would come naturally through normal use...the exercise of singing! If you use good support while you sing, then it gets better and better. It's more about understanding support than it is about a specific exercise in my opinion. Being healthy always helps but there are great fat singers out there as well as thin. As well there is the reverse

"It's not how many notes you know. It's what you do with them."

September 24, 2014
4:21 pm
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daniel formica
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the abs play no roll in singing except to impress the ladies. thats how i met my wife!!!

September 25, 2014
1:42 am
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Phil Moufarrege
Japan
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DeffStarr said

Ok, so we all know you don't have to have washboard abs for our support to be there, but am I wrong in thinking we have to strengthen them in order to have stable support?
Strengthen also being that we have to train them better.

MJ never had washboards abs that I know of and neither did Pavorotti, but if we are to advocate a firm lower ab contraction, as if pulling your waist to tighten your belt, is there anything to help strengthen this?

I feel mine is rather weak that's all.

Stomach vacuums are good as Owen said but strengthening is not really necessary as such. What you may be really feeling is that you cannot get a nice engagement rather than strength.

Deadlifting is great for learning how to incorporate your entire body into things which will help you engage your body more. When I do mezza di voce or anything like where I am trying to go really loud I can feel my legs drilling into the ground more similar to a deadlift and the midsection "cushing itself" downwards like a can.

Just consciously practicing to be well supported as you sing is what will really take you furthest.

@PhilMoufarrege
Online Vocal Coach, Singer/Songwriter
Grow-The-Voice.com | PHILMOUFARREGE.com

September 26, 2014
1:35 pm
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TommyTheHat
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I was on my way to work and singing today when I thought of something pertaining to this. It was the ending note on Bobby Darins' "Mac The Knife." It's kind of a long note and it made me think of the discussion of exercises. I haven't been singing as much as usual due to a busy schedule and haven't sung this particular song in a few months. I noticed that last note being a bit more work than usual.
While specific ab exercises, imo, have nothing to do with support, I would think that lung capacity does. Exercises to aid the lungs in sustaining longer and longer would be beneficial. But then sustainability of the lungs is all part of support isn't it. Smile

Also, as far as specific exercises go...I suppose there can be many and whatever works for you is fine. But I also think that for example in my case, just singing that song over and over will automatically work the weakened or atrophied area

"It's not how many notes you know. It's what you do with them."

September 26, 2014
2:17 pm
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Felipe Carvalho
Brazil
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Deffstar, not really.

Support you train with exercises on singing. It can be intense, you can get tired from singing, it surely involves your whole body, but muscle strenght by itself you already have.

There are a lot of things that you can do about breath coordination and there are exercises for support, but it's not muscle building.

Think of how we learn to control our pinky finger to play the guitar, if you think about it, when we are grabing an object and doing some other actions on our daily life, it has enough strength and it does not get tired easily.

Learning how to independantly control it on the fretboard of guitar, however, can leave it tired, you will feel it weak and the control will be messed up. This is a matter of coordination.

The conditioning we do is so that the aspects that are necessary are overlearned.

Felipe Carvalho
Singer and Voice Teacher in Brasil - São Paulo

September 26, 2014
7:13 pm
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IAm
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I like flutter-kicks, but only because it makes me feel like I have a greater sense of connection to my lower abdominal muscles... and they make them feel nice and warm. I don't think it's at all tantamount to my improvement as a singer. It's just something I like to do. Smile

Another thing I like to do, which likely has little significance to anyone but myself, is to keep myself moving around a bit in the hips/torso while I do breathing work, prior to vocalizing/singing. It makes me feel a bit looser, more relaxed.

"There is still a future with music, because people want music." - MJK

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