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Singers - what is your non-vocal exercise of choice?
September 2, 2014
4:24 pm
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OwenKorzec
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For me it's running. I put on some of my favorite high-energy music and run, as close to daily as I can. I've got it to a mildly flexible habit at this point. I don't have a set time of day I do it and if I'm too busy to get to it, so be it, but most of the time I get it done. I just LOVE it and that's what keeps me going.

I love putting on some of my favorite high energy music and running a nice big lap around my neighborhood and go as long as what feels right. I focus on active diaphragmatic breathing throughout (the way Phil and Marnell teach) and I seem to average about 4 miles per day now. When I first began running I noticed I could pull chest higher afterwards, this was back when I was getting comfortable with E4-F#4 - gaining that range had to do with my running. But recently I actually made some great running breakthroughs this summer due to my breakthroughs in singing technique. I remember specific days where I just focused on keeping an open throat (it used to actually tense up on me after running a long time) and expanding the back and suddenly it felt like I could run forever, like the boundary of stamina was completely removed.

So it goes both ways - I think singing and running go great together and help each other out!

There's also Jaime Vendera's "cardio singing" idea which combines the two - I think I will try that this coming winter to prevent myself from getting bored on the treadmill.

On almost any day I record or perform vocals I go for a run and that is the beginning of my warm up.

One last note, I notice running has a strong mental and emotional benefit as well. I get very emotionally amped up afterwards (the combination of music I'm listening to and the physical activity is the biggest natural high I've found) and I'm also able to think more clearly and positively afterwards. Somehow these benefits tend to last the entire day after I run. I suppose it's a matter of setting up momentum and then it's easy to maintain.

Okay I'll leave it there, I don't mean to write a novel haha! I'm just curious, who else has found a physical exercise or activity helpful to their singing and how? I would like to expand past this. A couple singers I know have recommended yoga, which I might look into.

September 2, 2014
5:58 pm
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quentin
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Yep i also used to run a lot.

Actually, i started running at the age of 15 and and at the age of 16 i was already competing. I am at my best on 10 kilometers paths and i remembered one day completing it in something like 36 minutes.
When i was younger i used to jogg like a runnaway train but despite my ability for it, i started having tendinitis on my hamstrings because of my lack of training and a bad lifestyle. I have stopped competition and run in a more casual fashion now because i know that if i want to go faster, it would involve doing stretching exercices on a daily basis.

Since a couple of years, i have replaced running by racketball. Running is a bit of a solo activity that has the advantage of being available anytime anywhere (although i really would not advice to run on concrete or on other hard surface), but i was searching for something that involve other people. Racketball is quite expansive but it has the advantage of being very physically demanding and very fun.

Regarding the running/singing Relationship, you are right to point out the benefits. The only disadvantage i have found is that when i run very fast, i am obliged to breathe through my mouth, which ends up drying my throat. One or two times, my throat got slightly irritated because of it. Otherwise, running reasonably before singing makes your body and your mind quite pumped up.

September 2, 2014
11:55 pm
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OwenKorzec
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Yeah I really don't run very fast, I keep my focus on distance, I find extending that factor instead actually encourages proper breathing.

I always do a few stretches before which helps, but I'm also untrained so I hope that doesn't catch up to me someday. I don't compete though, I always listen to my body, never forcing through anything that really hurts, and I think that is what has kept me from injury.

September 3, 2014
10:27 pm
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Marnell Sample
Philadelphia, PA
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Well, your body IS your instrument, so it would make sense that anything which benefits your body also benefits your voice.

As for me, my exercise of choice is squatting. Sometimes weighted, sometimes pistol squats, sometimes high rep bodyweight squats (100+ reps, good for cardiovascular endurance)...but I just love squats. They just seem to wake up my entire body in a way no other exercise does (except for sprinting). They become a great excuse for me to focus on my breathing and really making sure I keep my lower abs engaged. Like you, I always try to make sure I keep my throat free at all times no matter how intense it gets.

@OwenKorzec , just out of curiosity, when you run, do you breathe the the nose or the mouth?

September 3, 2014
11:17 pm
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OwenKorzec
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Always in through the nose. Out through either or both as long as its a small opening.

September 4, 2014
9:41 am
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wabba_treads420
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I've found that swimming a few laps in Rainbow Springs (a state park in Fl that has undescribably crystal clear blue water from the springs that boil up) is really therapeutic and can help with your breath support. It also clears my mucus so I can breath even more easy. Coming up from each stroke and taking a breath can help open your airways and get the blood flowing. I feel that way for hours afterwards and I just end up having an awesome training day.

September 4, 2014
7:17 pm
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Phil Moufarrege
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wabba_treads420 said

I've found that swimming a few laps in Rainbow Springs (a state park in Fl that has undescribably crystal clear blue water from the springs that boil up) is really therapeutic and can help with your breath support. It also clears my mucus so I can breath even more easy. Coming up from each stroke and taking a breath can help open your airways and get the blood flowing. I feel that way for hours afterwards and I just end up having an awesome training day.

Swimming in natural springs is GENIUS for health! You are one lucky man to find such a place! I used to go to the beach in winter back in Australia when no one was there and swim in the icy cold salt water. I felt so healed from it.

Anyone with skin conditions needs to try it.

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

September 9, 2014
3:20 pm
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TommyTheHat
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I'm all over the place. I just keep moving. When I'm in the gym I do varied exercises. I lift weights, some days very light with no rest between sets and some days a bit heavier. I run, I jump, I use the heavy bag, I skip rope. I crawl, I tumble, I do pushups and crunches. I climb, I stretch...whatever comes to mind. I don't plan, I just do.

When I'm at work I do pushups and I lift weights (we have some weights there...not much). I work with Aircraft equipment and I used to lay down MD 11 Main wheels for aircraft and flip them over and over. They weight 550 lbs. I crawl under shelves, I climb the shelving, I run, I walk, I go up and down stairs. I don't use carts to move anything...I carry it. I don't use elevators.

So my exercise is very varied. I don't get caught up in one thing. I tend to make life an exercise.

Tommy

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

September 12, 2014
3:09 pm
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daniel formica
San luis Obispo, Ca
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front squats, burbees, chin ups(various), pushups, reverse flys, stomach vacuums, frog crunches, kettle bell swings and dead lifts...

September 16, 2014
11:42 pm
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Marnell Sample
Philadelphia, PA
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@Daniel

I forgot all about stomach vacuums! I do them from time to time too. Do you do them standing or bent over? I sometimes do it in the Maha Mudra yoga pose. Looks like this:

http://www.parayoga.com/librar.....dra175.jpg

September 17, 2014
7:31 pm
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daniel formica
San luis Obispo, Ca
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i do it in angrycat pose on hands and knees.

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