Fitness: Habits and Tips to Help you Sing your Best
Posted Monday, April 19th 2021 by Andy King
We chat with New York Vocal Coaching Senior Associate Andy King about fitness for singers.
An often-overlooked aspect of singing training is the impact our physical fitness has on our vocal fitness. Let's talk about physical fitness and what you could do to take your singing to new heights.
Aesthetics are not the most important aspect of your physical training. When we talk about fitness, we are specifically talking about making sure our bodies are working in the most efficient way possible. Making sure we are fit has to do with form and function and not six-pack abs. Love your body, and treat it with kindness and respect. You only get one.
There are four fitness fundamentals singers should know: Cardiovascular Exercise, Stretching and Flexibility, Strength Training, and Bodywork Techniques.
1. Cardiovascular Exercise increases your heart rate, improves circulation, and--especially beneficial to singers--improves your stamina and lung function! Try running, walking, swimming, biking, jumping jacks, interval training, rowing, dancing, or anything that gets your body moving!
2. Stretching and Flexibility Training benefits singers' joint function and decreases risk of injury. It improves your overall athletic ability which for some performers is a must. Try yoga, tai chi, dynamic stretching, foam rolling, and pilates to see which feels right to you.
3. Strength Training increases bone density, improves everyday functionality, and sharpens your mental performance. The best part is you don't have to work out for hours to experience the benefits - two or three half-hour sessions a week are enough. You can try body weight exercises like push-ups and squats, or resistance bands and weight machines.
4. Bodywork Techniques may be unfamiliar to some readers, but they deserve their place in a singer's fitness routine. Bodywork Techniques are a broad term referring to physical methods and approaches used to establish and reinforce optimal body alignment and function. These include Alexander Technique, Feldenkrais, Body Mapping, Myofascial Release, and Rolfing just to name a few.
From everyday activity to performing onstage or playing sports, we want our bodies to be able to carry us where we want to go. When discovering what might work for you, always remember that fitness is all about keeping your body functioning at its highest level.
Everyone is on a unique point on their health and fitness journey. When reading articles, keep in mind that what may work for your friend may not be right for you. And that's ok.
When dealing with any change in your fitness routine, consult with your doctor as well as your voice teacher or another trained professional (nutritionist, personal trainer, body work coach, etc.) Look for guidance in your area and see who might be a good fit for what you're looking for. Remember, it takes a team to build a performer!
Senior Voice Teacher Associate
Andy specializes in voice technique for Musical Theatre, Pop/Rock/R&B, and Classical. Mr. King’s clients range from professional Music Theatre actors to Professional Pop/Rock/Singer-Songwriters and sacred singers singing professionally in NYC churches and synagogues. He also accompanies and coaches a Musical Theatre class at New York Vocal Coaching. His clients have been seen on Broadway, Off-Broadway, on National Tours, and Regional Theaters.
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