5 practical exercises to take care of the voice

Before giving conferences, introducing yourself to someone important, there is one detail that often goes unnoticed: the need to take care of the voice so that it does not betray us.

Just as we warm up our muscles before playing sports, it is essential treat our vocal cords with the care they deserve and get those little muscles ready for the job they have to do. Of course, singing in the shower is a great way to warm up, but you might also like some of these others that I explain below in case, before you take the stage or give this talk, you don’t. would not have access to it.

The objective is, through a good use of our voice, avoid overload and vocal fatigue to avoid injuries such as aphonia, Polyps in the vocal cords, etc … at the same time we find our own precious voice and give it longevity.

    Exercises to take care of the voice

    While some people have unique vocal cord vibration patterns that make them more suited to performance, mimicry, or song (as they move faster and come closer than usual), we can and must take care of the voice and develop it until it is optimized. In addition to the exercises I am talking about below, protecting your neck from the cold, drinking tempered drinks (especially ginger or erysim tea), and shunning alcohol and tobacco before using your voice for a long time are great advice to consider.

    These exercises come from my apprenticeship as a soprano, they helped me and they still do it every day. Not only do they improve the voice … they also relax and increase concentration. In addition, they are quite discreet, so they can be done at any time without attracting attention. For example, before entering class, give a lecture …

    1. Stretching

    With feet apart, aligned at the height of our hips and knees slightly bent, we point the tailbone forward and raise our arms to the ceiling, grab a doll with our other hand and pull it up. We repeat the change of hands. About three times per hand will be enough to stretch the intercostal muscles and help the diaphragm relax.

    See neck, trapezius and shoulder massage to soften the muscles. We put the arm above the head and place the palm of the hand on the ear, gently pulling on the head, stretching all the muscles well. We can step up by stretching the opposite hand to the ground.

    We then support the chin on one shoulder and rotate the head down with the chin still touching the body to the other shoulder and still rotating down again.

      2. Facial relaxation

      With our tongue, we press the walls of the mouth as wide and hard as possible. Then we pinch our cheeks and cheeks, the area of ​​the ciliary arch, pull on our ears … and press again with our tongue. You will notice that now the tongue is able to go much further with less effort. Repeat two or three times. Once we’ve warmed it up, stick out your tongue, stretch down and back, wait 15 seconds and relax inside.

      If it bothers you (basically, not the brake) repeat until you no longer mind. The same goes for the sides: the tongue, stretch down and the right side, hold for 15 seconds and relax inside. Ditto for the left side. Repeat until you don’t mind.

      3. Heat the diaphragm

      Feet hip apart, tailbone advanced, knees slightly bent, inhaled with full breath and it expels the air with a lot of pressure through the almost closed mouth, Emits an F sound while controlling the amount of air emitted from the abdomen with your hands. With practice this is very easy and it helps a lot in learning how to manage the air we use when talking. It is one of the most useful voice care exercises.

      4. Warm up the vocal cords

      With duck-billed lips, a loose open throat and a bowed head with the chin glued to the chest, it is inhaled through the nose without nasal noise and exhales through the mouth sonorically imitating a horse and thus making the lips vibrate. Repeat 5 times.

      Place the incisor teeth on the lower lip and make a soft sound while exhaling a lot of air, mimicking the hum of a bee with the letter V. Do this 5 more times.

      Chew with vertical jaw movements, tilt your head down and add the vowel O, repeating MO, MO, MO. 5 times.

      5. Place the voice

      To do this, in the “singing” (or speaking) position that you already know: legs apart, feet at hip height, tailbone forward, knees slightly bent, we lower our chin to our chest and pronounce a phrase. The voice must resonate on the upper palate and vibrate in the incisors. Repeat the phrase until you make sure your voice is in that position, and you can even repeat the speech, text, or lesson you’re about to give.

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