Breathing from your diaphragm is different than breathing from your chest, it uses your core and your belly pushes out as you exhale rather than your neck and doing all the work as your shoulders rise to your ears. There are many benefits to diaphragmatic breathing for your voice. First,  you can get out those marathon sentences with no commas, or periods that just keep going and going and going in one breath instead of having to go back and edit out a breath in the middle just to get through them 🙂 Diaphragmatic breathing is also great for relaxation, expelling even more carbon dioxide from our bodies, and is the way the body is designed to breathe.

Here is a quick video tutorial on how to breathe this way

It helps to have a strong core when breathing from your diaphragm and Pilates is one of the best ways to improve your core strength, particularly for vocal health. According to Cari Cole in 8 Ways to Improve Your Vocal Health,

“Pilates are better than abdominal crunches.

Six-pack abs are a hit at the beach, but not all toned abs are created equal. More often than not, people do abdominal crunches to strengthen their abs. While it may look good, it’s the exact opposite of what a singer needs to support a healthy voice. Short, contracted abdominal muscles can cause vocal problems because there is no room for the diaphragm (the muscle that supports the singing voice) to descend and it creates constriction in the throat muscles, which will not help you sing better. Pilates lengthens abdominal muscles while strengthening them, giving you support from your diaphragm while improving your vocal technique.”

Have you noticed a difference in your voice and endurance when using diaphragmatic breathing?

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