Warm-up for singing: Physical and breathing exercises


A little over three years ago, I shared my vocal warm-up routine. Re-reading that article alerted me to the fact that I have branched out a bit and my warm-up routine is now more varied.

The function of a warm-up is still the same: warming up the muscles that play a role in my singing, “greasing” the coordination, “getting into the zone” and checking in with my voice and body. Two things have changed, or rather become more varied:

  1. I use a wider array of exercises as a starting point. Some days, it’s glissandi on “m”, “ng”, and “n”. Other days, I sing scale fragments in my comfortable middle range on different forms of “r” and with “horse lips”. Other days, I start with octave glissandi downwards, or I launch right into scale fragments, depending on how I feel.
  2. I often use five to ten minutes of physical activity and/or breath-focused work to mobilize my body and get into good tension.

Now, the latter is probably informed by the fact that I have, over the past two years, adopted a pretty regular exercise habit, mainly bodyweight exercise programs, but also some yoga.

Last summer, I got a few interesting pointers form a friend of mine who freedives.¬†From the resources he shared with me, I was able to extract some exercises that helped breathing a lot – I can now sing through some phrases I struggled with six months ago! Also, my high notes seem to come more easily. Another source of my new pre-singing warmups popped up in the “related videos” section of my favorite Youtube yoga videos.

I’m going to share some of them here – with some precautions. Continue reading