Hi, everyone! This is Marnell Sample bringing you
the very best information on vocal technique. In this video, you will be learning a breathing exercise
which will not only help to strengthen your diaphragm, but also will strengthen your core musculature,
in addition to improving the alignment your body. For this exercise, all you’ll need are: some steps or something that you can sit on
that’s pretty low in height and a balloon. In particular I’m using an 11-inch balloon. You don’t want to go much smaller in size
for a balloon than this for reasons which you will see very shortly. So what you want to do is sit on a step.
Your hips should be on one step, your feet should be on the very next
step below it. Basically, what you are trying to do is make
sure that your hips are much lower than your knees; they (your hips) should not be level with your
knees. So, this will not work sitting in a chair. We must be at some type of low level. If you don’t have a step, a sidewalk can work… or stack up a few a few books to a level
that’s about this high and just sit on it. So once you’re in this position,
allow your lower back to round. Your lower back and, actually, your entire spine will round out. I’ll show you from the side. It looks a little like this… See, it’s kind of curved. Do not arch your back like this for this
exercise; that will not help you. Keep the lower back rounded, and what you’re
going to do is blow up your balloon. Staying in this position the whole time, breathe in through the nose,
and then blow out into the balloon, trying to press out as much air from your lungs
as possible with each exhalation. So it looks something like this…
[demonstrates] It should take you…I’ll let the air out. Forgive the noise. It should take you around three to four breaths
to blow up a single balloon if you have the right size. What you want to make sure that you do is
after you give one complete exhalation — remember, you’re breathing in through your nose — you’ll just keep the tongue against the
roof of your mouth without removing the balloon from your mouth.
It’ll allow you to breathe in through your nose and keep going.
When you breathe in, you’ll likely feel your back, your entire back here, start to expand and open up with each inhalation.
That is very desirable for this exercise. If you start to arch your back like this when you’re breathing in, your back will close off, your
back will not open up. Don’t do that for this exercise. Stay rounded over like this the whole time. What you will want to do is blow up your balloon five to ten
times and that will serve as your breathing
exercise. It will get everything functioning and flowing exactly the way you need it to and get the alignment of your body correct. For an additional challenge, what you can do is…instead of sitting on a step, just actually squat down all the way to as low as you can go, and then blow up the balloon from there.
It will require much more engagement of your body, especially your thigh muscles
and your abdominal muscles. You’re going to feel them kick in a lot more,
especially when you’re blowing up the balloon. So, something like this…
[demonstrates] So, where you’re holding up your own body. You’ll probably have to hold one hand forward
like this in order to keep yourself balanced. If you find you’re having trouble balancing and blowing it up, you can just result for something to touch onto for support. I hope you found this exercise helpful!