Singing Breathing Exercises to Strengthen Your Diaphragm: The Balloon Squat | Singing Lessons


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!

22 comments

Hello , I Am 13 And Would Like To Become A Singer , Can You Please Help Me Because I Don't Have A Vocal Coach :/ Please Contact Me Back 

Hello, Mr Sample! Could you please tell me how Damien Rice manages to sing with such power in his songs? Especially elephant, The professor, or rootless tree. I just can't get it! Where does he get so much power!?

I'm a singer who also does heavy weightlifting, albeit with very strict technique, and I've found that this, for me at any rate, stretches something, either the diaphragm or intercostals, or something, even with correct breath support on each lift.  My singing compression feels noticeably weaker after a lifting session, but stronger after a heavy sprinting-cardio session. I really don't want to give it up heavy weight training. I'm hoping something like this, done in the evening of a session, can 'repair' the compression issue.  

Hello Marnell! When I am doing this exercise, do I exhale entirely until even the area in the front lower ribs get very tense?

Ok while blowing up the balloon do u keep ur tongue on the roof of your mouth or just between the exercise? I have always just been a guitarist but the band I'm in now I have to do some exstinsive vocals & I find myself hurting in the diaphragm area. I need direction on how to do this correctly. thanks.

hi actually when I consulted the doctor he said tat my diaphragm has went up ,he said tat bcz of this only u r not loosing the fat now what shall I do please help me

when I consulted the doctor i asked him why I am not loosing the fat even after many workouts then he said that my diaphragm has went up to my chest cavity so for this what I should do

Hi! When i breathe in through the nose the second time, do i let my diaphragm relax out once again and expand as usual ? Thanks x

i do sounds like a train (sch sch sch … or tss tss tss) to strenghten my diaphragm … I cant wait to try that exercise out !! thanks

Why do we have to round our back in a squating position? When we sing' we need to sit straight with chest lifted. So why don't we train our breath in a singing position?

How fast do I let the air out? Do I push to let it out or just allow my body to exhale naturally? Thank you so much for the videos. I just found you yesterday and I've been on a video binge on your channel. Lol. Your thorough explanations have helped me understand my voice better. Thank you for your willingness to share. God bless you.

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