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Physical workouts and Vocal Problems

Posted by Admin on 6/5/2011 to Voice Training Articles and Info
Question: Hello Judy. I'm a classical tenor who's training at The Royal Irish Academy of Music in Dublin. During this year, I've been experiencing a lot of trouble with my voice due to some stress and anxiety. I'm hitting the gym and finding that I'm vocally tired when I do a session there. As a result, I have not had a natural falsetto, which I wouldn't use a lot but it's standard to have one as a male singer any way. I feel very dried out a lot of the time and I'm horse a lot too lately. My energy decreases very quickly when I sing and I can't pinpoint what's wrong. Any tips on what I should do?
 
My answer: I’m glad you are recognizing trouble. If your falsetto is leaving you then your vocal cords must be swollen. One thing you must do is avoid closing your glottis in a grunt when you work out. This can be very stressful to your cords. Do not try to sing after strenuous workout. Also… maybe lighten up on any weight training, especially for your shoulders. Get those too tight and you’re in trouble. Pay attention to doing good stretches before and after workout. You are obviously dehydrated, so lots of water is in order of course, but you can add some pineapple juice to your water for a soothing drink for your throat. Dilute the drink 1/3 pineapple and 2/3 water. You might invest in a good massage to alleviate your stressed and tense muscles. Also make sure you’re getting enough sleep and that your diet is good. I would suggest you get my 5 page report on vocal health, available with signing up to my newsletter at my website. There are lots of tips there you could probably use. Don’t underestimate the value of getting your head voice (falsetto) back. You simply must do this, and you won’t do it until cord swelling goes down. If you still have trouble, get yourself to a voice clinic and get scoped. Make sure your posture is correct when singing; head balanced over your heels. DO NOT PUSH your voice when it feels strain or fatigue. Be sure and warm up before… and warm down after … rehearsing, vocalizing or singing. Hope this is of benefit to others... it is very important to stay physically fit but as in most of life, moderation is the key to keep physical fitness from sabotaging voice!
 

Judy Rodman is the author of Power, Path & Performance
and Singing in the studio

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41 Comments

Frank Sedlak
Date: 12/16/2011 6:33:00 PM
My vocal chords have had two procedures (injecting fat to "plump them up" so I wouldn't sound so hoarse when I speak or sing in my choir (I used to be a cantor with a superior tenor voice). I have been taking 3 20 oz. bottles of water with me to rehearsals and Sunday services, but I'm still not able to hit notes I used to without straining. My control is suffering, too. Any suggestions.
Frank Sedlak
Date: 12/16/2011 6:37:00 PM
My vocal chords have had two procedures (injecting fat to "plump them up" so I wouldn't sound so hoarse when I speak or sing in my choir (I used to be a cantor with a superior tenor voice). I have been taking 3 20 oz. bottles of water with me to rehearsals and Sunday services, but I'm still not able to hit notes I used to without straining. My control is suffering, too. Any suggestions.
Nancy
Date: 1/14/2012 11:52:00 AM
Do you think acid reflux could be the culprit? I know it contributes to hoarseness and also to limiting the higher notes. Maybe if you tried taking daily medication to prevent it?
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Date: 12/29/2016
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