Why you need to train your voice
“The Human Voice is the most perfect instrument of all” –Arvo Pärt
I used to compete a lot in the past (hope I still will). In one of BJJ (Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu) competitions back in October 2014, Roman, a very strong and athletic guy 1.5 times my weight choked me and won the fight. Once I got up I found that no one could hear me any more. I could talk but Roman pressed the mute button, bringing my volume to zero.
Since I worked as a personal trainer, that made my classes very challenging. Luckily all my students were very loyal and I didn’t have new ones coming in that following two weeks. My voice got back but I decided I need to bullet-proof it against such accidents. And no, stopping to compete was not in option as I was getting ready for the World Cup that following year.
Our vocal cords are delicate membranes that are easy to damage. At the same time they are muscles that need to stay active and in shape. Thanks to Roman submitting my vocal cords, I’ve been doing my voice training regularly for the last 6 years. I noticed an interesting side effect of it. Regular voice training reduces the risk of getting respiratory diseases. It also helps to deal with symptoms such as sore throat and runny nose if you still get one.
Do that voice training if your job involves talking or projecting your voice. Or you just want to be able to read a book to your kids for an hour. Or have a better shield against common cold and flu.
How to train your voice
“The voice is the muscle of the soul” – Alfred Wolfsohn
I’m going to give you very basic voice training exercises which I do myself. I use my voice 5-6 hours a day and find this 5-10 minutes a day training enough. You may need to train several times a day when you have symptoms such as sore throat or runny nose. Consistent training works great for your vocal cords. Sure there are dozens of voice exercises for professionals or people who want to make their voice more powerful. I just want to share this simple routine which works best for me with minimum time spent.
“Vocal exercises are the analogy of a runner who stretches before running a race.” –Roger Love
Exercise 1. Sceptic (Hmm-hmm). Purse your lips and keep your teeth unclenched. Simply do up-downs 10 times. Then make a wave, as long as you can, also 10 times.
Exercise 2. Horse (Brmm-brmm). Clench your teeth and push the air out through the lips. Again, do up-downs 10 times and waves, also 10 times
Exercise 3. ‘A’ vowel (Ah ahh). Pronounce ‘A’ vowel in a singing fashion. 10 up-downs and 10 waves.
Exercise 4. ‘O’ vowel (Oh ohh). Pronounce ‘A’ vowel in a singing fashion. 10 up-downs and 10 waves.
Exercise 5. ‘U’ vowel (Yoo yooh). Pronounce ‘U’ vowel in a singing fashion. 10 up-downs and 10 waves.
Please watch my instructional video on YouTube. A simple advice – keep your vocal cords wet. Drink enough room temperature water regularly. Try these simple daily exercises for keeping your voice strong and healthy. Good luck !
Questions? Feedback? I love to hear from you!