The Rib Workout | Get Your Breathing Right

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Hit "pause" before you exhale - and you'll become aware of the open position when singing.
Published: April 20, 2021

The Rib Workout

Putting a little effort into breath support can transform your voice. What does “support” mean? One thing it means, is keeping a certain amount of expansion in your ribs, even while air flows out of you. 

Here’s how you do it:

Stand in front of a mirror and put your hands on your sides where your ribs are. Make sure your hands aren’t on your hips or waist – your ribs are above those. Now take a few breaths and observe how your body moves. 

It is natural for your ribs to expand and lift when you inhale, then collapse when you exhale. In singing, we make a little tweak to this natural movement. We keep the ribs from collapsing while we exhale.

Take a breath again, but hit “pause” before you exhale. Suspend your breath for a moment (don’t inhale or exhale) and notice how your ribs remain expanded. Now keep them expanded as you exhale. The goal is to maintain this open rib position for the entire time you sing! It’s also important to do this without tension, which takes practice and patience.

I don’t think I will ever be “finished” when it comes to training how I breathe for singing. It’s something that I’m always working on. Whenever I have a moment where my voice feels totally free and powerful, sure enough, it’s always when I’ve been maintaining that open rib position, allowing just the right amount of air to fuel my voice.

Kathy  Alexander
VP Curriculum, Singdaptive

Get Your Breathing Right

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In the popular course, Breathing for Singers, Juliet Russell give you a series of exercises that supports singers of all genres in their practice and performance. 

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