How does Pilates help you sing?
At Performance Medicine, there are countless singers that use Pilates to help them sing more efficiently.
Pilates, a program used to enhance deep postural control and fitness, is based on 5 key elements. Each of these elements is strongly related to singing and can therefore be taken from the Pilates studio to the performance stage:
Singers all know how important appropriate breath is to singing. The Pilates breathing technique is similar to that of the singing breath, in that the bases of the lungs expand and fill to get the most air into the lungs. It is important to keep the accessory breathing muscles (those of the neck and shoulders) relaxed in order to reduce the load through the larynx. This is the same in Pilates.
Pilates is focused around movement control from the pelvic floor and lower abdominal muscles. Singers use these muscle groups to adapt their breath depending on the vocalisation required. It makes sense that increasing adaptation and neuromuscular control of these muscles with Pilates will improve a singer’s breath management.
This is the natural curvature of the spine. Pilates exercises utilise not only the neutral spine but also movement through this position. By training this position of the spine, a singer’s postural awareness will heighten, allowing them to maintain the most efficient position for their rib cage mobility and diaphragm contraction.
Like neutral spine, a neutral head and neck posture is desired in Pilates. For singers, maintaining this posture will assist in allowing the larynx to maintain its most neutral position thereby, reducing the load it is under when singing (thus vocalising is more efficient!). This head and neck position will also allow the muscles around the larynx to stay relaxed.
Shoulder blade position is crucial to achieving a good head and neck posture. Pilates can strengthen the shoulder blade muscles and will also increase your awareness of where your shoulders sit in space (not to mention the important connection of the larynx to the shoulder blade via the omohyoid muscle – wow!!).
If you are interested in further information on Pilates and singing, book in for a Pilates assessment at Performance Medicine! Click here for the Pilates Class Timetable.