Judy Rodman - All Things Vocal Blog

Training & insights for stage and studio singers, speakers, vocal coaches and producers from professional vocal coach and author of "Power, Path & Performance" vocal training method. Download All Things Vocal podcast on your fav app!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Weightlifting: Should singers do it?

Weight lifting, like many other vocally-related issues, is controversial. I got an emailed question about it this week:
"Dear Judy,
Out of interest, just why is weightlifting bad for singing? Is it just the grunting or is it more?
Best wishes
Andrew Hawcroft"
Funny - the last time I wrote a blog post about weightlifting was about this time last year! This post was in depth, you might want to check it out. Wonder if it's a seasonal quandary?

My answer to Andrew:
"Great question...Yes...the reason weight lifting can be harmful for vocalists is mainly the pressure people put on the vocal cords when they hold their breath to push the weights. There is one more big caution I would give: When lifting weights you are correctly advised to stiffen the back of your neck and shoulders to protect your neck. Do that when you lift weights... but NOT when you use your voice. That T-zone of neck and shoulders MUST relax when you sing or speak.

If you can keep from tightly clamping your throat together during weightlifting, and can remember to relax the tense and muscular areas you build in neck and shoulders when you use your voice, you can lift weights in a way that is safe for your vocal apparatus. I lift (light) weights myself. However, I would not do serious weightlifting the same day as performance. Do light aerobic exercise instead. "
Got a vocal question? Comment on this blog, or email me directly. As you can see, I do answer them, and they make great discussions here as well!



  • At October 4, 2008 at 3:15 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Dear Judy:

    I enjoy reading your article on weightlifting and singing. I agree with you whole heartedly on the importance of protecting the area where the neck and upper back join, (cervico-thoracic junction). Through 23 years of working as a chiropractor,I've recognized a strong correlation in maintaining the health and balance of this area, as it emmits essential nerve flow into the delicate vocal organs and related muscles. A flexible, balanced, neck and upper back are critical to good vocal production. The nerves, muscles and joint balance must al work "in concert", (pardon the Dun), to produce optimal quality. There's another facet worth mentioning. And, that is the 5th chakra, familiar to those who are avid yoga practitioners. Focusing breathing, imagery, and other exercises, (such as those in your Power Path, and Performance System), supercharge the 5th chakra. The relevance being this energy center in the neck controls vocality. Nice Article!

    Dr. Dwaine Allison, D.C.

  • At October 4, 2008 at 3:19 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I just re-read my comments. Also, please pardon the typos!

    Dr. A.

  • At October 4, 2008 at 9:56 AM , Blogger Unknown said...

    Thank you so much for taking the time to give the chiropractic understanding of this issue, Dr. Allison! Your expertise has been so illuminating to me, and helpful to my students and clients.

    As you know, among other reasons, I get an adjustment from you before any major vocal I need to do. For my readers, info on Dr. Allison can be found at http://www.allisonchiropractic.com.


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