On my Youtube channel, I recently did a podcast with Antranik, an expert on strength, flexibility and health, who has a popular Youtube channel. We found so much common ground between bodywork and singing.
How bodywork can help a singer is mind blowing. I'm a huge fan, and missionary of bodywork, flexibility and keeping in shape, for singers. I would even argue that one cannot sing properly without it.
Check out the podcast we did. We talked about topics such as:
- Alleviating stiffness in the body
- Achieving balance between strength and flexibility
- The merit of being able to do at least one pull-up, and how to achieve it
- How and why your posture and jaw/neck/shoulder tension affects your voice
- How Antranik motivates himself intrinsically and what he recommends lazy people
After the podcast, I decided to try out a few of Antranik's flexibility courses.
Antranik gave me access to two of his online flexibility/fitness courses:
- Happier hips and
- Easy hamstrings.
In the below reaction video, I comment on fragments of his courses and try out his exercises myself.
I had to try and massage different muscles I rarely get to massage (such as the glutes - the butt muscles..) with the lacrosse ball and I'll tell you - this is as intense as Thai massage, you should definitely try it, it knocked my socks off.
To me, massage is something I almost never say no to, I love it. It turns out that self-massage can be just as satisfying, and free, except for a few bucks for the ball.
For those who don't like other people massaging them (how many are you? Not sure, but it's your right!) this is ideal. You get a massage without having to put up with strangers touching you.
Why massage is important for singers
Why is it so important for singers to massage? Good posture is crucial. Most people have muscle tension. We accumulate. It's important to relieve that tension.
Muscle tension around the respiratory system is a problem. It becomes harder to control the airflow, and therefore your singing voice. Often the pressure on the airway is so bad it's as if we are semi-chocking ourselves. And then we try to sing....good luck with that.
So we have to chuck out anything that gets in the way of our airflow.
By the way: try singing a bit during bodywork. There's nothing like letting some sounds out when the body is open and free. You'll be surprised by the sound that comes out.
On this note: also check out my articles about getting in shape for singing and the chest muscles and singing.
Interested in Antranik's flexibility courses?
When I tried the courses I saw results right away. In the Hamstring course I got an extra 2 inches or so to my forward fold (when you touch your toes while standing).
Antranik offers you, my SingWell follower, this deal:
Get a $15 discount on Antranik's Easy hamstrings course ($35 instead of $50).
And get a $15 discount on Antranik's Happier hips course ($35 instead of $50).
IMPORTANT: Theses courses could be challenging if you are a complete beginner, or if you are not familiar with basic yoga poses. Antranik is giving some options for easier versions of exercises, but if you can't do a certain one - just skip it! I am no longer a beginner and I still skipped one or two things. I benefited greatly from the courses nonetheless.
Let me know what your experiences were like with bodywork and singing! And I'm sure Antranik would love to know as well, and answer any questions.
Enjoy singing and stretching,