Invigorating Breathing Exercises

Enhance your ability to speak clearly and project your voice while building your lung capacity.
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Use the breathing exercises below to help create breathing habits that will carry through into your speaking!

What breathing should feel like.

  1. Lie flat on your back - not on a bed, but on some flat surface like a clean floor.
  2. Rest your hands on your stomach just below your ribcage.
  3. Breathe in slowly and deeply, causing your stomach to raise and fingers to separate slightly.
  4. Repeat.

Breathing in this manner fills your lungs from the bottom up, unlike chest breathing that only fills the middle and upper portions of your lungs. It helps release tension and facilitates diaphragm use.

Full from back to front.
The objective of this exercise is to breathe to the bottom of your lungs and relax your body below your chest.

  1. Standing up straight, place your hands on either side of your back just above your hips and below the small of your back.
  2. Breathe in slowly, paying special attention to whether or not your hands move.
  3. Repeat, this time trying to relax and breathe deeply enough to move your hands.
  4. Repeat.

Timed breathing.

  1. Sit straight, arms at your sides.
  2. Breathe in for four counts through your nose, filling yourself as deeply as possible (be sure to stay relaxed).
  3. Hold for four counts.
  4. Breathe out for four counts through your mouth.
  5. Hold for four counts.
  6. Breath in... repeat whole sequence.

If you become lightheaded, stop and consider going for three counts instead of four. This exercise helps you control your breath and to breathe deeply from your diaphragm. It facilitates oxygen flow and opens up your chest. Breathing in for just two counts while keeping the rest of the step four counts long is a good variation that encourages deep breathing.

Happy speaking!
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