Here is a great breathing exercise I learned back in my drum corps days that really helps increase your lung capacity. Just remember to not lock your knees – we don’t want anyone passing out! (seriously) Also, I’m not a doctor. If something hurts while doing this exercise, stop doing it. That goes for everything else on this website, too.
That out of the way, here we go!
- Set a metronome for 60 beats per minute (or just think of everything in seconds).
- Lock your fingers behind your head and pull your elbows back, opening your chest cavity.
- Breathe in for 4 counts – feel your lungs expand downward, to your sides, and in your back.
- Hold for 4 counts
- Sip more air in for 4 counts – one sip per count – really force more air in there
- Hold for 4 more counts
- Release for 8 counts – when you release, create some resistance for the air by hissing through your teeth, controlling the rate of air movement with your diaphragm. Release ALL of your air in the allotted time.
- Next time through, release for 12 counts. Then 16. Then 20. Then 24…
Pro level – the last 4 counts of release, really force it out hard to the very end – don’t quit early!
Keep it up, and you’ll soon find your lung capacity growing and your vocal power increasing. Let me know how it goes in the comments.