Why is Pilates great for singers?
Love singing? Me too. Have you ever considered that doing Pilates could be great for your singing too?
Sounds crazy, right? How could Pilates and singing possibly be related?...
Let me explain.
As every aspiring singer knows, it’s all in the breathing. You need loads of air, but you don’t want people to hear you gasping. You need to support your breath to stay in tune, control the flow of air to change your dynamics and so on. Yet if we spent as much time as we needed to practicing our breathing, we might never get round to the music. I start every Pilates class with a reminder about how to breathe well, and every exercise can be improved by using your breath correctly – it’s a game-changer.
Standing up straight doesn’t sound too hard, does it? But so many of us stand with our weight to one side, or our heads bent down to look at our music, our shoulders start to drift forward, and sooner or later we’re starting to close our throats and restrict our lungs. Not to mention that standing for the duration of a concert (without fidgeting) can be really tiring. If your posture isn’t great, then it can feel a whole lot worse. There are two common causes for bad posture: bad habits, and weak core muscles. By focussing on good posture (the position your spine is designed for) and strengthening the muscles that help us to achieve that posture, Pilates can help you stand taller, which can make you feel more confident (not to mention reducing some of those niggling back pains).
3. Arm strength
Some people have no trouble holding up their scores, but some soon find their arms drooping as a rehearsal or concert progresses. It’s easier to hold your score up high with a little more arm strength to help you along. Pilates exercises use small weights (like the weight of your own upper body) to gradually develop muscle strength.
4. Muscle memory
The more you use these techniques for different activities, the more easily you’ll be able to do them when you need them. Which means that you won’t have to think so hard about achieving a supportive breath, or standing tall and you can focus on the music, which is what it’s all about.
These are just some of the most obvious connections, and next time you go to a Pilates class you may spot more for yourself. Or maybe you have another hobby that some of these ideas apply to? If you’ve never tried Pilates, come and have a go, and see what you can spot.