“I’ve become a Pilates fanatic. Pilates is especially beneficial for performers, because it’s strength and flexibility training. I enjoy it.” – Renee Fleming
Many of us are adapting to life at home and finding new ways to get in our exercise. If you’re a singer or aspiring one, I highly recommend Pilates as a way to strengthen those “down there” core muscles that help us support our sound.
A big part of the study of singing is discovering how to use a whole bunch of muscles you may never have been consciously aware of before. That’s why singing teachers use a lot of visual metaphors like “imagine the sound as a waterfall rushing over your head,” or “send the sound into a cone in front of your face,” or my personal favourite, “poop out those high notes.”
Whereas crunches will get you that six pack, Pilates—with all its planks and pelvic rocking—is perfect for developing the inner abdominal muscles and pelvic floor. These are the main muscles involved in supporting the singing voice. It also strengthens the spinal erectors and intercostal muscles between the ribs that help us keep an open chest for proper suspension, or appoggio technique.
There are many online Pilates videos you can follow. I am a particular fan of the Element Pilates DVDs. If you have any favourite online Pilates resources, please leave them in the comments! I will leave you with my attempt.