Recently I spoke with two people, who had totally opposing opinions about sports.
I’ll scientifically and unilaterally explain this.
I have 22 categories that influence breathing & vocalization. Let’s try to figure out who is right.(4)
Part 4 is “Sports”
I often say that the action of vocalization is similar to sports. But the muscles used for vocalization cannot be easily controlled by yourself purposely, these are called involuntary muscles. Involuntary muscles are part of the autonomic nervous system. Most autonomous functions are involuntary but can often work in conjunction with the somatic nervous system, which does provide voluntary control.
For example, when you say “A” and “E”, you can’t identify which part of the muscle moves particularly … though both sounds use different movements of your muscles.
This is also the same concept as when singing the scale “A” and “C”. For example, producing a big voice and small voice. It’s immeasurable to know which muscle you use to vocalize when producing voice.
However, we are aware when creating movements in the arms or legs. The arm and leg muscles are voluntary muscles. Consider the movement of your right and left leg. When you kick soccer ball, you can control and consciously be aware of how much strength and which muscle you use exactly to kick the ball.
In other words, even if I say and compare that the action of vocalization is similar to the action of sports, the muscle movements and mechanics are not necessary same.
I recently was asked, “Are sports good for the voice? Because I have heard, that many pro athletes are good at singing, is this true?”
The answer is kind of correct, because there are two important aspects that can support this claim.
The first is that you can acquire and increase the performance of active action and rhythm for muscles through sports – No doubt classifying singing as a kind of sport.
Secondly, is that you can also strengthen and develop superior lung function through sports and training. Resulting in increased breathing capacity and expiratory pressure.
There is a differences in sports effects to the voice, depending on the method and time invested.
First of all, you should not do dangerous sports, such as martial art or football. I’ve seen so many people who had problems with their voice due to accident or trauma associated with these kind of sports, such as being hit in the arm or throat.
Next, regarding methods and time invested, this is referencing the content of the sport and also the period from start to finish of the vocalization exercised during the action of the sport.
If it’s a light relaxing exercise, such as stretch, it effects can lead to noticeable improvement of circulatory function and better vocalization.
Meanwhile, after harder more strenuous sports, overexerted increased breathing makes the muscles fatigued and can obstruct or strain vocalization.
I asked a singer, an announcer and a voice actor who visited me in my voice care salon, how they personally approached sports in and outside of their professions. They had diverse opinions, which were: “I refrain from sport to preserve my singing voice.” “I do sports as much as I want.” And, “I participate and play sports to help my singing.”
These are pros and cons surrounding sports activity and vocalization.
In conclusion, it’s important to understand that sports are good for the voice. In terms of muscle activity, breathing functionality and increased muscle rhythmic awareness. But, be advised, that there is a high risk of making your voice worse through strenuous or hard sports activity, depending on which sport you choose to play.