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Hoarseness after physical workout

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Hello, i have been experiencing hoarseness after my workout which includes aerobic and weightlifting and usually lasts 1-2 hours (a lot of resting time including). I can sing normally - high chest/head/whistle all good - while i drive my way to the gym but after... :(

I suspect wrong breathing habits but not sure. Any thoughts or similar experiences?

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On the resting time, how much do you speak? Or during the exercises?

You are sweating and breathing hard, so the folds are the first to dry. And usually the gym is not exactly the same kind of space that you find on public library, people talk, and its loud. Do you do a lot of conversation in there too?

Try to take a vocal rest of 30 minutes afterwards, dont experiment or force it before taking the rest, also make sure you drink water. See if it makes a difference.

Still man, the doctor is always the best idea when your health is involved. Its best to be on the safe side, and singers should have the habit to go the ENT once in a while anyway. You only have one pair of these ;)

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I didn't mention many details, i train in a track n field area (open not closed so air is more dry than a closed gym) and i talk zero time, i rarely even say "hi" i usually nod. Also regularly i feel my throat dry and i drink a glass of water 30' before the workout and mini shots during, i cant drink a lot cause of the intense training, so i don't feel dry, avoid eating one hour before and during the workout. Any other information i need to provide?

Sure the best/safest option is the ENT but i usually get advices i can think myself or have already found on the internet, doctors are not magicians :P . Recently made a visit about a morning hoarseness problem i had and got a 2 mins exam + your ready to go and got same advices - if not less - i could easily find on internet (no spicy food, drink water, rest well blah blah).

Before 1-2 weeks i tried changing my breathing focusing on my belly expansion but my stomach complained to me and then i let the breath back to "natural". Could breathing cause stomach problems?

Sorry for my english :rolleyes:

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Breathing for weightlifting is different than breathing for aerobic exercise. And both are different from breathing for singing.

Weight-lifting, inhale on the adduction of muscles (lowering weights), exhale on the abduction (lifting of weights.)

Aerobic, maximum airflow in and out to oxygenate.

Singing, inhale by relaxing the abdomen, control the exhale.

When you sing after working out, you are using the breathing configuration for working out, which is different and is tripping you up.

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just a few points to add:

- keep your breathing as silent as possible during aerobics. This intention helps to keep vocal folds far apart and least vulnerable to the fast & vigorous breathing of the cardio exercise, which can otherwise be drying.

- during weight-training, be extra-alert to the moment BETWEEN inhale (preparation/recovery) and exhale (exertion). It is common to hold the breath for a moment at that point -- bracing to get perfectly in position -- which means that your tiny vocal folds are helping to balance the weight. Better to begin the exhalation BEFORE you lift or press, or otherwise make a smooth transition from inhale to exhale.

-stretch abs after working them out ("cobra" position or lying on your back over an exercise ball). That's the time to relax abs and explore sensations of breath in lowest area, between hip bones.

- in any stretching position, before/after other workout activities, practice breathing in really fast and letting it out very slowly = rhythm needed for singing. Doing a few rounds of this with torso (trunk of body) in a variety of positions is an easy way to wake up & strengthen breath muscles you need in singing, sides and back as well as front of body.

- if there is a steam room where you workout, use it! This may help some of the dry sensations, which are in your airway and not directly helped by drinking water.

My book has a whole chapter on fitness activities and voice, but those are the nuggets!

cheers --


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  • 2 weeks later...

Also, when you mentioned that your stomach wouldn't let you breathe, I don't mean you should force the stomach out. Just simply relax and let it draw in the air. And it doesn't have to be liters of air. Just whatever. Because you control the exhale during singing. And, in fact, drawing the largest breath you can physically hold is counterproductive.

Singers are professional breathers - Dr. Thomas Fillebrown.

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  • 7 years later...

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