Pushing Is Not Breath Support

PUSHing for Breath Support when you sing?

In this episode of MoveMedics TV, Voice Physio, Selina, breaks down:

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  • Why pushing is not Breath Support for singing
  • What pushing does to your body
  • The negative effects pushing can have
  • A simple clue to see if you have been affected
  • How to get help

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’Til next time, Be Free In Your Movement™.

B. Phty
This information is not medical advice. Got health concerns? Consult a real-life health professional.
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Singers, if your Breath Support strategy involves you pushing down, pushing out, any kind of pushing, this is something you need to know.

I know a lot of singers have been taught to push for Breath Support, I’ve even hurt shocking cues such as “push like you’re having a baby” or “push like you’re going to the toilet”.

Pushing is not support, that is not how your support muscles work. I’m a physio, let me explain.

Your support muscles work by providing appropriate tension, support works like a hug, and notice that when you are hugging you are firming up and in, for a stronger hug you are firming up even more.

This is how you support muscles work, they hug you from the inside, and hugging is the opposite of pushing. Sorry!

Pushing is like blowing up a balloon, you push air into it and it gets bigger and bigger, until it gets to its natural tensile limit, keep pushing air into it and it stretches, it strains, and pops!

Now I know you are not a balloon and won’t just pop. What pushing does to the body is that is stresses, strains, and weakens your support structures, and these include your pelvic floor and transversus abdominis.

This means that if your Breath Support strategy involves you pushing down, pushing out, any kind of pushing, you are systematically weakening the very muscle you need for Breath Support, plus over time this can increase your likelihood of developing some undesirable conditions.

For example, if you weaken your pelvic floor below the minimum capacity it needs to perform its basic function, this is when you pee your pants.

Or you could create a haemorrhoid, a hernia, and if you already have some sort of prolapse, pushing can make it worse.

I know this is an upsetting thing to find out, you were taught to push by someone you trust and respect, and they were in turn taught by someone they trust and respect, and this kind of technique has been taught and used by highly revered singers for hundreds of years.

What I want to point out is that hundreds of years ago they did not have the knowledge and understanding of how the human body works like we do now, they did not have the technology to measure and see inside the body like we can now.

Modern science and technology have made it possible to study the human body in ways our predecessors could only dream about, and they did the best they could with what they believed to be true then.

And now that we know better, let’s do better together. I implore you to stop carrying outdated technique on and to please spread the word so every single knows what pushing does to the body.

Here is one simple and obvious clue to see whether pushing has already started to affect you. If you are not currently pregnant or have just had a baby in the last 3 months and you experience urinary leakage, then yes, it is affecting you.

Leaking should not happen, no matter how little the amount, no matter how infrequently it happens, no matter your age, you should not leak.

If this is you, I’m sending you love, a big hug, and I want you to know that help is available.

A pelvic health physio is the expert to see for all sorts of pelvic floor related musculoskeletal issues, so go to Google and put in pelvic health physio, your local area, find somebody you like, book an appointment today and get started with pelvic floor rehab.

I firmly believe that every human deserves to have a confident, competent pelvic floor, and that includes you.

I’m Selina, a physio and a singer, and this is Sk’on. If this has been helpful please let us know with a thumb up.

I help singers Move Better to Sing Better so if that is your vibe, subscribe! ‘Til next time, Be Free In Your Movement.™

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