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J Voice. 2016 Nov;30(6):693-697. doi: 10.1016/j.jvoice.2015.08.011. Epub 2015 Sep 15.

Aerobic Exercise as a Warm-Up for Singing: Aerodynamic Changes.

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Department of Speech-Language Pathology, School of Health Sciences and Practice, New York Medical College, Valhalla, New York. Electronic address:
Moores School of Music, University of Houston, Houston, Texas.



This study was designed to determine the impact of aerobic exercise on vocal warm-up.


This is a cohort experimental study.


Sixteen graduate and six undergraduate students in an academic vocal performance program participated. They completed a 30-minute treadmill workout in their target aerobic heart range. Aerodynamic data during singing were acquired before and after the treadmill workout. In full voice, participants sang the first seven notes of the Star Spangled Banner on "pah," repeating the seventh note seven times, at 1.5 syllables/s after an inhalation. The key was determined by voice type, with the target note within the range of passaggio for men, and in head voice for women.


Paired t tests were performed on the data from 17 singers who maintained or increased sound pressure level (SPL) after exercise. Significant pre- to post-exercise increases were found for mean SPL and mean airflow during voicing, although increased estimated subglottal pressure approached significance. These measures were essentially unchanged in individuals who decreased SPL after exercise. There was no significant difference in vocal efficiency after the aerobic exercise, primarily due to large standard deviations within the pre- and post-exercise conditions.


Most participants demonstrated favorable aerodynamic changes during singing after aerobic exercise. It is possible that in certain situations, a general aerobic warm-up could set the stage for a less-demanding vocal-specific warm-up, especially for a high voice performing early in the morning.


Airflow; Subglottal pressure; Vocal; Vocal efficiency; Voice

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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