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I heard from an instructor that bodybuilding causes you to have hard muscles,which are unnecessary for singing and may even hinder singing, the instructor said, though he could not explain more about the issue. Afterwards, I searched and didn't find an explanation.

How does bodybuilding or weightlifting affect a singer's voice? Does it help or negatively affect professional singing?

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possible duplicate of Is it bad for a piano player to work out? –  jjmusicnotes Feb 28 at 15:04
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@jjmusicnotes this question is about effects on the voice, the other one is on piano playing –  Alexander Troup Feb 28 at 16:15
    
@AlexanderTroup - yes, I was distinctly aware of that. The larger point is that like the pianist from the other question, weight-lifting doesn't affect your vocal cords, therefore not affecting the voice. With vocal production, what matters more is posture and breath management as opposed to muscle / fat ratio. –  jjmusicnotes Feb 28 at 17:15
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@jjmusicnotes surely though, that's a duplicate of an answer, not a question. The same larger point can match multiple questions, but the questions themselves are distinct. –  Alexander Troup Feb 28 at 17:25
    
@jjmusicnotes the key muscles for singing totally differ from those vital for playing piano! Besides the physical process of singing is a completely different process from playing piano! –  Manoochehr Mar 2 at 7:46

2 Answers 2

up vote 4 down vote accepted

Body building, weight lifting etc affect the voice indirectly. A pretty important factor for voice quality is controlling the breath pressure and airway resonance actively and passively. "Passively" means "riding" on the breath and its support in the lower body. When you are training your muscles, you are losing elasticity in your breathing apparatus and consequently your breath supply.

There is also the problem that the body building posturing requires a totally different way of breathing than singing: good singing relies on a "big bag of air" around your waist. Which is exactly what you are trying to avoid when posturing.

If you want to see an example of "too much of a goodness", take a look at old "Conan the Barbarian" movies from the time where Arnold Schwarzenegger was "Mr. Universe". And particularly scenes where he is "running". It's obvious that his running muscles are quite detrimental to actually moving forward speedily.

At any rate, once bodybuilding gets to the stage where it is changing your constitution and metabolism, it will not just cause differences to your breathing but actually affect the voice itself as you have different waste products running through your body (and that's assuming that you stay off steroids).

So there are a lot of things where bodybuilding and voice building are not independent. And if you look at the faces weightlifters make: that requires serious strength in muscle groups (neck, chest, others) which you don't want to tense while singing. Making those muscles stronger and habitually tensing them is going to make control of them more tricky.

So it all boils down to an emphatic "depends".

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Very tempting to downvote your (excellent) answer simply for recommending anyone watches "Conan the Barbarian". "Conan the Librarian" would have been a better singer by the sound of it ;-) –  user2808054 Mar 7 at 15:51

On one hand, any type of sport can help a singer's breathing skills, but on another, some sports like body-building and weight-lifting can reduce the flexibility of some muscles. So you should be careful on muscles around your chest and neck.

I think it should be OK if you do workouts that help your muscles' flexibility around your chest and neck and also your stomach.

For assurance you can ask a physiotherapist about your workouts.

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True Mohammad, But I'm looking for a more detailed answer which describes how exactly bodybuilding affects singing, what exactly happens to muscles and does really hurt the singing function? As you see it's totally common among many singers to have ripped muscles! –  Manoochehr Mar 2 at 7:40
    
many singers you said may have another reason for having ripped muscles here ;) :)) lets take a look at professional and high end singers , maybe folk ones you know Mr. Shajarian , or pop ones like Ebi , Dariush? and maybe non persian singers Adele and so on... ;) its not really matter and I think its just a beauty reason than a technical reason. –  Mohammad Rafigh Mar 2 at 16:26

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