Exercises


Level 1 Breathing Exercises

The Lung Trainer is designed to improve diaphragmatic breathing from beginner to advanced musicians. Each device comes with weights that can be added or removed for a healthy breathing training session. We recommend everyone starting Lung Trainers for the first time to use only ONE weight. If this seems too easy, then add a second weight, and later the third weight. The success of the amount of weight being moved depends on the air speed of each musician, so there is room for development. The following Level One Exercises were designed for musicians new to Lung Trainers and/or relatively new to wind playing or singing.


MAKE IT MOVE

    Covering all three holes on the tube, take a deep breath and use a fast air stream to move the weight(s) to the top of the device. Use the timer to see how long you can sustain the weights at the top of the device. Challenge yourself by extending your time. Repeat exercise but now only cover two holes (then one hole, then zero holes)

     

    4-IN, 4-OUT

      Start the Lung Trainer Timer (or a metronome mm= 60). While covering all three holes, take in air for 4-beats then use the air by blowing through the tube to make the weights move for 4-beats. Loop this exercise at least three times while ensuring the weights move to the top every time. No breaks or added beats of time in between the cycle (it must be consecutive). A full exercise would look like this:

      Breath in through your mouth for 4-beats

      Expel air into Lung Trainer Tube for 4-beats while keeping weights at the top,

      Immediately breath in for 4-beats,

      Expel air into Lung Trainer Tube for 4-beats while keeping weights at the top,

      Immediately breath in for 4-beats,

      Expel air into Lung Trainer Tube for 4-beats while keeping weights at the top,

      Rest.

      Repeat the exercise by covering two holes (then one hole, then zero holes) with sufficient rest time between each exercise as needed. As you progress, experiment by using different tempos on a metronome.

       

      2-IN, 4-OUT

        Similar to exercise #2, start the Lung Trainer Timer (or a metronome mm= 60). While covering all three holes, take in air for 2-beats then use the air to make the weights move for 4-beats. Loop this exercise at least three times while ensuring the weights move to the top every time. No breaks or added beats of time in between the cycle (it must be consecutive). A full exercise would look like this:

        Breath in through your mouth for 2-beats

        Expel air into Lung Trainer Tube for 4-beats while keeping weights at the top,

        Immediately breath in for 2-beats,

        Expel air into Lung Trainer Tube for 4-beats while keeping weights at the top,

        Immediately breath in for 2-beats,

        Expel air into Lung Trainer Tube for 4-beats while keeping weights at the top.

        Rest.

        Repeat exercise by covering two holes (then one hole, then zero holes) with sufficient rest time between each exercise as needed. As you progress, experiment by using different tempos on a metronome.

         

        1 AND 4

          Similar to the previous exercises, start the Lung Trainer Timer (or a metronome mm= 60). While covering all three holes, take in air for 1-beat then expel the air into the tube making the weights move for 4-beats. Loop this exercise at least three times while ensuring the weights move to the top every time. No breaks or added beats of time in between the cycle (it must be consecutive). A full exercise would look like this:

          Breath in through your mouth for 1-beat,

          Expel air into Lung Trainer Tube for 4-beats while keeping weights at the top,

          Immediately breath in for 1-beat,

          Expel air into Lung Trainer Tube for 4-beats while keeping weights at the top,

          Immediately breath in for 1-beat,

          Expel air into Lung Trainer Tube for 4-beats while keeping weights at the top.

          Rest.

          Repeat exercise by covering two holes (then one hole, then zero holes) with sufficient rest time between each exercise as needed. As you progress, experiment with using different tempos on the metronome. Remember, the idea is to take in sufficient air “in time” and immediately expel the air with the speed needed to move the weights.

           

          1 AND A NUMBER

            This exercise creates an opportunity for the musician to set his/her own goal. Similar to exercise #4 where the musician is taking in air for 1-beat and expelling the air for 4-beats, now the musician can select the final duration. Perhaps he/she wants to try the loop in terraced increments (i.e. in for 1 out for 5 looped for three times; then in for 1 out for 6 looped three times), or successive increments (in for 1 out for 4, in for 1 out for 5, in for 1 out for 6). This is a chance to vary the exercise but still reinforcing the fundamental diaphragmatic breathing.

             

            Level 2 Breathing Exercises

            The following exercises are designed to challenge wind players and singers of all levels.

            PERSONAL CHALLENGE

              How long can you sustain the weights at the top of the Lung Trainer device? Set your timer, take a deep breath, and go! See how long you can sustain the one, two, or three weights with three, two, one, or zero holes covered. Write down your results and view your progress at the end of the week.

               

              PHRASING

                Using one weight and three holes covered (timer or metronome on), sustain for 8, 12, or 16 counts. At the end of the designated count, take a breath and repeat. This exercise is to help transfer the motion of the air into phrases in music. Repeat at least 3 times before taking a break. Notice what happens to the weights toward the end of the phrases right before the breath. Keep pushing the air until the phrase is done.

                 

                LIFT A FINGER

                  Start with one weight and all three holes covered. Start the timer (or metronome) and move the weights using your air. Sustain for 2-beats then lift a finger. Sustain for 2 more beats and then lift the next finger. Sustain for 2 more beats and lift the last finger. Finally, sustain for 2 final beats. A total of 8-beats will be sustained before taking a breath to try again. Get comfortable with this exercise before trying to loop it. When you feel comfortable, repeat exercise and add a 2-beat breath at the end before repeating it a total of three times. When you feel you are ready, add a weight and repeat.