Voice Over Education Blog

October 2020

The ‘Why’ of Warming Up and Vocal Care

Why do we stretch before exercising? Why do we let our cars warm up in the winter before driving them? Because working cold - demanding optimum function without priming the system - is a recipe for strained muscles and broken fan belts. 

The voice is no different - it’s a set of muscles and tendons that’s just as prone to fatigue, injury and misuse as our arms and ankles. And in voice over, we use our voices for a longer period of time in a greater variety of ways than the average voice user, some of which can be demanding! Jumping into the booth cold for an hours-long recording session is akin to running a marathon...without training for it….in Antarctica. For a professional voice user, this can mean something as minor as a sore throat, but over time this can lead to vocal fatigue, strain and even worse, physical changes to the vocal folds that could be career limitations…or even career enders.  Warming up and training right is essential for avoiding injury. 

Outside of warm ups, which we do right before using the voice to get it ready for work, good vocal health is rounded out by daily practice and good vocal hygiene. Daily practice is a time for building the voice, similar to training runs for the marathon. Good vocal hygiene is like trading in your flip flops for proper running shoes. Things like proper hydration, efficient voice use and avoiding problem foods can be the difference between medal-ing and getting side-lined in the med tent. Today, however, we’ll be focusing on the first of the trio - warm ups.

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