How to Strengthen Vocal Cords: Basic Exercises

how to strengthen vocal cords
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Keeping the singing voice healthy is very important whether you are a professional singer, singing in the choir, in a band, or just a bathroom singer. Learning how to strengthen vocal cords is important because it can affect the quality of your voice. You have to remember that the health of your vocals would make or break your performance, so you should know how to take good care of it. The good thing is keeping your vocals healthy is not too complicated, and there are simple ways to do it.

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Understanding Your Vocal Cords

We all have different vocal cords. There are people with thick vocal cords, and they have a low and rich sounding voice. There are also people with thin vocal cords, and they often sound higher and a bit pitchy.

It is not possible to change your vocal cords, so if you already have a rich-sounding voice, it will always stay the same. Strengthening your vocal cords will also depend on the type of vocals that you have. However, you can control your voice just like a musical instrument. You can decide on how your voice would sound, and you can do it through proper breathing exercises.

How to Strengthen Vocal Cords

Most people think that the best way to practice and strengthen your vocals is to practice your singing. Yes, it is one of the methods to do so, but it is not the only thing to do. Some simple exercises exist that are proven to help with the strengthening of your vocals.

There are simple methods to strengthen your vocal cords, and we will list down some of the best exercises to do it.

1. Exercise Your Tongue

Research suggests that tongue exercises should be done regularly to improve the strength of your vocal cords. It is said that the hypo-glosses muscle, which is a muscle in your tongue, can improve the strength of your vocals.

To exercise the muscles of your tongue, the first thing to do is to let it relax. You just have to let your tongue lay flat on your mouth then start curling the two sides of your tongue inward. There should be a space in the middle of the tongue. Do this for a couple of rounds every day as it can influence the strength of your vocals.

2. Breathing Exercises to Strengthen Your Larynx

One of the best ways to improve your singing voice and strengthen your larynx is by practicing breathing exercises.

The most basic position for this type of exercise is to sit or stand straight. Use both hands and put them on your diaphragm. Breathe as deeply as you can using your nose and wait for about five seconds before breathing out. Press on your stomach and control the airflow. By controlling your inhaling and exhaling processes, you can get a smoother and better vocal style.

It might be very simple, but a lot of professional singers are doing this as a part of their daily routine.

3. Breathe From the Diaphragm

Instead of breathing from the top of your lungs, try breathing with the use of your diaphragm. If you never been to a singing class before, most of the teachers ask you to breathe from your diaphragm because it allows you to hold the notes for a longer time.

The songs would sound better if there are no unwanted breaks in between just because you run out of air. To get better control of your vocals, you should spend five to 10 minutes of deep breathing daily. You should also know when to exhale, especially when you are singing. You will have to practice the song that you want to sing. Check all the stanzas where you will have to take a deep breath and the stanzas where you have to pause and exhale.

If your upper chest or shoulder is moving when you are breathing, it means that you are not doing it properly. You have to see if your stomach is going in and out.

Tips to Improve the Health of Your Singing Voice

Basic exercises are definitely beneficial to improve your vocal cords, but you should also look for simple methods to make sure that your singing voice is always healthy. We will give you a few simple tips on how to keep your singing voice healthy.

1. Warming up and Cooling Down Your Voice

You already have an idea about warm-ups because this is something that everyone should do before they go on stage. You must warm up your facial muscles, loosen up the lips and the muscles on your jaw, and stretch your tongue before every performance.

Try to use your voice as you warm up and let it wander up and down, hitting all your ranges from top to bottom. After that, you can move to humming and do some basic tongue trills.

Once your performance is over, the next step is to cool down. Most people don’t do this, but it is a very important part of singing. To cool down, simply sign in a descending tone and yawn to release your soft palate.

2. Always Be Hydrated

You don’t have to drink a unique type of beverage to help your vocal cords perform better; you just need to increase your water intake and keep yourself hydrated. Herbal teas would also be a good option, but water is still the best beverage for your singing voice. Always keep a bottle of water during singing practice or even on the day of your actual performance. Your vocal folds will work best if your body is always hydrated. 

As you know, there is no way to moisten up your vocal folds because no matter what you do, the water you are drinking will not pass through it. You just have to keep your body hydrated at all times so that your vocal folds won’t be irritated because of dryness.

how to strengthen vocal cords

3. Humidify Your House

Did you know that the air that you breathe inside your house can also affect the quality of your voice? Breathing in humidified air will help better your voice significantly. If the air is very dry, it would be taxing to your voice and your breath, affecting the quality of your voice.

When practicing or working on a production, using a humidifier in the room can prevent you from having dry and irritated vocal cords.

4. Vocal Naps

Resting your voice is pretty much the same thing as giving your muscles time to heal. When working out, it is recommended that you spend a day or two to allow your muscles to rest and repair itself. The same should be done to your voice, especially after a performance or a concert.

If you’ve been practicing non-stop for a performance, take the time to rest your voice after the performance. To do this, spend a whole day without talking, singing, and whispering.

While this may be a bit difficult, especially if you live with a lot of people in your house, we suggest staying inside your room so that you can avoid using your voice at all. In doing this, you allow your vocal folds to get ample rest and recuperate.


1. What exercises strengthen your vocal cords?

There are only a few exercises that you can do to strengthen your vocal cords, and they are mostly related to your tongue and facial muscles. Again, you can try stretching your tongue and holding it for a couple of seconds, or you can massage your facial muscles. There are also breathing exercise that you can try doing that’s targeted to improve the strength of your vocals. Practice your breathing and learn when to pause and breathe out when singing.

2. How can I practice my vocal cords?

Practicing your vocal cords is not too complicated; you just have to warm up before you sing and make sure that you cool down right after. There are simple warm-up exercises that you can do, like humming and simple drills, to hit low and high notes.

3. How long does it take to strengthen vocal cords?

There is no specific time frame to strengthen your vocal cords because the only way to do it is to learn how to breathe properly. If you successfully use your diaphragm when singing instead of your throat, you can easily strengthen your vocal cords. Some people can do this in less than a month, while others would take several months to get the hang of it.

4. Can damaged vocal cords heal?

Damaged vocal cords can be healed, but it would depend on the type of damage that is sustained. Vocal cord injuries usually heal on their own, though, so you won’t really have to do anything. Still, there are injuries wherein a doctor will have to prescribe medication or perform surgeries.

5. What causes a weak voice?

A weak voice can be caused by a number of health problems. It may be because of chronic fatigue or some neurological problems that would cause tremors and weaken your voice. Then again, it may also be a result of an aging voice box. Aging might cause loss of flexibility because the joints of the larynx become thinner.


Learning how to strengthen vocal cords is something that every singer should focus on, but know that it would take time.It is not something that you can master in just a few days; you’d need to do the exercises regularly as well as practice proper vocal cords care.

What’s good, though, is that these are just basic exercises; they won’t take up too much of your time.

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