Should I Lift My Lower Ribcage While Breathing?

Are you supposed to lift your lower ribcage a bit to have proper breath support? Many of my teachers contradict each other, some say it should be relaxed, others say to keep it slightly raised at all times. Or should it be raised a bit just for classical? Clarifying this would help me a lot. Thanks!

Hey Jessie,

I feel as though I can engage my diaphragm both while expanding my ribs and not, so my initial reaction is it doesn’t matter. As long as you’re utilizing the diaphragm to help create a steady flow of air, then you should be golden in my opinion.

So I can just see you reading this being like, “Well should I or shouldn’t I?!?” Lol! My suggestion is this… if it helps you more to lift your lower ribcage when you sing, then I’d do that. If not, then don’t. Personally, I do lift the lower ribcage when I’m consciously breathing properly. I believe that’s just how one of my classical teachers taught me, so I developed the habit.

Also, if you have any other questions about the breath, be sure and check out this page on Breathing and Singing. There, I go into why we breathe from the diaphragm, how to do it, and I also bust a few myths about breathing.

Anyway, I hope this helps!

Vocal Coach Ken Taylor

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