How to Increase Your Lung Capacity for Singing [Expert Guide]

(Last Updated On: March 31, 2023)

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No methods can be done to increase your lung capacity or size of the lungs.  But this doesn’t mean that everything is closed pertaining to this.  There are of course some alternatives that you can do to help in improving the power of your lungs, and somewhat increase its capacity as follows:

Having an excellent lung capacity is great for singers, athletes, etc., and at the same time, a means of preventing diseases, so, that would be beneficial for your pulmonary functions.

Lung Capacity and Singing

lung capacity

There is undoubtedly a correlation between lung capacity and your ability to sing because the lungs are essential organs to the production of a human voice. If your lung capacity is fully extended, you can easily control the flow of air across your vocal cords. Thus, you can readily prolong and modulate your voice when you sing if you are utilizing a greater amount of your lung capacity.

You would often hear your vocal teachers say: “Sing from your diaphragm!” But what does “singing from diaphragm” means? It means you should flatten your diaphragm deeply and maintaining that flattened position of the diaphragm for you to control the streams of air that move across your vocal cords.

Now, the lung capacity is somewhat related to singing from the diaphragm because the lung capacity generally refers to the amount of air you can hold inside your lungs at a time. Men generally have higher lung capacity than women, although not many people use their total lung capacity when breathing.

Men’s lungs, on average, can hold 1.5 pints of air while at rest. On the other hand, women’s lungs can accommodate 0.8 pints. Since most of us do not fully utilize our total lung capacity, this means that our lungs do not need to work to the hilt to keep us alive every day. Generally, most people only use 70% of their lung capacity when they are engaged in hefty exercise.

If you have an excellent lung capacity, you can surely become a good singer. Moreover, your body will be oxygenated appropriately because you will be able to breathe fully and deeply. But how do you enhance your lung capacity?

Steps On Increasing Your Lung Capacity For Singing

Step 1: Cardiovascular Exercises

First, you have to consider performing cardiovascular exercises to strengthen and make your cardiovascular function properly and efficiently.  Some of the activities involved in these forms of exercises that you need to perform regularly are walking, jogging or running, aerobic exercise, skating, cycling, skiing, dancing, swimming and rowing.

However, you should not engage in over-exercising lest you might strain your muscles or experience other physical injuries.  These forms of exercises are great as its involve consistent movements of the big muscles that trigger a strong need for oxygen in your body.  When you increase your breathing rate due to exercising, you are able to put more oxygen into your lungs and therefore, you are able to increase the capacity of your lungs to some extent.

Step 2: Breathing Exercises

Second, you can render breathing exercises as another form of increasing your lung capacity.  This is one of the simplest ways of increasing your lung function by lying down and relaxing.  You do this by taking a deep breath and holding it for at least 10 seconds before you exhale slowly.  Repeating this process for about 20 to 30 minutes every day can surely increase your lung capacity.

Breathing techniques such as “pranayama” which is a part of “yoga” can help to expand the capacity of your lungs and at the same time, a way to control your breathing.  Another breathing method is called pursed-lip breathing which provides benefits for your lungs by lying down in a relaxed mood while practicing this technique.  The third way in increasing your lung capacity is by playing wind musical instruments.

Things like the oboe, flute, tuba, saxophone, mouth organ, and clarinet need an excellent lung capacity to play them with intricate music for a longer duration of time.  When you have mastered playing these instruments, you can expect your lung capacity to increase, and you can also manage to control your breathing ability.  When you play these instruments, you need to employ breathing techniques that make use of the diaphragm while singing.

This will help you further, and in fact, you can also attain the same result in singing.  So, if you’re a professional singer, you can utilize singing to expand your lung capacity.

Step 3: High Altitude Training

Third, high altitude training can be instrumental and effectively become helpful lung capacity exercises.  A good example of this is the choice of some athletes to live in highly-elevated areas to train their lungs to develop more capacity.  This is because the oxygen level is lesser in higher altitudes compared to those areas at sea level.

So, to compensate for lack of oxygen, your body produces a higher amount of hemoglobin and red blood cells.  While singers aim to increase their lung capacity for singing purposes, you also need to increase your lung capacity even if you’re not a singer in order to maintain excellent health.

Other Techniques That You Can Adopt

Some say that the lung capacity cannot be extended because it is genetically determined. Yet, on the contrary, the linings of the lungs and the diaphragm are elastic. Hence, you can extend and overstretch them through practice. Using known and proven techniques on how to improve lung capacity, you can fully enhance your lung capacity to make yourself a better singer.

Play Wind Instruments

Furthermore, you can use Wind instruments that are known to provide much help in this effort.  These instruments include flute, oboe, tuba, saxophone, mouth organ, and clarinet among others.  The trick here is that since it requires an efficient lung capacity to play these instruments for a long time, then you’ll be engrossed to do so without knowing that you actually improve the air capacity of your lungs as you play intricate music in these instruments.

As you improve your skill in playing these types of musical instruments, you’ll be amazed to find out that your lung capacity is also increasing.  Eventually, you’ll be able to develop your ability in controlling your breathing.

This method is essential in playing Wind instruments which can be of great help to you.  If you are an aspiring singer, you can achieve the same result in no time by adopting this technique.

Take a Nutritious Diet and Adopt a Healthy Lifestyle

So far, many people agree that the most important factors needed to have a healthy life include taking a nutritious diet and a healthy lifestyle.  In the case of diet, you should take foods that are rich in beta carotene, vitamins C and E, selenium and antioxidants among others.

For excellent results, eat whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, vegetable oil, wheat germ, and nuts regularly.  This kind of diet will not be good only to boost your career in music, but also protect your lungs from severe damage, especially if you are a chain-smoker.

To determine if your lung capacity is improving, you can hold your breath for some time, try to test how long you can hold your breath.  The longer the breath you can hold, the bigger your lung capacity is. Do it at least once a week to keep track of your progress.

Increase Your Intake of Vitamin D

Among the many vitamins needed by the body, vitamin D is the most beneficial to the lungs. The lack of vitamin D likewise is very much associated with the onset of respiratory maladies. Vitamin D strengthens the respiratory system. It strengthens the respiratory muscles and helps prevent inflammation in the lungs. They also enhance the immune response of the respiratory systems against respiratory pathogens.

The best source of vitamin D is sunlight. So, make sure that you have 15 minutes of sun exposure daily to get your needed supply of vitamin D. You should supplement your body with vitamin D supplements if you think that you are not getting enough sunlight daily.

Increasing Your Exercise Tolerance

You can improve your lung capacity by as much as 15 percent if you are engaged in regular workouts. You can do hefty exercises or workouts three times a week, according to experts, if you want to improve your health and your lung capacity. As you engage in regular exercises, your lungs are fully engaged in, and you breathe in more air than when you are at rest. As you breathe more air and as your lungs expand, your lung capacity also increases. You should first consult with your doctor before you even engage in hefty exercise or workout.

Engage in Regular Cardio Exercises

As you subject your body to heavy cardio exercise, you will also feel that your lungs are too expanding. Well, your lungs are indeed expanding as you do cardio exercises because you force in more air into your lungs as you sweat out more. Moreover, your body enhances its use of oxygen during cardio workouts. 

Now, if you engage in regular cardio workouts, your lungs become accustomed to breathing heavily and deeply. Your rib cage contracts the more, and your diaphragm stretches more. Thus, you entrain those muscles and bones that are helpful in proper breathing. Your lungs become more efficient in breathing, and as you sing, you will no longer find it challenging to hold your breath as you belt long notes.

Get Rid of Habits Detrimental to Your Lungs

In life, many people develop habits or vices that are injurious to the lungs. And if you are one of these people, you should think twice and try to break those bad habits. The habit of smoking, for example, doesn’t do our lungs any good. Yet, many people blindly fall prey to this bad habit. So, if you are tempted to smoke or develop this habit, refrain from falling into this deadly habit. Instead, develop the opposite habits that could enhance and improve the functionalities of your lungs.

Improve Your Posture

If you want to become a good singer, you should work on your posture. If your work is sedentary, try to make an effort to work out on your core. Engage in functional exercises that develop your core muscles and lungs. If you got the habit of slouching while seated, try to change your sitting habit and sit up straight. In this way, you can arrest the development of spinal dysfunctions and other maladies that can afflict your spine and your lungs.

Develop the Habit of Cleanliness

There are respiratory diseases born of lack of hygiene. Thus, you should be hygienic in your lifestyle. Avoid using harmful air fresheners and purifiers inside your home or room. Make sure that your room and home is properly ventilated. If you want to freshen the air inside your room, make use of all-natural ingredient air fresheners and purifiers. In this way, you can lessen the number of toxins and harmful chemicals inside your home.

Engage in Deep Breathing Exercises

If you are going to observe nature, you will notice that those who breathe deeply and slowly live longer. The tortoise, for example, breathes around 4 times a minute, and it goes on to live up to 150 years. The whale likewise breathes less but very deeply, and it goes on to live up to 100 years. The restless monkey, on the other hand, breathes 25 times a minute, and its lifespan is very short likewise. So, you should watch how you breathe. Engage in deep breathing exercises and try to hold your breath longer. In this way, you can improve your lung capacity and avoid respiratory diseases that could weaken your lungs.


Your lungs are vital to your wellbeing and voice projection capability. If they are weak, your life becomes a misery. So, you better take care of your lungs and employ the following abovementioned simple tips. Don’t forget to develop healthy habits. Stop smoking. Eat foods that are rich in vitamins and antioxidants, exercise more frequently, and sleep well. These habits can surely improve your lung capacity and make you a better singer in the future.

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2 thoughts on “How to Increase Your Lung Capacity for Singing [Expert Guide]”

  1. Loved this article. Well said and very helpful. The tips and explanations were easy to understand and share with others.


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