What is the Diaphragm? How Does it Work?

In this short educational piece, I explain how the diaphragm is like the trampoline. Use the diaphragm to have a strong and powerful voice.

What is the diaphragm? I’ve talked to you before about the diaphragm. I will talk to you in this video and I will talk to you later on about the diaphragm as well because it’s so import to voice and to speech and to singing and to power in your voice. When I was younger and I was doing plays or I was taking singing lessons, my director or my singing teacher would say to me, “Patrick, use your diaphragm. Speak from your diaphragm. Sing from your diaphragm.” Well, I never quite understood what that meant. I put some diagrams of the diaphragm on my resources page on my website. Please look at those. Get an idea of how it works and how it looks. I want to give you a really good analogy today that’s going to make it really simple. From now on, you never have to worry about, “Am I using my diaphragm? Am I using it correctly? What it is?” Let’s make it simple.

Think of the diaphragm was a trampoline. Trampolines, almost all of us loved trampolines when we were younger, maybe even to this day. Jumping on a trampoline was fun, right? You be on this little thin sheet that you would jump on and it would go up and down, up and down, up and down. The higher you jumped each time, the more bounce you got, the trampoline went down, the more you bounced up. Well, technically, the diaphragm is a dome-shaped layer of tendon and muscle, separates your lungs from your guts. When you breathe, the diaphragm, this dome shape, goes up and down, down and up, down and up. If we hold onto our breath, the diaphragm doesn’t have as much room to give. Coming back to the trampoline analogy, think of you as the breath. Think of you jumping on that trampoline going down and the higher you jump, the farther down you go. The more you go down, the more spring you have up. That’s just like the diaphragm. If you breathe only a little bit, your diaphragm doesn’t have much give. If you breathe in deep and relaxed and you feel your belly fill up with air, because the diaphragm is pushing the belly out of the way, your breath is creating that nice give in the diaphragm. You are jumping down to the diaphragm and having more space between your lows and your highs.

When I say to you, “Reach out with your voice,” or I say to you, “Speak out,” think of yourself as the breath. Think of yourself jumping on that trampoline, down you go and up you go, down you go and up you go. By doing that, you’re supporting your voice. You are on that trampoline. Your breath is on that diaphragm. Same kind of thing. It gets tight, there’s not much room there, you’re talking from your throat. If it’s relaxed, you have some give. If you’re breathing deeply, you have room to use your voice and to speak out. The diaphragm is a trampoline, simple, easy, and you’ll always know that with a little bit of breath, you’ll have a strong voice. I’m Patrick Muñoz. If you like this video, please give me a thumbs up and subscribe to my channel.