Pronunciation Warm-Up

Warm up before you practice

Before you run, you have to get your body ready, right?

Practicing pronunciation is like running – it’s a kind of physical exercise – so you need to warm up first.  Warming up maximizes the results of your training!

Here are some warm-up exercises to help you get ready for your daily pronunciation practice.

First, sit comfortably with your back straight – let yourself relax.

Next, become aware of your breath.  ‘Watch’ your breath move in and out of your body for a few moments.

Take 3 deep breaths into your abdomen.  Let go of any tension you feel with each breath.

Now, place your hands on your diaphragm (that’s your upper abdomen, just below your ribs) and feel the in and out movement of your muscles when you breathe.  All sound starts with breath, so it is important to be aware of this movement.

Roll your head, gently, in a semi-circle from one ear to the other to slowly stretch your neck muscles.

After that, rub your hands together quickly – until they’re warm.  Then, gently massage any tension out of your forehead, eyebrows, and cheeks. Pay special attention to your jaw, lips, and neck.

Relax your lips and breathe out – let your lips vibrate together, like this – this give your lips a vibrating massage!

Then, alternate a few times between a ‘smile’ and a ‘kiss’ shape with your lips.  This exercise strengthens and stretches the muscles in your lips and cheeks.

Now, move your lips to the left and right, as far as you can go a few times to stretch your lips in a different way.

With your mouth open, move your tongue up, down, left, and right.  Repeat this a few times to stretch your tongue.

Next, stick out your tongue and curl it back a few times to strengthen it.   Your tongue is the main muscle you use to make sound.

Finally, hum. Go through your full range of pitch, from lowest to highest sounds and highest to lowest, like this – go up and down several times to warm up the muscles of your voice.

Doing these exercises before practicing pronunciation helps you:

  • Develop proper posture
  • Become aware of how your breath moves through your body
  • Relax the muscles that create sound
  • Increase blood flow, strength, and flexibility in the face, neck, and chest

Now that you’re warmed up, you’re ready to begin your pronunciation practice.  With repeated practice, you will become more relaxed and aware of your body,  making it easier for you to improve your sound.


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