How wind musicians can strengthen their lip muscles
We have a network of different muscles operating together in order to prepare the background for playing a wind instrument. This network is common to all wind instruments however depending on the specific type, there can be additional muscles involved.
Muscle mass of the Orbicularis Oris (i. e. the four muscle tissues in the center) are only fixed on other muscles, as the surrounding muscles are set on one end on bones and fixed on the other ends on the Orbicularis Oris muscles; for that reason these surrounding muscles are usually in permanent tension during playing the instrument (holding/fixing a specific position), while the Orbicularis Oris muscles are in dynamic motions (changing a setting possibly slow or fast).
So that you can increase the basic strength of the muscles the best training is surely an „intelligent” combination of isometric/static and also isotonic/dynamic training, for example:
– start with isometric training
– continue with isotonic/dynamic training
– and finish with isometric training.
Isometric means: contract muscle and hold the muscles contracted for a certain time (e. g. until you start to feel pain), then relax muscle mass; repeat this cycle a certain quantity of times (usually 3 times of 50 contractions is sufficient);
Isotonic indicates: contract the muscles and unwind the muscles without hold-on moment; repeat this cycle a certain amount of times (usually 3 by 50-60 contractions with a pause of 30 seconds in the middle).
The lip training fundamentally is the same as the training in a fitness center – but since the lip muscles are more delicate, it needs much more care. Don’t over do your training!
In order to assist the different lip training types for wind musicians along with to help adjusting the jaw painlessly, 4i TECH has developed training helps which can be ordered at the online shop Musical-Instruments.Online:
– ENDI – the dynamic lip trainer
– ENIS – the isometric lip instructor
– LEX – Lip Penile expander series
– AMANDI – support for adjusting the chin
While the primary function of ENDI is actually dynamic training (http://www.musical-instruments.online/ENDI), it might also be used for an isometric kind of training. The same holds true for ENIS who’s primary function is isometric training (http://www.musical-instruments.online/ENIS): ENIS is designed so that it can be used for dynamic training as well.
The Lip Expanders LEX for Wind Musicians ( ) through 4iTECH allow for the training in the upper and lower lip muscles (especially the Muscle Orbicularis oris) separatly or in simultaneously by stretching and contraction.
AMANDI is an aid for adjusting the lower jaw for instruments musicians. The device corrects the leading teeth of the upper and lower jaw to be in line without any physical tension ( ).
Like in a gym where you could work out your body with different levels of difficulties, there are different degrees of work outs for your lips too. These levels are in addition to the type of training and therefore make an application for isometric training as well as powerful training.
At the end of your exercises it is recommended to perform some dynamic stretching of the lip muscles (I will show more details regarding dynamic stretching of lips muscles in a separate article), or to enjoy some rest minutes using a vibration unit like myVIBS from 4iTECH ( ).
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