As with all breathing exercises, if you feel lightheaded or dizzy, sit down until you feel normal and then you can resume the exercise. This feeling will most likely go away as you practice breathing exercises more regularly.
Here are three great breathing exercises that will help you build more abdominal strength and support for singing. Please make sure you are not raising the shoulders on the inhale and dropping them for the exhale. As always, you should use proper breathing technique throughout the entire exercise. And remember, that how you breathe in between your breathing exercises is also part of your practice. If you practice with bad form and technique, guess what you’ll do on the stage. If you’re not sure if you’re raising your shoulders when you breathe, stand in front of a mirror and do these exercises.
If you are having trouble figuring out how to breathe without raising your shoulders, a good way to understand what muscles you should be using is to lie on your back on the floor. I like to have students bend their legs so your knees are point up to the ceiling and put a book, usually about an inch thick under your head when doing this exercise. Now just breathe. Your belly should rise and your back and ribcage should engage more with the floor on each inhalation.
Learning to breathe correctly can be confusing and frustrating. Don’t give up and if you need to, please get with a teacher that can help you make sure your technique is solid. Proper breathing is the foundation of amazing singing. You want to build your house on solid ground!