The swallow exercise is a larynx training exercise used in vocal feminization training.
This exercise is not entirely recommended, as it has a potential to train your voice incorrectly. The act of swallowing and holding your larynx in position doesn't accurately give you an idea of what it feels like to hold your larynx up whilst speaking naturally because swallowing inhibits your ability to vocalize or use your tongue properly. Nonetheless, this is still a viable exercise when used primarily as a way to strengthen these muscles, like lifting weights for your larynx.
- Step 1: Lightly place two fingers on your larynx, one above and one below the bump. Don't push hard and don't use your fingers to hold your larynx in place, they are only there as a guide.
- Step 2: Swallow. You should feel your larynx jump upwards in the middle of the swallow.
- Step 3: Take a breath and swallow again, but this time hold the swallow half way through, while your larynx is raised. You won't be able to speak or breathe during this, that's fine. It may also feel like you are pushing your tongue against your mouth in order to hold this position. Although not entirely possible while swallowing, try to relax and avoid doing so as much as possible as this is not a part of proper vocal feminization. You obviously use your tongue while you're speaking and it doesn't lock up like it does while you're holding a swallow.
- Step 4: Hold your swallow mid-way for 10-15 seconds and then release.
- Step 5: Rinse and repeat. This exercise can be done many times a day and is easy to do silently while you're working, reading, etc. You'll start to "feel the burn" as you practice it, much like you would when you're training any other muscle in your body. Avoid overdoing it, though, because there's a chance you can damage your voice by tiring the muscles out too much to the point where it hurts. Stop before it becomes painful.