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Epiglottis training

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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New Member
Jul 23, 2004
I guess I'm not the only one who has the problem that the epiglottis are getting tired after several breathholds and allow some air to leak. Beside the loss of air the resulting sound disturbs the concentration.

Are there any methods (beside breatholding) to train the epiglottis?
Its that flappy bit of skin at the back of your mouth, the one that covers your airway when you eat.
No I cant say as Ive ever noticed
Tired epiglottis

I have exactly the same problem with tired epiglottis. I don't think there is some special training method.
While doing statics I often change the way(1-2) I am holding the air in to relax tired epiglottis:
1. Closed epiglottis
2. Opened epiglottis/closed mouth(lips) or blocking the air in with the tongue(like Frenzel)

Anyway, the best(and only?) way to train it I think is to hold your breath with closed epiglottis
Can't say I have any specific knowledge, but the epiglottis is a muscle and should be able to be trained like any other muscle.

I agree with O'boy, whenever I over pack and cannot hold it in I stop the air with my tongue which is a much stronger muscle. It also helps you train for the Frenzel technique, although I am sure the effect is nominal.

One more thing, be carefull not to switch between tongue and epiglottis to often, every time you do you let some air out. Though presumably, this would be a good way to equilize your mask.

I have the same problem sporatically. Haven't noticed a pattern yet however. Some days it doesn't happen, whereas other days it happens immediately on my first static. No suggestions other than practice and yes I do the switching as well to tongue or lips, or just don't pack. Interestingly, I think the longest I have done without packing is 7:30, whereas I have only done 35 secs more with packing.
I generally keep my epiglottis open for the first few minutes of the static (when pressure in lungs is high). If I close it, I get a huge swallowing reflex and end up swallowing a lot of air (a waste and also kind of embarassing afterwards :). At the point where I can fit all the air in the lungs again (usually 3-4 minutes) I'll close the epiglottis again.
Swallowing bothers me too.
I think that Eric Fattah recommends to let some amount of air from lungs to mouth after packing. That should lessen the pressure and while keeping the air in your mouth
(with lips) you can relax the epiglottis. After you push that air back to your lungs(1st contraction), close the epiglottis and fight with contractions.
That is also the combination of opened/closed epiglottis.
I hold the air with my tongue - this has always felt normal, and there has never been a problem with letting go of air accidentally. Sometimes if I am completely relaxed my mouth opens slightly, and with my method I don't swallow any water.

Are there any problems with this method?

Sounds like there is some technique differences here. I love to see new topics, even if they are trivial. So it begs the question:

What is the best way, tongue, cheek, epiglottis, or combination?


In what way are you using your tongue to hold the air? The back part of the tongue pushed up against the soft palate or the back of the throat? Or the front of your tongue against the roof of your mouth and cheeks squeezed against the side of tongue?

I think there is a problem with any of these techniques, which is they all rely on muscles, which invariably get tired. All techniques I have tried, so far, lead me to waste energy, feel extremely uncomfortable, and lose concentration.

I think I mostly use the front of my tongue, but not my cheeks. This method has some important advantages and disadvantages for me.

Nothing seems to get tired, even during a long session.
It is almost impossible for me to accidentally let go of air, even if I lose concentration, get distracted by something or even BO.
If I open my mouth, I don't swallow water.

With empty lungs or negative pressure, my method is not very good - I tend to let go uncontrollably after less than a minute, which makes this kind of training almost impossible for me.

I use an epiglottis seal for the first phase ( relaxation ). Although slightly more uncomfortable than a tongue seal, it prevents taste sensation on the back of the tongue. This is a slightly sharp acidic taste, which I have assumed is from the build-up of CO2, and I find it distracting.

For the struggle phase, I release the epiglottis and use the tongue. The release adds a little bit of extra comfort.

I also think it's good practise for CW to get used to the epiglottis seal, as this is essential for Frenzel.
what is this cheek method you speak of Aquagenic? I'm not quite familiar with it. also, another thing that helps me get my mind of things is sucking in water and "blowing" it back out.


-helps take my mind of contractions (best used in the 45 so seconds before contractions when urge to breath is realy bad but no relief from contractions)

-helps to delay contractions (for me anyway)

-helps release some of the energy i get righ up to contractions, like that strong urge to clench my fists/ mouth ect.

doesnt tire my epiglottis because its mostly water pressure gently keeping it down.


-not very tasty if your in salt water

-if done impropery air can be released slowly

-it tires my tonge and cheeks after a while (so i only do it like 45 seconds ending when my contractions start)

any thoughts?
just to correct some obvious mistakes.

Epiglottis is a cartilage, covered by a membrane. It has no muscular structures. Its function is mostly to be passively pushed by the tongue and food and to stop food or saliva from passing in the airway.

Blocking the air in lungs and trachea is a role of the "vocal cords" (not sure if the translation from french is correct, my medical studies were in french).
The vocal cords: are what make the larynx narrow. The tenser the cords, the narrower the larynx. Tensed cords also make the voice pitch higher.
So if you want a training exercice, just high pitched songs. (and you'll notice that it gives a muscular pain in the throat.
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so, what about people that have a deep voice, do they have a disadvantage there? i have a deep voice, and i cannot go high pitched because i will basicly sound like i lost my voice, so am i likely to have troubles cramming? because i do have some problems with keeping it in (i often get the urge to cough, and even though i fight it i often end up coughing anyway).
Hmm, that would explain the raspy voice I get after static with heavy packing...

Thanks for the clarification.
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you know, i was doing some practice statics, nothing big just like 2:00 repetition holds, anyway i did some stuff, like holding with my chords while a opened my mouth and stuff, and your right it is the vocal cords, because i kept raising my pitch until my throat was shut!
When I play glottis music, it seems to me that it is not the vocal cords but the glottis that is keeping the air in or out, which ever I play. That as the air is getting closer and closer to totally shuting off by the glottis does the pitch of the sound gets higher.
Absolute said:
When I play glottis music, it seems to me that it is not the vocal cords but the glottis that is keeping the air in or out, which ever I play. That as the air is getting closer and closer to totally shuting off by the glottis does the pitch of the sound gets higher.

I don't know what glottis music is, but glottis is the narrowest part of the larynx, narrow.........because of the vocal cords :hmm
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