3 Tricks To Make Breathing Easier While Swimming

by Pool Builders on 01-31-2012 in Articles

Did you know that swimming is one of the best cardiovascular workouts you can do? It is low impact, unlike running, and does not have the effect on your knees and your joints that on your feet cardio does. Swimming, however, brings new challenges that one does not encounter when running on the road. The biggest challenge for most new and inexperienced swimmers is maintaining proper breathing form, especially as one becomes more tired throughout their workout.

For years breathing instruction has been focused on a couple of specific tactics, and squeezed in at the end of the workout. Swim coaches, lifeguards, and other instructors, tend to focus more on form than they do on breathing. However, with swimming becoming more and more popular, and more and more adults wanting to swim as part of their cardio workout, breathe work has come front and center on the minds of swim coaches.

Here are some ways you can work on your breathing when learning to swim, either with or without a certified instructor. Stand in the shallow end of the pool. Practice breathing in through the mouth and out through the nose. This is opposite from how normal breathing occurs, and opposite from how breathing occurs during typical cardio activity. When people get tired, breathing in through the nose and out through the mouth helps slow the heart rate, but, in the water, the opposite is better. So, practicing inhaling through the mouth and exhaling through the nose, even while in the water, is a great technique.

Another tactic to improve your breathing while swimming is to, while still standing in the shallow end of the pool, focus on breathing while standing. Place your face down in the water, and practice the exact same breathing motion. Inhale through the mouth with your head in the air, place your head down in the water, and begin exhaling through your nose, turn and breath again. Getting used to this series of breathing while standing so that when you switch to actually swimming you will be good to go. Focus on keeping your head down while you breathe, relaxing the side and back of your head, and keeping that perfect rhythm of inhaling and exhaling.

Another tactic is to finally move to a horizontal position still in the shallow end near the wall. Push off, and focus on your breathing. Practice by breathing five to ten times to the right side, and then five to ten times to the left side. Wait until you have at least five to ten good breathes prior to actually pushing off and swimming.

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