The Best Ways to Practice Your Breathing While Swimming

by Pool Builders on 06-04-2013 in Articles

Learning breathing technique in swimming can be quite challenging and uncomfortable for new swimmers. However, breathing technique can help you improve your lung capacity and muscle without pressing your joints. Also, it will improve your strokes and times.

It is important to learn good breathing technique in swimming as it will improve your overall swimming performance. In fact, proper breathing is a primary component not only for competition, but also for recreational swimming. Basically the technique is better if it allows you to have more control over your breath while you are swimming.

Step-by-step practices are required to help you to become a better breather. In fact, the exercises need to be done both inside and outside the water. The good part about doing these practices is that when you exercise your breathing muscles, you establish control over them. As the result, it will become easier for you to swim.

Here are the best ways to practice your breathing while swimming:

  1. Practice breath-control technique outside of the water. You can do this by breathing air in 10 seconds, then hold it for 10 seconds and finally exhale gradually on a count of 10. As this becomes easy for you, you can extend by breathing in on a count of 10, hold it for 20-30 seconds and after that breathe out slowly on a count of 20.
  2. Before you start your warm-up, try to bob in the water first. Bobbing is about going in and out of the water, focusing only on breathing. You can do this by taking small breaths above the water surface, going into the water, breathing out all air underwater and then coming back up to the surface to do all of this process repetitively.
  3. When you start swimming for warming up, blow out the entire air from your lungs while facing down in the water swimming. It is important that you do not have air left in your lungs when coming back up for air. As you are taking a breath, you will unintentionally decelerate your stroke. Take it as a chance to get as much air as you can.
  4. While swimming, exhale the entire air out of your lungs. If you do not push out all the air with your face in the water, then you just waste your valued breathing time as it means you have to do both exhaling and inhaling in such a short period. In other words, you do not take as much of a breath as you can. Thus, you need to totally exhale underwater so that the time you to take a breath above water surface, you are only inhaling.
  5. When turning your face to get the air to breathe in, lift your head only as high as you need. You probably tend to rotate your head too much as a way to take much breath. In fact, as you swim, you make a pouch of air around your body, where its water level is lower than the pool water level. Obtain your air from this pouch.
  6. For warming up session in swimming try take one 25-meter lap, followed by one 50-meter lap. After that, you can swim three 25-meter laps concentrating on pulling of your right arm through a stroke, with the help of a pull buoy if desired. Next, you can swim three 25-meter laps concentrating on pulling of your left arm through a stroke. Finally you can swim three 25-meter laps emphasizing on the effectiveness of your kick. When cooling down, you can swim with this warm-up pattern slowly and steadily. After several weeks, you will notice that to swim this pattern is easy.
  7. Practice hypoxic set of training. It means you need to make progress with less oxygen. Usually athletes use hypoxic technique when swimming in high altitude zone, but it can also be beneficial training for common swimmers. If typically you inhale every other stroke, push yourself to wait every four or more strokes to do so. In the beginning of practice this could be difficult, but over time it will become easier.
  8. Practice bilateral breathing techniques. If you can only breathe from similar side all the time, you have the risk of bad form. It is because you tend to twist your arm more only to one side than the other. Using bilateral breathing, you change the sides that you inhale and exhale from. To practice the technique you can begin breathing on the right side, then after several strokes that you can do so from the left side.

It is essential that you always swim slowly at the beginning and pay attention when you exhale. Many beginners will keep their breath while their face is underwater and when their face comes up they would attempt to both exhale and inhale. This is not the correct thing to do because it will lead to running out of breath while swimming due to less time to breathe deeply while your head is above the water.

Remember that breathe in every three strokes can significantly improve your speed as well as build up your lung capacity. If you are still not able to do that, you can try to take fully inhale in each one and a half or two strokes till you are ready to take three strokes. After all, to take a breath after three strokes or more is ideal for longer, slower swims.

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