Aquaman makes it look easy, doesn’t he? Going underwater and having no issues with breathing at all and quite frankly it makes us a little jealous. We don’t recommend you try it, but we do recommend working on your breathing and relaxation techniques every time you swim.
We are not Atlantean's or a fish and so we have to employ certain techniques and methods to breathe while swimming.
So, what are the main aspects of being able to breathe while swimming?
1. Relax: Relaxing is an important key and that is how we can improve our breathing. Firstly, stay calm. Secondly, a critical skill for proper breathing is the relaxation of the muscles of the face, jaw, mouth and neck.
2. Exhale 50/50. Do not exhale completely when your face is in the water but only exhale 50% of the air in your lungs.
3. Inhale smoothly without trying to inhale too much air. Inhalation should also be relaxed and not too long.
4. Don’t panic if you breathe in water. Competition swimmers, because they are relaxed, blow the water out of their mouths if they happen to get water in in their mouth or breathe it in. Remember to turn your head to the side when you breathe and do not pick your head up, because then you will for sure get water in your mouth.
5. Turn your head to the side and breathe with split screen vision aka one goggle in the water and one out of the water.
6. Breathe as quickly as possible and don’t look up to the ceiling while breathing.
Oh, and a tip from our coaches is to try and balance your breathing while exhaling. Don’t always breathe to the same side. Try and breathe bilaterally from time to time and if that doesn’t work breathe going up to the one side and coming back to the other, this will help balance you breathing and your stroke.
Breathing is such a natural activity that we seldom give it a thought. The only time we even become conscious of it is when we’re breathless from exertion or, well, panic. In the case of swimming it could be both at once. If you practise breathing skills taught by SwimGym you will quickly learn to stay relaxed and breathe better in the water affording greater pleasure and joy while swimming.