How To Balance Your Breathing While Swimming

swim-suspendedlyPhoto by Renee Barron, CC BY-ND 2.0

Breathing in water can be a challenging activity, but it is the most important aspect of swimming if you want to keep going. Unless you have mastered the correct breathing techniques, it is difficult to master the correct strokes and styles in swimming. Whether you are holding your breath underwater, practising strokes where you have to breathe the moment you resurface, or sustaining your breath while doing difficult strokes, breathing plays a vital part in making it a comfortable activity. There are various products available to ensure safe swimming and help you with breathing, which one can find on ProSwimwear and other websites. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when you want to master breathing.

1. Get some space

When swimming it is important to give your body enough area to move comfortably, thereby providing room to breathe efficiently. Lifting your head only a little bit when performing the strokes is a good way to ensure you take sufficient air. But there must be balance when doing so; your head must not be too high. Taking in just enough air is also important, instead of inhaling to excess, which will only become a hindrance, and stall your movements after a while. Provide yourself with enough space and time to breathe, not taking too much or too less.

2. Gasping is not the answer

For a more balanced stroke, it is recommended not to gasp for breath every time you surface above water. Gasping only increases the chances of suffocation and drowning. Keep your breathing steady, and focus on the movements of your limbs so you know when to lift your head to breathe. It is easier for many people to master breathing techniques when doing the breaststroke since it is slow, and you can practise breathing more efficiently. However, in freestyle, bilateral breathing (breathing to both sides) is usually the best way to ensure the right amount of air that is being inhaled and to keep a good balance in the water. Keep your breathing steady, and practise with the beginner strokes beforehand to master the difficult ones.

3. Practise makes perfect

Before you start swimming, practise some breathing techniques to make it much easier to breathe while swimming. Never forget to wear goggles during swimming, since the water irritates the eyes and makes you anxious, in turn meddling with your breathing. When in shallow water, dip your head in and blow bubbles underwater. This helps in learning better control on your breathing. Relax when you begin to swim; anxiety only makes it harder to breathe. With your body and mind relaxed, focus on the movements to coordinate them with your breathing. Instead of holding your breath while learning, exhale as much as you can continuously below the water, so that when you surface above, you can inhale just the right amount of air to help you continue. Inhale as soon as you can and as much as you can instead of gasping, as it will not help when you return underwater. Practising these techniques before you begin strokes will give you more confidence and resistance to swim freely.

4. Drill and Freestyle

There are some basic drills that you can do before you begin to swim. They can be useful underwater.

  • Begin with submerging your head into the water by holding your breath. Stay there for as long as you can and then surface back up.
  • Exhaling is important. The more you exhale underwater, the more air you can take in when you surface. Inhale when you are above the water, and then exhale continuously, repeating the cycle as and when you resurface.
  • Push yourself forward using the wall of the pool, and inhale before your head submerges under the water. Exhale immediately and push back using your arms. Keeping your arm movements limited and using the legs more makes it easier to breathe freely.
  • To keep your head above the water, use the flutter kick as it will push your body forward and at the same time give you a chance to take in a breath.

There are various drills you can do to master breathing techniques. Swimming becomes an enjoyable and fun activity when you know how to breathe correctly and synchronise your movements accordingly. Breathe right, glide freely, and give your body a great workout with a pleasurable experience.

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