It’s important to learn how to breathe while swimming. When you are submerged in water, your chest becomes compressed, making breathing more difficult, but if you improve your lung capacity you’ll become a better swimmer and be able to swim longer, and more comfortably.
- Remember to ExhaleYou should be exhaling when you go underwater. Most of us forget to exhale when we go underwater and wait until we come back up. This leads us to inhale and exhale before going back under. Instead, inhale when you come up for air and exhale when you go back underwater. You’ll increase your lung capacity and put less stress on your bronchus, the airway in the respiratory tract that delivers air into the lungs.
- Keep Your Breathing SteadyMake sure that you aren’t breathing too fast or too slow. Steady breathing allows you to move properly through the water and helps your lungs take in air properly. Regular breathing will regulate the motions of your body so that you can swim for longer periods of time.
- Breathe with Each StrokeEvery second stroke take a deep breathe to ensure that you are taking enough air into your lungs. This type of breathing is incredibly effective while doing the front crawl. You can also try bilateral breathing, alternating your breathing from left to right with each arm. It can be very tricky at first, but if you can master it, you will greatly increase your lung capacity. For sidestroke and breaststroke, take your deepest breaths during the glide. For a stroke like the butterfly which uses a lot of your energy to complete, exhale under water and inhale as soon as you come up. When you inhale, tilt your head down and slightly forward so as to not put strain on your neck.
- Don’t hold your breath more than you need toMany people hold their breath for longer than necessary in the water which can lead to dizziness. However, you should hold your breath a little bit to increase your lung capacity. To do so, take a deep breath before going under water. While you’re underwater, count to ten before coming up for air.
Remember as with anything you do, practice makes perfect. The more you practice your breathing while swimming, the better chance you have of improving your lung capacity. If you can only get to the pool once a week then make that swim count. Also, do not push yourself. If you feel like you’re going to pass out or are extremely tired while practicing your breathing, stop immediately.