Saturday, 11 February 2012

Breathing Exercises For Swimmers |

Breathing Exercises for Swimmers Photo Credit girl swimming image by Snezana Skundric from

A good portion of a competitive swimmer's success or failure in the pool is dependent upon his ability to maximize his breathing technique. Until breathing is efficient and routine, it is not possible to focus on and improve other aspects of the swimming stroke, according to Once breathing skills are mastered and become second-nature, the other elements tend to improve quickly. Various breathing exercises will help you breathe more efficiently in the pool.

Mixing Bowl Drill

Step 1

Fill a large mixing bowl just over halfway with warm water. The bowl should be about twice the circumference of your face. Place a small mirror on the bottom if you have one that will fit, and put on your swim goggles.

Step 2

Place your chin in the water and leave it there. Breathe in through your mouth, then out through your nose and mouth together. Pay attention to how your breathing moves the surface of the water. Continue breathing this way until it feels almost like a form of meditation.

Step 3

Touch your lips and nose to the surface of the water and breathe in through the small spaces at the corners of your mouth. Look into the mirror and notice the effect your nose and lips have on the water. Practice until it feels routine.

Step 4

Place your entire face in the water. Open your mouth, but do not exhale. The air pressure occurring naturally under the water will prevent water from entering your nose or mouth. Raise your face out of the bowl and notice how easy it is to breathe in, even with water around your face.

Step 5

Place your face in the bowl once again. Blow bubbles out of your nose, and make them as small as you possibly can. Watch in the mirror to monitor.

Step 6

Practice rhythmic breathing in the bowl. Keep your face in and blow nose bubbles for a four or five count, then inhale for a one count, and repeat. Complete your in breaths with the tip of your nose still in the water.

Step 7

Practice your new breathing technique in the shallow end of the pool, then treading water in the deep end and finally as part of a 25-yard swim. Focus on getting enough air with water all around your face, and allow your body's need for oxygen to dictate your swimming stride.

Bilateral Breathing

Step 1

Even out your swimming stroke and distribute your energy more effectively, by using bilateral breathing when you swim. Bilateral breathing refers to breathing on both sides of your body, instead of just one.

Step 2

Breathe in on the right side of your body for one length of the pool and on your left side for the following length.

Step 3

Swim regular lengths and breathe in three times to the left, followed by three to the right, or four to the left, then four to the right. Continue until you are comfortable with the pattern.

Balance and Rotation Drill

Step 1

Hold your right arm down along your side and swim with your left. Breathe in on your left side for 25 yards, then your right side for 25 yards.

Step 2

Hold your left arm by your side and swim with your right. Swim 25 yards while breathing on your right side, then 25 yards breathing on your left.

Step 3

Rest for 20 seconds between each 25-yard swim.

Tips and Warnings

  • Consult your physician before beginning any swimming program.

Things You'll Need

  • Mixing bowl
  • Water
  • Swim goggles
  • Mirror


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