Thursday, 9 February 2012

Freediving Breathing Exercises |

Freediving Breathing Exercises Photo Credit diving image by Dubravko Grakalic from

Freediving is diving without an oxygen tank. The human body makes various adaptations to endure high pressure and lack of oxygen while underwater, including a drop in pulse and the shrinking of blood vessels. This sport can be very dangerous, posing health risks for your heart, lungs and body. However, training with freediving breathing exercises helps your lungs expand to hold more oxygen so you can stay under water longer.

Aerobic Exercise

Aerobic exercise uses the large muscles of the arms and legs, maximizing the oxygen in your blood and increasing blood flow to your muscles and lungs. Your body's capillaries, or small blood vessels, widen to deliver more oxygen to your muscles and reduce carbon dioxide and lactic acid build-up. As your body gets used to aerobic exercise, your lung capacity increases for better freediving ability. This will help increase your depth capacity and the time you are able to hold your breath when under water. According to the Mayo Clinic, aerobic activity such as running, walking, dancing and swimming all help improve the lungs and heart.


Yoga, particularly pranayama, helps increase lung capacity by improving flexibility of the rib cage, back and shoulders so that the lungs can expand fully, according to an article published in "Yoga Journal." This type of breathing training boosts lung capacity by conditioning the diaphragm to more fully oxygenate the blood. Research at Ball State University looked at 287 college students and how yoga taken twice a week can affect lung capacity. All of the students, including athletes, smokers and asthmatics, showed significant lung capacity improvement by the end of the study.

Lung Stretch

This exercise will help complete the exchange of air that helps revitalize your lungs and flush out any carbon dioxide in your body. Inhale deeply until you cannot breathe in anymore, filling both your upper and lower chest to capacity. Now, exhale fully.

Breath Holding

This exercise helps you be able to function while you are holding your breath. Inhale deeply a few times, then stop breathing and hold your breath for one minute. Walk slowly as far as possible before you take a breath. Walking further each time you do this exercise helps you see and record how your lung capacity is increasing and gives you a goal to reach.

Deep Breathing

This can be performed standing or sitting. It helps increase your lung capacity for freediving by relaxing you and reducing your heart rate to reduce the amount of oxygen your body needs to consume. Place your hands on your stomach, and exhale completely out of your mouth. Now, push your hands out with your stomach as you inhale deeply through your nose. Hold your breath for two to five seconds, increasing the length of time each time you perform this exercise. Slowly and steadily release your breath through your mouth, feeling your hands move back in as your lungs empty their air.


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