Thursday, 9 February 2012

Holding Your Breath Underwater Exercises |

Holding Your Breath Underwater Exercises Photo Credit swimming pool image by YN from

Holding your breath and breathing in a controlled manner is essential to many swimming and diving activities. By regularly performing breath-holding exercises, you can enlarge your lung capacity. You should always have a partner when you are performing breath-holding exercises underwater. According to Dr. Tom Griffiths, founder of the Aquatic Safety Research Group, "Swimmers who practice prolonged underwater breath-holding are particularly at risk of shallow-water blackout." The swimmer becomes unconscious, losing the impulse to breathe, and drowns.

Deep Breathing

This basic exercise teaches you how to breath correctly. Lie on your back with your legs extended and your arms at your sides. Bend your arms, and place the inside of your wrists on each side of your body, directly below the rib cage. Rest both hands, palms-down, on your stomach with your middle finger-tips touching. Take a long, deep breath, through your nose. Fill your diaphragm first, and then your stomach. As you take the deep breath, gently push down on your stomach. This will allow you to completely fill your lungs. Exhale slowly through your mouth. Perform this exercise 10 times.

Controlled Breath-Holding

This elementary exercise will enlarge your lung capacity. Sit in a straight-backed chair with your back and head upright. Exhale to empty your diaphragm and lungs of air. Take a deep, long breath through your nose, relaxing your stomach muscles. You should feel your diaphragm fill. Continue inhaling until your middle and upper chest is full of air. Hold your breath for a second. Slowly release the air through your mouth. While releasing the air, relax your chest muscles. Toward the end of expelling your breath, pull your stomach inward to force out the remaining air. Perform this exercise for five minutes. After several days, you will notice that your lung capacity has increased and you can sustain your breath longer. Gradually increase the hold time.

Swimming Underwater

This is an intermediate exercise that promotes holding your breath longer underwater. Stand upright in the shallow end of a swimming pool with your back close to the wall. Take a long, deep breath through your nostrils, and submerge yourself. Push off the pool wall with both feet. Propel yourself through the water using the breaststroke kick. See how far you can go while holding your breath. When your breath has expired, stand up and walk back to the wall. Rest for 45 seconds. Perform this exercise 10 times. After several days, you will be able to sustain your breath for a longer time and go farther underwater.


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