This article explains basic tips and exercises to help you become familiar with the correct breathing technique used while swimming.
This is useful because when you start swimming, learning the correct breathing technique is often one of the big challenges you face in addition to learning how to float.
Once you have good breathing control and also have learned to float easily, the integration of breathing into your swimming technique becomes much easier.
Basic Breathing Tips
To get you started, here are some general tips about breathing while swimming:
1) Wear swimming goggles. Without goggles, water enters the eyes and irritates them. In addition, the water in the eyes makes them practically blind, which can lead to anxiety.
On the other hand, you do not have to worry about this when using swimming goggles. You are more relaxed and it is easier to learn a good breathing technique.
2) In the swimming strokes where the head is immersed in water, you should not hold your breath under water.
Instead, you should exhale continuously in the water. If done correctly, your lungs should be almost empty when you are about to take your next breath and your mouth is near the surface of the water.
3) Breathe in quickly as soon as your mouth leaves the water. This should be easy to do if you previously exhaled in the water as described.
Basic Breathing Exercises
The following basic exercises can be used to become familiar with the breathing technique in water. Wear swimming goggles when practicing those exercises.
Exercise #1: In shallow water, hold your breath, then squat down, so your that your head gets under water. Stay in that position for a few seconds, then move up.
Exercise #2: Like exercise #1, but exhale under water through the nose so that you blow bubbles.
Exercise #3: Like exercise #2, except now you blow bubbles from both the nose and mouth.
Exercise #4: In shallow water, squat down until the water surface rests between your nose and mouth.
Now practice breathing in above water through your nose and breathing out under water through your mouth.
Exercise #5: In shallow water, submerge your face and blow bubbles through your mouth, nose or both. Then hold on to the edge of the pool and try to get into a horizontal position with your face down.
Continue to blow bubbles through your mouth and nose. To get into the horizontal position, you can use a relaxed flutter kick.
Exercise #6: Bob up and down with your body in shallow water. Breathe in while your head is above water and breathe out while your head is under water.
This exercise introduces you to rhythmic breathing, a technique that will be useful later when learning the different swimming strokes.
Here they are, a few tips and exercises that serve as an introduction to breathing while swimming in water. I hope they will be useful to you.