The importance of breathing properly while swimming

Learn the best way to breath as you swim! Unlike other sports, the right breathing technique can be very different in water sports.

In everyday life, breathing is a given as it's something our body does autonomously.

However, breathing while swimming is one of the most technical and challenging parts of the sport. 

The way you breathe when swimming will impact how comfortable you feel in the water as well as your performance. 

Therefore, it is important to work on it, especially if you are a beginner.

Why is it so important to breathe properly?

Breathing has an influence on many aspects of your swimming performances:

- Swimming efficiency

- Propulsion and muscular effort

- Balance and alignment of your body in the water

- Buoyancy

While swimming, your muscles work constantly and therefore they will need an extra amount of oxygen. 

Your heart and lungs are working the best they can to get you the maximum amount of air in an environment where your breathing capacities are limited.

Bad breathing causes poor oxygenation. When you feel out of breath, it is because your body isn’t getting a sufficient amount of oxygen. 

This is called hypoxia, which is an imbalance between the oxygen requirements of the tissues and supply. 

When hypoxia affects the muscles, it can lead to cramps and inflammatory lesions.

One thing that makes breathing difficult when swimming is the coordination between your movements and breathing. 

Breathing in an unsuitable way will tire your body quicker because of the resistance it will add to your strokes.

But don’t worry, with some simple tips you can improve quickly!

What is the Proper Breathing Technique for Swimming?

How can you improve the way you breathe?

1. Remember not to hold your breath

The first thing to remember is that even if you’re in the water, you need to breathe. Rather than holding your breath, remember to exhale whenever your face is underwater.

Full exhalation is one of the most important parts of breathing.

It empties your lungs, making space for inhalation.

You should be breathing out through your mouth, and this should usually last up to 2-3 times longer than breathing in (which is done through the nose).

2. Practice will help you get better

Training plays a huge part in improving your breathing capacity.

With practice, you will learn to breathe faster and deeper and therefore more efficiently.

During exercise, our lungs have an impressive ability to adapt.

When the need for oxygen increases, they let us breathe in more air and therefore more oxygen.

The same happens when breathing out to release a greater amount of carbon dioxide into the air.

Training will enable you to develop this ability even more and perform in a more efficient way.

3. Synchronise your ams and legs

Regardless of whatever stroke you are practicing, exhalation and inhalation must be synchronised with your arms and legs.

It will help you to have a good rhythm and be able to swim longer.

Try to work on your technique to learn how to be as efficient as possible and improve your endurance!

4. Practice with breathing exercises

Breathing exercises can help you understand how to breathe better while swimming.

In doing so, you'll be able to use your breath more efficiently to carry out the same level of physical effort as compared to someone who does not.

Better-controlled breathing is definitely an asset during exercise!

It will allow you to improve your performance and enjoy swimming even more.


Written by: charles

Digital sport leader swimming

 I like challenging myself and trying new water sports.

Swimming is the perfect sport as it helps me to cool down after a warm day ;)

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