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breathing technique

Hi all, I have been having swimming lessons (first group & now 1 to 1) and i am noticing my stroke technique improving, however the thing stopping me from swimming any kind of distance is my breathing.

i have got the timing nailed but my brain is stopping me from inhailing properly so i am not getting the full benefit from the breath. i guess i am subconciously worried about getting a lung full of water!

hence i get to the end of a length and i am puffed out! although physically i could carry on swimming for longer.

has anyone ever had this issue before or is it just me?

any suggestions will be much appreciated.

cheers, james.


  • I think the key with breathing is to make sure you're exhaling all the time your face is in the water, that way you should find you're definately ready for the air. You're coach has probably told you this though...

    Also you may find you are trying to breathe too much, ie not getting the old air out before trying to take in new air. Something I found helpful was swimming along with a kickboard with my face in the water just blowing air out through my nose and waiting until I really needed to take a breath, really slowing down my breathing rate and getting used to the exhaling

    The other thing is to make sure you're relaxed which is easier said then done, if you're tense in your chest you may find it harder to take on air than you should. If you say you're subconciously worried prehaps this is it, you're just too tense? That will also make swimming a lot more tiring than it should be, you may find that if you can relax more you'll find you can suddenly swim a lot further...

    I could be totally wrong though - I'm basically self taught these days!
  • Don't be too hard on yourself, it's quite a natural reaction when you come to swimming as an adult.

    You need to practice breathing. Kick with your arms by your sides - on your side. That means your belly button will be pointing to the side of the pool, as will your chest. Turn your head down and breathe out, then simply turn your head up and breathe in. Do this facing the same side of the pool as you go up and down the pool so you get practice breathing both sides. Push your chest into the water to make sure your legs are raised to the surface.

    Thsi does take some getting used to but once you get used to it you will see a good improvement in your breathing and technique. Then take this one step on by changing the sides eaver 8 or 10 kicks.

    Hope that helps
  • gasgasgasgas Posts: 21
    Thanks for your responses, I will definitely try your suggestions.

    I think relaxing is my biggest problem, so i am currently trying to spend as much time in the pool as i can to try and aclimatise myself with the water.

    It is unbeleivable how much harder it is to learn things when you are an adult!!

    Thanks again, James.
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