Swimming is a fantastic way to burn a ton of calories in a low impact setting. But do you know how to breathe correctly in freestyle? Here’s some tips and some common pitfalls to avoid from the fine folks at Swim Smooth…
Exhale strongly into the water between breaths.
The most common problem swimmers have with their breathing is not exhaling under the water. If you exhale under the water between breaths you only have to inhale when you go to breathe. This makes things much easier. It also relaxes you and helps greatly with bilateral breathing.
Tip 3. breathe into the pocket – your bow wave is your friend
When you move through water you create a ‘bow wave’ with your head and body, just like a boat does. The shape of the bow wave means the water level drops along the side of the your head.
Breathe into the trough or ‘pocket’.
Tip 4. don’t lift your head
Don’t lift your head when you breathe!
Instead, breathe into this pocket.
Tip 5. don’t over rotate your head
Over-rotating your head and breathing to the sky effects you balance and therefore other technique problems such a scissor kicks.
Tip 6. a lack of body rotation could be hurting your breathing
Good body rotation is a massive help to your breathing. That’s because once you have rotated you don’t have to turn your head much further to breathe. If you are struggling to breathe, perhaps to one side, poor body rotation could be your problem.
Tip 7. learn to breathe bilaterally
What is ‘bilateral’ breathing? It’s jargon for breathing to both sides. You could do this every 3 strokes, or swap sides occasionally, e.g. breathe twice to one side then twice to the other.
Article © Swim Smooth 2009