Already recognized as one of the hardest physical activities around, swimming can be made much more difficult when swimmers don’t breath properly. Getting your breathing under control is one of the easiest fixes in theory and one of the most difficult fixes in practice when it comes to maximizing your swimming potential. Once the act of breathing is mastered, however, the reward will be a greatly improved and significantly easier swimming stroke.
The first thing that many novice swimmers need to realize is that they do not need as much air as they think. The natural instinct is to gasp for air every chance you get, but the truth is that often times the act of frantically breathing causes far more exasperation than swimming itself. Once swimmers get past the panic and realize that the human lung capacity is far greater than most people think, they will realize that they have the freedom to easily go two, three or even four strokes between breaths.
Another benefit to learning about the maximum lung capacity is the fact that the act of taking a breath during most swimming strokes significantly slows the swimmer down and adds strain to the neck. By keeping your head down, your body remains aerodynamic. Because of this, the fewer breaths you take, the more time you spend in a more sleek position, making your overall swim much more efficient and enjoyable.
The final breathing tip that seems completely counter intuitive is the act of carrying a small amount of water in the mouth while swimming. Most beginning swimmers try with all of their might to keep water from entering their mouths, as they view it as the first sign of choking. However carrying just a small amount of water in the mouth actually better prepares swimmers for any incidental splashback while taking a breath. It’s when the mouth is completely dry that water taken in serves as a hinderance and possible choking hazard.
Although it can be simple in theory, learning how to breath properly is one of the most difficult aspects of successful swimming. However once it’s mastered, swimming becomes a significantly easier and much more enjoyable sport.