How to breathe comfortably without swallowing water during your swim

person swimming during daytime

How To Breathe Comfortably

We’ve all been there: getting into our stride, enjoying our swim and feeling focused before – splutter, panic – it all goes pear-shaped. There’s nothing like a mouthful of water to put you off your stroke. Learning how to master your breathing will add fluidity and efficiency to your swim, enabling you to go faster. Here are our top tips on how to breathe comfortably during your swim – no water intake required.

Breathe Comfortably

Learning how to breathe comfortably will add fluidity and efficiency to your swim

Keep your face relaxed and carry on breathing

Feeling anxious about putting your head in the water? Relax – you may unwittingly be tensing your facial muscles during your swim, which can lead to exhaustion if prolonged. Keep calm and come up for air as soon as you need to, keeping your face relaxed. Aim to avoid changing your facial muscles or expression when you’re underwater – they should be exactly the same in the water as they are on dry land.

Exhale slowly and comfortably

As your head enters the water, practice opening your lips slightly and gently breathing out. As you swim, exhale gently through both your nose and mouth, or just your mouth – whichever you find most comfortable.

Tip: a nose clip can help you breathe out of your mouth more comfortably.

The trick to exhaling underwater is to do it slowly. Then, as you feel you’re getting ready to come up for air, breathe out at a faster pace, in preparation for your next breath. Avoid exhaling too quickly, however, as this may cause you to gasp for air. Aim for your exhalation period underwater to be twice as long as your inhalation period.

Use this trick to avoid water in your windpipe

If you do breathe in water, try not to panic. Shape your tongue as if you’re pronouncing the letter ‘K’ – this will help prevent water entering your throat.

Smooth Comfortable Rotation

Think about rotating from the hips – and the shoulders – to give yourself more room to breathe into. Remember to turn your head to the side rather than lifting your head out of the water. This will help to keep your hips high and close to the surface (keeping resistance low), but also make it easier to get your mouth (not your head) into open air.

Take your time with learning this – as with any skill. The point is that the linked drills are there to make you smoother, stronger, more efficient. Make sure you hit all those target points! Have a go at the swim golf; maybe rather than thinking about trying to swim faster aim to swim harder.

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to get in touch; either by email, facebook or leave a comment on here!

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