Breathing is Overrated

person swim on inground pool
Breathing creates havoc while you are swimming. However, breathing is reasonably important to survival, let alone performance, so we need to look at the effect that the action has – and how we can minimise the effect on the body’s travels through the water.

Have you ever tried swimming without breathing? This is something I get the majority of my clients doing; regardless of the level of swimmer, novice or experienced, slow or fast. Keeping your head down gives you the opportunity to keep everything simple, stable and controlled. It should give you the chance to slow your stroke down and make it as efficient as possible. If you get the opportunity to, swim in the middle of the lane and focus on the line on the bottom of the pool. As you get more used to doing this, you can relax more. This will hopefully allow you to feel the speed that you are carrying and that you are using both sides of your body evenly (arms/hips/legs). breathing while swimming

[Tweet “Your breath should be a part of your stroke, your stroke shouldn’t change”]

Clearly, while this has great benefits and is a really good way to work on keeping a balanced and even stroke, you cannot swim a 400/750/1500m + swim without breathing. So as part of technical or aerobic swim sets, you can do lengths breathing every 5 strokes, 7 strokes, or even 9 if you need a bit of challenge!

Alternatively, to practise keeping your head still and getting that rotation around a single axis, you can always look at using a snorkel. Swimming with a snorkel allows you to swim without moving your head to breathe. You can watch your hands coming down under the centre of your body. Beware though, don’t become reliant on your snorkel for all your swims though, otherwise, you won’t be able to hold your breath comfortably when you are swimming normally and racing!

Take your time with learning this – as with any skill. The point is that drills are there to make you smoother, stronger, more efficient. Make sure you hit all those target points!

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

See what’s up next week for our #SwimTechTues tip!


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