Breathing while swimming for beginners

You can’t take breathing for granted in swimming. Beginners tend to lift their heads above the water when they run out of air and gasp for more. Breaking your rhythm while swimming slows you down and tires you out, so incorporating breathing into your stroke is an essential first step to improving your water skills.

Let’s see the main points about breathing while swimming for beginners.

From a beginner’s point, the two most important aspects of breathing in swimming are

  1. Face in the water while swimming
  2. A rhythm of breathing

Face in the Water

Keeping your face in the water is step one, because if you swim with your head up or your face out of the water, your legs and hips will invariably drop. A high-head/low-hip position requires you to push more surface area through the water, creating more drag. This makes it harder to swim because there is more resistance. Imagine cycling with a parachute attached to your back. This will force you to take additional rest breaks in training or on race day as your heart rate increases and you cannot keep up with the oxygen demands of your muscles.

There are different tricks to keeping your face in the water. Be sure to have comfortable goggles. Focus on looking at the bottom or staring at the black line down the center of the lane in the pool. If you experience anxiety related to submersion, take a lot of rest breaks and remember that as far as pool training goes, you are never very far from the wall and an exit. If you absolute beginner, consider to take a course, so you study to breath properly from the beginning. 

Rhythmic Breathing

Once you are comfortable keeping your face/head in the water while swimming, you need to figure out how and when to breath. The critical action here is to begin exhaling through your nose/mouth as soon as you finish breathing in.

The major problem we see with beginners related to breathing is that they hold their breath while their face is in the water, then tries to exhale and inhale very quickly when turning to breathe. This results in a poor, shallow breath and a quick buildup of carbon dioxide in the lungs. Swimmers will have to stop and take a break in training or roll over on their backs to catch a few deep breaths in racing.

You must exhale while your face is in the water. So when you turn to breathe, your lungs are mostly empty and ready to accept a fresh breath of air. You do need to force the rhythm a bit. You should forcefully exhale through your nose/mouth as soon as you complete the breath. There’s no pausing. It is a constant rhythm.

If you know how to swim, but still doubt if you breath properly, check your berating with an professional swimming coach. Maybe one or two individual sessions will resolve your doubts.

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