Why work on your breathing?
Without wanting to show what seems obvious, breathing provides your body with oxygen. The human body can not survive without oxygen: each cell needs a certain amount of oxygen to function. When you jostle your body with exercises, you do even more work cells and you need more oxygen that is their source of energy.
You know, when you gasp after a strong physical exercise? Your body is trying to get more oxygen.
Fred also told me that at the level of efficiency, working your breath can offer you much more fluidity: your shots will be smoother if you breathe at the right time.
How to improve your breathing technique?
Fred offers swimming underwater as a great way to increase the capacity of your lungs. You can use flippers for more momentum during your underwater sessions and focus on your breathing rather than thinking about moving forward. Remember that any underwater swimming session must be done with care: training the lungs takes time and you should not push your limits to the point of feeling dizzy.
Exhale properly and practice doing it:
Many swimmers only think to inspire. But you have to expire too!
Breathing is a two-way process. Try this exercise advised by Fred, in the water or on dry land, during your warm-up:
For a complete workout, it is recommended to work your breath during the day with this simple exercise to perform 5 times:
Did you have the feeling of having to inhale much more air than usual to get this strong inspiration? This exercise will probably allow you to realize that we take shallow inspirations most of the time. Making the effort to breathe more deeply in general does not only provide more energy to your body in the pool, all your daily activities will benefit.
Do not turn your head to exhale:
Fred points out that for the crawl, you have to exhale when your head is underwater. If you try to inhale and exhale when you turn your head to the side, it will be out of the water for twice as long as necessary which will create a pause and slow you down.
Know when to breathe:
For the crawl, breathing all three movements is the best: it allows you to spend as much time as possible in the water. Bilateral breathing (on both sides) also helps not to overwork one side of your body.