There are a lot of things that go into being a better swimmer. Speed, balance, and power all have a role to play. All of that doesn’t really matter if you aren’t able to control your breathing though. Hazards of not being able to breathe underwater. The good news is that there are some things you can do to improve your underwater breath control.
Use Breathing Patterns
Using breathing patterns helps you develop discipline in how you breathe while swimming. It’s not going to be comfortable, but it does force you to push yourself and improve. One way to do this is to use breathing patterns, pick a number and take a breath every time you complete that many strokes. These can be great to do as a warm up to get your lungs ready for the rest of your practice or workout.
Try a Snorkel and Snorkel Cap
Snorkeling isn’t just for holidays in the tropics. You can use a snorkel with a snorkel cap to help you improve your breath control. Snorkel caps are a device that goes on the opening of the snorkel. It limits how much air you can take in at once. Training with a snorkel and cap can help improve your lung capacity and breathing technique, increase the strength of your intercostal muscles, replicate working out at a higher altitude, and give you a chance to do hypoxic training.
Train with a Respiratory Training Device
When you want to build muscle, you do some form of resistance exercise. Whether you hit the gym and lift some weights, or you lean more towards calisthenics, the idea behind them is pretty much the same. Did you know you can do something similar for your breathing muscles? Respiratory training devices create resistance for when you inhale and exhale. It’s a simple concept that increases your ability to take in and expel air, and has been shown to be rather effective when regularly used for training.
The better your underwater breath control is, the easier it will be to work your breaths into moments that are more convenient for you while you’re swimming. The better your breath control, the easier it will be to swim fast and improve in other areas. Plus, you’ll enjoy the added benefit of not getting winded as easily when you swim.
Proper breathing while swimming is an important swimming technique. Read more here: Swimming Techniques: How to Properly Breathe When Swimming.