The importance of establish a breathing technique during your swim is absolutely crucial. It is important to understand that the breathing techniques for swimming are very different used during running or any other workout. However, there are a few simple guidelines that can help you get it right if followed properly.
Practice with Your Face in the Water
If you are a beginner at swimming, the first thing you need to do while learning the breathing techniques is getting used to having your face in the water. This is because if you are swimming with your head above the water, your legs and hips are automatically lowered. The position you then assume is one in which a lot more effort is required to swim forward as compared to when your face is in the water and your body is level with it. Not only that, but swimming in this position tires you out quickly making your workout less effective.
Establish a Rhythm to your Breathing
This is one of the most critical breathing techniques for swimming. Once you are comfortable with the idea of swimming with your face under the water, you need to establish the breathing technique you are going to use, that is, how to breathe and when to breathe. The most important point to remember here is that you need to start exhaling through your nose or mouth as soon as you breathe in.
Don’t Hold Your Breath
The most common error that beginners learning breathing techniques for swimming make is, holding their breath when their face is submerged in the water. As a result, they try to inhale and exhale both in the short time interval when they turn to breath. This leads to short and improper breaths which causes a quick buildup of carbon dioxide in their lungs and requires them to become breathless, thus needing to break frequently.
The solution to this is that you must exhale during the time your face is in the water. As a result, your lungs are ready for a fresh inhalation when you turn to breathe. The breathing technique here is that there should be no time when your breath is being held you need to be inhaling and exhaling constantly and smoothly.
Keep your Head Still
An important breathing technique which maintains your balance while swimming is to hold your head still while your face is under water between breaths. Moving your head too much can actually lead to misbalance and dizziness. If holding your head still proves to be difficult, try focusing on a single point on the pool floor and turn your head only to breathe.
Use the Trough
While swimming through the water, you create waves which lead to a trough being formed on either side of your face and body when the wave dips. Try to breathe every time this trough is formed because the presence of air in the dip area makes it easier for you to breathe by merely turning your head and not having to lift it out of the water, something that can cause cramps in your neck.
Breathe Two-Stroke or Three-Stroke?
An important question to ask yourself when you are learning breathing techniques for swimming is; should you follow the two stroke or three stroke pattern? The stroke pattern involves turning for breath once every two strokes. The three stroke means turning once every three strokes. While the three stroke is known to result in faster swimming, the two stroke is suggested to be a better breathing technique for a swimming workout. This is because there are fewer time lags between breaths, as compared to the three stroke. This means that the body gets more oxygen which ensures that you can swim for longer periods.
Learn to Breathe on Both Sides
Lastly, one of the most important breathing techniques for swimming is learning to turn your head to breathe from both sides alternately. This is very important, because if you only breathe on one side, the non breathing side has weaker motion and you cannot swim in a straight line. Not only that, but after the swim, the non breathing side may be more strained than the breathing side and that can tend to get uncomfortable.