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How To Breathe When Swimming | Freestyle Swimming For Beginners

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We breathe 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so why is breathing suddenly so difficult when we get in the water? Breathing and sinking legs are the two most common problems that swimmers actually face. So today, we're gonna look at tips of how to make you breathe a lot easier in the water and almost make it as natural as it is when you're on land doing activities.

Thanks to Club La Santa for the locations used in this shoot.

So let's start off from where it can all go really wrong. When you take in that big gulp of air and try and hold onto it, your body really doesn't react to that well. Yeah weirdly, holding your breath actually makes you feel like you're more desperate for air cause the buildup of carbon dioxide in your lungs and blood will trick your mind. So once you've taken that breath, start exhaling as soon as your face is back in the water and there should be a constant stream of bubbles known as trickle breathing.

So how do you get that breath in? So when you're swimming you want to stay streamline as possible but then tilt your head just enough that you can get that breath in.

Yeah, it's about the timing so when your arm is going just past your head, that's when you should be rotating on the opposite side to breathe. Now the key is to not turn your head too far like Mark said so ideally you just want to look to the side of the pool or at Mark, preferably, not up at the sky. Well that's probably enough of us talking about what you should be doing, let's get on to how you should do it. So we've broken it down into some drills and we're gonna start off by taking the stroke right back to the basics and just the kick but don't panic if you struggle on kick. Just pop some fins on and you'll find this exercise easy. This is a really straightforward one. It's gonna be a side kick with your arms down by your side. If you're swimming along next to the wall I want you just to be facing the wall and then turning your head slightly to breathe and then you can flip round to make sure you do it on the other side coming back.

So six kicks, one stroke. You're basically gonna take one stroke and then kick six times on one side and that's to teach you constant breathing on the surface of the water before taking another stroke and switching sides.

Well now just starting to build the stroke back up, you can add in one arm. There's quite a few variations of this. You can start off with one arm out in front, you're swimming just say with your right arm breathing to the right side but then to make it a little bit harder put your left arm down by your side, keep swimming with your right, breathing on this side but then when you've got that mastered you can actually rotate to the other side and breathe over there as you would when you're swimming.

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