It’s common for newer swimmers to hold their breath underwater while swimming. For regular swimming, though, this isn’t practical, nor is it entirely safe, since you do need to take regular breaths to maintain your focus and comfort level. Once you develop a good breathing technique, you’ll have a lot more fun anytime you swim, even if it’s just in a backyard lap pool, and you’ll have more options with swimming styles. We offer tips below on how to breathe when you swim.
As you turn your head to breathe, you’ll still want to keep your face primarily in the water while swimming. If you fully lift your head and face out of the water, you’ll throw off your alignment. What this does is slow you down and create more resistance, which then makes you tire out sooner as you swim.
If you have some anxiety when putting your face in the water, nose plugs can be helpful. This prevents water from getting into your nose and making you a bit panicked. You’ll also want to use goggles so you can maintain clear visibility as you breathe and swim.
You’ll also throw off your pace if you turn your head when out of the water and fully exhale and breathe in before putting your face back in the water. Some swimmers who do this also need to flip around to catch up on breathing with longer swims. What you should do instead is develop a steady rhythm as you breathe by:
• Turning your head to take in a breath
• Exhaling when your face is in the water
• Turning your head to take in another breath
There’s no pausing as you rhythmically breathe while swimming. It’ll take some time to get used to the process of turning your head to take in a fresh breath once your lungs are almost empty. However, it’s something most swimmers are able to do with practice.
Two-three stroke breathing, or bilateral breathing, is done when you alternate your breathing from one side to the other while doing the front crawl stroke. The reason this is referred to as 2–3 stroke breathing is because you time your breathing to every second or third stroke. This approach to breathing helps you keep a straight line as you swim from one side to the other.
There are valid cases to be made for both single-sided and bilateral breathing while swimming. For instance, breathing to one side can create some unevenness as you swim. Ultimately, it’s best to do what’s comfortable for you. As for how often you breathe with each stroke, this is also based on personal preferences and how vigorously you swim. For example, if you competitively swim or have plans to do so, breathing after each stroke gives you more oxygen and energy. However, if you’re just casually swimming, a more relaxed breathing pattern can be just fine.
If you’re ready to build a pool of your own so you can enjoy the benefits of swimming, reach out to the experienced professionals at San Diego Pools. We are a premier San Diego pool contractor, and our pool design and construction experts are dedicated to building the pool that’s right for your family and providing you with the highest-quality service in the industry. Give us a call today at 888-707-7786.