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Exhaling While Swimming

Rahul Thadani Aug 24, 2020
While swimming, you need to maintain the right breathing rhythm. An important aspect of this is exhaling, which must be carried out through your nose, while your head is underwater.
Exhaling during swimming must be done correctly, in order to increase one's efficiency. An improper breathing technique can increase drag, and leave one gasping for breath underwater. There is a reason why correct breathing is crucial in every sport, not just swimming. Inhaling and exhaling properly aids the oxygen flow within the body, and gives the ability to move faster through the water.
While swimming, the swimmer is heavily dependent on the right breathing technique, as his head is underwater most of the time. This is why exhaling underwater is something that is given a lot of attention, and all swimming coaches stress heavily on implementing the right method of doing this.

The Proper Way to Exhale

In the brief moment that one's head is outside the water, one needs to take a long and deep breath through the mouth. The air must then be exhaled through the nose, when the head is back under the water.
If you exhale through your mouth, you will need to resurface to take another breath much earlier. By exhaling through the nose, you are elongating the exhaling process, and this lets you stay underwater for a longer amount of time
Inhaling slows down the swimmer, because for a brief time, the streamline shape of the body is disrupted. When the head is under the surface of the water, the streamline shape is regained, and this enables the swimmer to move faster.
Different swimming strokes require different breathing techniques, but the most elementary stroke is the freestyle. If you can master the breathing techniques for the freestyle, you can learn it for any other stroke. Freestyle is the fastest stroke, and hence, requires the breathing to be perfect.
Moreover, if you can establish a steady rhythm of inhaling and exhaling, you will tire slower. An improper breathing technique means that the oxygen flow to your lungs will be affected, and this will ultimately result in you getting exhausted at a quicker pace.
You must also remember these following points in order to maximize your efficiency.
  • You must exhale underwater at a comfortable rate.
  • You must resurface for another breath only when you have exhaled all the air possible. For this purpose, you will have to time your breathing pattern correctly.
  • The number of breaths taken during a lap depends on the distance the swimmer is going to swim. In sprints, the idea is to take as few breaths as possible. Accordingly, in long distance swimming, a breath after every stoke is necessary.
  • If you feel that your breathing pattern is off, swim with your head outside the water for a few minutes till you regain your composure.
Exhaling underwater takes some time to master, but once you learn it properly, you will be able to swim better and faster. It is very important to maintain the right breathing pattern, and this is something you should not ignore at any cost.