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Freestyle - Exhale Slowly

Posted by Glenn Mills on Jun 10, 2008 09:02AM

While I've often been quoted as saying, "Air is for wimps," the reality is, air is GOOD.  While balance, good rotation, and correct timing are all important to taking in a good breath, air exchange is also a key aspect of faster and more comfortable swimming.

Add to Cart View Cart - Learn this skill from the best, pick up Kara Lynn Joyce's DVD

Why Do It:

Having a more relaxed approach to exhaling rather than blasting air out will help you avoid going into oxygen debt during your swims.

How to Do It:
1.  Swim freestyle like you normally do, but focus totally on how you breathe OUT under water.
2.  Try a length or two in which you hold all your air until you start to rotate to air... then... blast out all your air as you turn for the breath.
3.  Now try a few lenghs in which you SLOWLY let the air stream out of your nose.
4.  Make sure you've got just about all your air released prior to turning your head for the breath.

How to Do It Really Well (the Fine Points):
HUM!   Humming adds an audible cue to your swimming and will keep you humming right along.  And...since it's very tough to hum HARD, you won't be able to blast your air out.  It will keep your exhales nice and even and relaxed.  

Archived Comments

Responded Jun 10, 2008 09:49PM

Well, since the Kara Lynn Joyce BALANCE focus point I have been working on a better relationship between the pull and the kick, and that implies a different breathing pattern. I have not tried the humming (which sounds terrific) but definetly a more relaxed exhale (or exhaling) has helped me with that different breathing pattern....and hopefully it will with my general swimming balance.

Responded Jun 10, 2008 11:24PM

I thought we had to exhale air both from nose and mouth. Isn't holding air prior to breathing called apnea ? I always heard apnea is a swimmer's enemy.

Responded Jun 11, 2008 03:10PM

Well Alx...apnea is defined as "breathing that slows down or stops form any cause", but holding your breath prior to breathing is not a voluntary act during an excersise.
As for exhaling can do it both through your nose and mouth or only through your nose...I will highly recommend that you inhale with your mouth and exhale through your nose.

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