Bad Breathing Habits in Swimming

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I spent perhaps more time than I should have this morning during my swim thinking about your question. I think that there may be a number of different things to think about here.

On getting out of breath quickly: (1) you are learning to swim, so it is all new, particularly having your face in the water. A little adrenaline and fear goes a long way towards getting out of breath quickly. Novice SCUBA divers are well known for rapidly emptying their tanks since they are not feeling calm, cool, and collected underwater. (2) Swimming uses all of you large body muscles - arms, legs, and core. You need lots of oxygen to keep all those muscles going, much more than running (in my experience). And, unlike running, you can only breath at certain times. As you get better at swimming, and more comfortable, and in better shape, your breathing will get better. Swimming well is doing lots of little things properly, and you have to intentionally focus on each little thing, make it better...

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istock/Gewitterkind

Why It's Dangerous: Losing touch with your body's natural hunger and satisfaction signals can lead to chronic overeating and unhealthy extra pounds that can lead to diabetes, heart disease, and other serious conditions. If it's junk foods you snack on, you're also flooding your body with unhealthy ingredients. Why You Should Stop: With determination, anyone can fix bad eating habits, and get to a healthier, more natural weight. By paying attention to your hunger signals and switching to healthy snacks, you can boost nutrition, control cravings, lose weight, and avoid energy slumps. Your weight will fall to a healthier level, and you'll replace unhealthy trans and saturated fat, sugar, refined carbohydrates, and extra sodium with more nutritious fare. Reverse the Habit: - Reacquaint yourself with hunger: Wait to eat until your body is physically craving food. - Stop eating before you're stuffed: Finish when you feel just a little bit full, you'll eat less...

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We have been there before a rebellious child exhibiting some profoundly bad habit, as parents our job is to correct such habits by nipping them in the bud before they manifest further becoming a serious problem. When we notice such unwholesome behavior, acting quickly can make the deference between stopping the behavior or allowing it grows into a serious problem. As children experimentation is part and parcel of life, how else did we become the dominant species on earth?

We are born curious, creative thinkers with a high sense of curiously and wonder, so getting into unwholesome habits and practices is just part of life. A habit could be good, bad or outright dangerous even deadly so identifying the cause, reason and experimentation that could have led to such a habit helps us quickly understand and get to the root of the problem.

Most habits develop slowly over an extended period giving us as parent adequate time to help the child break the habit, slowly developing...

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The way that we train in the pool, the way that we compete when it comes time to stepping up on the blocks, is often a mirror of the training habits we hold in the pool.

The turns we do in practice are the turns we do in competition. The breathing patterns we perform in workouts are the breathing patterns we execute during our races.

So knowing this, that our training habits fundamentally create the performances when it matters most, it would behoove swimmers to start to work on creating better and more productive habits in the pool.

But where to start?

It’s easy to go crazy and write out a list of 29 different things you want to improve in the water, but often these huge lists leave us feeling overwhelmed.

And even when we do kick off down the path of smarter swimming, we create circumstances that are designed to make us fail and ultimately have us feeling underwhelmed and discouraged with the process.

Here is how to start fixing...

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Home

breaststroke

› breaststroke breathing

When to breathe in and when to breathe out

Breaststroke breathing usually occurs naturally as overall breaststroke technique action has a natural body lift which gives the ideal breathing point with each stroke.

Inhalation takes place at the end of the insweep as the body allows the head to lift clear of the water. The head should be lifted enough for the mouth to clear the surface and inhale, but not excessively so as to keep the frontal resistance created by this movement to a minimum.

Breaststroke Made Easy

"Made me correct some bad habits I didn't know I had. Absolutely brilliant!"

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Breaststroke Made Easy

"Made me correct some bad habits I didn't know I had. Absolutely brilliant!"

$4.99

Click for more info

The head returns to the water to exhale as the arms stretch forward to begin...

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The well-known business philosopher and personal development speaker, Jim Rohn, said, “All disciplines affect each other. Every new discipline affects all of our other disciplines. Every new discipline that we impose on ourselves will affect the rest of our personal performance in a positive way.”

Unfortunately, this also works the other way. Every lack of discipline (or bad habit essentially) affects the rest of your habits and disciplines and will alter your performance in a negative way.

Let’s look at some examples of how this may look in different areas of your health and fitness. I am going to just give you two examples and I have purposefully made these fairly far apart in their analogies so you can see how wide this is. We will start with how you can see this principle in your nutrition/diet and then depart from that concept a bit and apply it to the physical act of swimming. I could do this for any area of life as Mr. Rohn does but this blog is about...

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Bad breath, medically called halitosis, can result from poor dental health habits and may be a sign of other health problems. Bad breath can also be made worse by the types of foods you eat and other unhealthy lifestyle habits.

How Does What You Eat Affect Breath?

Basically, all the food eaten begins to be broken down in your mouth. If you eat foods with strong odors (such as garlic or onions), brushing and flossing -- even mouthwash -- merely covers up the odor temporarily. The odor will not go away completely until the foods have passed through your body.

Why Do Poor Habits Cause Bad Breath?

If you don't brush and floss teeth daily, food particles can remain in your mouth, promoting bacterial growth between teeth, around the gums, and on the tongue. This causes bad breath. Antibacterial mouth rinses also can help reduce bacteria.

In addition, odor-causing bacteria and food particles can cause bad breath if dentures are not...

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Baby got our head down

Baby got our head down to the ground

Looking for a stranger

Looking for a stranger to love

You got to touch your eyes and crush your tears

You gotta let go, come with me

Looking for a stranger

Looking for a stranger to love

You say you want it, but
You can't get it in
You got yourself a bad habit
Oh look at you, walking up and down a pole
I say breathe, stay with me
You say you want it, but
You can't get it in
You got yourself a bad habit
Oh look at you, walking up and down a pole
I say breathe
Oh man, oh man, oh man
You know I wish I had it all

Baby got our head down
Baby tryna stand down in the crowd
Looking for a stranger
Looking for a stranger to love
You got to touch your eyes and crush your tears
You gotta let go, come with me
Looking for a stranger
Looking for a stranger to...

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So I swam regularly as a kid but never bothered about getting water in my mouth or nose particularly but I'm trying to sort it out to do consistent lengths now at age 40. I've scanned through the FAQ and stuff and I practiced at home like this http://www.active.com/swimming/articles/breathing-basics-getting-comfortable-870012 so I hope it's ok to ask these details.

So that webpage talks about maintaining a constant outbreath underwater so water doesn't get in, but I find it oddly hard to let the breath out slowly enough. I have a feeling it's not just fitness as maybe I can do it jogging now (recently completed a C25K course) but I seem to have an instinct of stopping after a while. I think it's partly a swimming habit 'cos I just don't mind if water goes in my nose like some seem to freak out about - actually I'm used to swimming underwater without breathing out. Then again it gets tiring I guess. And I don't like to think about the microbes and stuff.

Then I found...

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Swimming isn’t exactly a natural activity for humans so finding the most efficient and technical way to fight the water element leads to faster swimming. There are many bad habits swimmers develop that usually stem from poor adaptation to the water. Some of these habits surface even in the most seasoned of swimmers. One thing I can guarantee is, swimming requires a lot of practice, a lot of hours in the water, and countless repetition of aspects of the stroke in order to perfect the skill of swimming. Here are four common mistakes and what you can practice to fix them.

The front crawl, commonly the stroke used in freestyle, is for most people the fastest, most effective stroke, and the one I will be concentrating on here. This is the stroke you should be focusing on if you intend to compete at any level.

Mistake #1: Head Position

This one isn’t really a secret to anyone anymore as I have been pretty vocal about it. You could say this is a pet peeve of mine,...

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Many common aches and pains, particularly around the head, neck and shoulders, may be caused in part by inefficient breathing. Problems like chronic headaches, numb and tingling hands, neck pain, or upper back pain might actually caused by a respiratory issue. The breathing exercises that might help are tedious and unappealing, but they are worthwhile regardless of whether or not they actually solve any painful problems.

This article will trace a series of unproven but plausible connections1 between respiratory dysfunction and a constellation of painful upper body conditions: from garden variety stiffness to seemingly unlikely and severe consequences such as rotator cuff injuries, whiplash, and thoracic outlet syndrome.

The connection between dysfunctional breathing and upper body pain

If it exists, the connection between dysfunctional breathing and pain is straightforward in principle: if the diaphragm doesn’t do its job well, muscles in the upper chest...

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Swim coach Bryan Mineo explains why holding your breath will slow you down and provides advice for kicking this bad habit.

Most inexperienced swimmers mistakenly hold their breath at some point during the stroke cycle. But would you hold your breath every few strides while running? Of course not. It wouldn’t be maintainable or efficient.

Relax! Tune into the inhale/exhale pattern you naturally employ when at rest. The goal is to replicate the same smooth pattern during freestyle. Holding your breath will fill up your lungs like balloons, causing your chest to rise, and your hips and legs to drop, which means more drag and decreased efficiency in the water. Instead of pushing hard to fill up your entire lungs with every breath, try working with half of your lung capacity and completely empty them each breath.

RELATED – Ask Coach Sara: The Optimal Strokes Per Breath

Practice breathing every stroke to create a rhythm that provides a constant supply of...

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Considering we've been breathing since we were born, you'd think we'd all be pros at it. But bad breathing habits can deny your body of the oxygen it needs and leave you vulnerable to illness and stress. Take this short quiz to see if you've developed bad breathing habits.

Time yourself for one minute, breathing as you normally would, and count your breaths. How many breaths did you take in one minute? 14 to 16 More than 16 or fewer than 14 Place one hand on your upper chest. Put the other hand on your belly above your waist. Breathe in slowly through your nose. What do you feel? The hand on my belly moved up, and the hand on my chest stayed put. The hand on my chest moved up, and the hand on my belly lowered. Repeat the steps from number 2 and then breathe out slowly through pursed lips. What do you feel? The hand on my belly lowered. The hand on my belly moved up. Breathe as you normally would. Are you... breathing in through your...
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you know your problem? you keep it all in!

Also see our related articles: Freestyle Breathing Overview and Tips and The Power of Bilateral Breathing.

Important!

Don't forget to breathe. Doctors recommend it.

Very few novice swimmers exhale properly into the water.

Nearly all intermediate swimmers think they are exhaling correctly - at least, that's what they say when we ask them. Do they? Very few do.

Even amongst advanced swimmers, quite a few like to hold onto their breath under the water.

Why is this an important swimming technique? Getting your exhalation right will make freestyle feel much easier, get you balanced in the water and as a bonus, make you more relaxed whilst swimming. This will benefit any swimmer, from beginner to elite.

In this article we're going to give you some very simple exercises to perform to improve your breathing technique and this will help you become a much better swimmer.

How You Should...

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Take a deep breath, because there's something you need to hear: You may be breathing wrong. Yep, that thing people do an average of 20,000 times per day - you could be going about it the wrong way! Test it out - are you holding your breath now?

Considering we've been breathing since we were born, you'd think we'd all be pros at it. And considering how important breathing is - filtering out germs and debris, cycling fresh oxygen to our organs and tissues, removing waste gases our body doesn't need - you'd think we'd all be a bit more mindful of it. But most people give it nary a thought.

Bad breathing habits can literally make you sick. They can deny your body of the oxygen it needs and leave you vulnerable to illness and stress.

Slower breathing, common in the practice of yoga, has been found to reduce shortness of breath, increase oxygen saturation in the blood, and improve exercise performance. Meditation, which centres on mindful breathing, has been linked...

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This bad boy originally appeared over at YourSwimBook.com. Check out Olivier’s weekly motivational newsletter for competitive swimmers by clicking here.

The way that we train in the pool, the way that we compete when it comes time to stepping up on the blocks, is often a mirror of the training habits we hold in the pool.

The turns we do in practice are the turns we do in competition. The breathing patterns we perform in workouts are the breathing patterns we execute during our races.

So knowing this, that our training habits fundamentally create the performances when it matters most, it would behoove swimmers to start to work on creating better and more productive habits in the pool.

But where to start?

It’s easy to go crazy and write out a list of 29 different things you want to improve in the water, but often these huge lists leave us feeling overwhelmed.

And even when we do kick off down the path of smarter swimming, we create...

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A very common issue that I see in freestyle is bad breathing habits. Watch this video to work on improving the technique and timing of your breath in freestyle

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