View Single Post
Old 01-26-2018
CoachDavidShen CoachDavidShen is offline
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 604

Originally Posted by bujanglokal View Post
Nice article from Mat Hudson.
Have you tried breathing from diaphragm as opposed to upper chest? Does it yield improvement to your swimming and/or endurance?

I am a huge fan of this. I try to get my swimmers to breathe from the diaphragm always. Out of all the clients I've met, only one exhibited diaphragmatic breathing when I met them initially. So dysfunctional breathing is pervasive in our society and leads to many problems (see my post at

When you breathe properly, you can stabilize in the water properly, which means you can hold proper body position better. Relying on your "core muscles" do it means you will wipe them out in short order and then you get sloppy and your body stops holding position and rotating back and forth easily. Stabilization via diaphragmatic breathing is generating intra-abdominal pressure (IAP).

When you stabilize properly, then your ability to control and move your limbs goes up, reducing the incidence for injury, increasing endurance and strength, as well as increasing the nervous system's control of where you want to limb to go.

Not only that, you are also filling your lungs more fully with air, so with every inhale you have more air to draw upon, thus decreasing the possibility you will run out of air when you swim. In addition, performance increases due to the increased oxygen available for your body to use. Using only your upper respiratory muscles for breathing only fills your upper parts of the lungs - using the diaphragm means you are also filling the lower part of your lungs as well.

Remember also that using chest and/or shoulder muscles creates dysfunction in shoulder action. This is because all those muscles that are used to move and stabilize the shoulder are wiped out from 1000s of breaths each day and are continually in contraction. It is one reason I see that people have trouble mastering recovery; they always want to contract the muscles used in chest/shoulder breathing first because they are already fired up. The shoulder moves first and then you're setting yourself up for impingement and reduced range of motion. Addressing breathing will help fix that.

Here is a post and some videos on how to start making the transition to better breathing, and how that breathing can help you increase your athletic performance:
David Shen
Total Immersion Coach
Menlo Park, CA

Last edited by CoachDavidShen : 01-26-2018 at 06:17 PM.
Reply With Quote