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  #1  
Old 12-31-2013
xenocyon xenocyon is offline
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xenocyon
Default How important is exhaling underwater?

I taught myself swimming drill by drill using Terry Laughlin's book "Total Immersion: The Revolutionary Way To Swim Better, Faster, and Easier" and watching the DVD. It was very helpful, especially learning to balance my body and keep a long form. I spent about 3-4 months on the drills, and then 3 years on practicing swimming. But somehow along the way I never thought to exhale underwater.

I swim 4 arm strokes at a time (right-left-right-left) between breaths. I hold my breath while underwater. When I rotate to the air for a breath (which I do on my right side) I exhale first and then inhale (both above water) and then do another 4 strokes, and so on. I use a nose clip to keep water from getting in my nose when rotating my head. I can do this for up to 4 lengths, after which I get out of breath. Nowadays I swim 18 sets of 4 lengths each, taking a break after each 4-length set, making a total of 72 lengths but not all at once. I would like to be able to swim the entire 72 lengths together.

I recently learnt that you are supposed to exhale underwater. I just wanted to find out if this is something that most TI swimmers do, and whether it is important to my goal of eventually being able to swim a mile without stopping. Any suggestions?

Last edited by xenocyon : 12-31-2013 at 06:42 PM.
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  #2  
Old 12-31-2013
daveblt daveblt is offline
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This is something that every swimmer must and should do. You need an even exchange of air in and out as you swim . Holding your breath like that is no good and will get you nowhere .The same thing when you run, you wouldn't hold your breath you would be constantly inhaling and exhaling. Try to breathe out gradually through your nose and mouth as soon as your face returns to the water and until your face just clears the water to the air and then take your breath .

Dave

Last edited by daveblt : 12-31-2013 at 09:02 PM.
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  #3  
Old 12-31-2013
Grant Grant is offline
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Something that might be useful from my experience. When I began swimming I was breathing every three strokes. Then I read in one of Terry's early posts to swim by taking a breath every second stroke. One length breathing to the right and the next length breathing to the left. This provides twice as much oxygen as what you are getting and 50% more than breathing every third stroke.
Once adopting this routine I very quickly was able to swim continuous lengths with ease. After about a year I began swimming breathing every third stroke and I was fine. The only time I breath every four strokes is when I am racing a 50m race.
As Dave says - it is very important to breath out under water as that gets rid of the CO2 and enables one to get a quick bite of air when then one google is above water.
Enjoy the journey.
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May we swim with ease at the speeds we choose.
Grant

Last edited by Grant : 12-31-2013 at 11:48 PM.
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  #4  
Old 01-29-2014
jeffmackenzie jeffmackenzie is offline
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your body thinks its out of breath when you are holding it. Its a reflex response, I believe. The build up of carbon dioxide, which is natural, triggers a bunch of negative responses in the body, including a need to gasp, so you end up working harder, and maybe keeping your head out of the water too long, which could affect your streamlining. try exhaling gently and steadily underwater like you are exhaling through a straw. Someone taught me that as a way to reduce O2 consumption when scuba diving. You tend to have to inhale less as well, as your body isn't experiencing imagined (or real) deprivation. should help you conserve energy and swim longer without breaks
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Old 01-30-2014
xenocyon xenocyon is offline
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Thanks very much - this helps a lot!
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  #6  
Old 03-17-2015
AndrewLRose AndrewLRose is offline
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Once you have good breath control and have learned proper swimming technique, breathing often fits in seamlessly with your stroke and relaxed swimming becomes possible.
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  #7  
Old 03-17-2015
fooboo fooboo is offline
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Old thread. Some ideas have to be stressed.
Exhaling is into the water only. Never ever do
that over the water. Be aware that water is
about 800 times more dense than the air. So,
one has to exhale strongly. Through mouth or
nose or both. Up to you.
On the pool people mostly lift their heads and
breathe both phases as humans do. We, TI
folks don't, since we know better. :)
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  #8  
Old 03-18-2015
novaswimmer novaswimmer is offline
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I usually exhale about 2/3 of my breath underwater. Then as my head rolls to air, quickly expel the remainder, and take a quick breath. (I would NEVER have enough time to both exhale and inhale above water! -- so you must be more buoyant than me.)

I do this for several reasons:

1) I'm lower in the water than many, so the extra 1/3 air in my lungs keeps me more buoyant.

2) As I exhale when I turn my head, it prevents water from coming in my nose. My inhale is very quick - there's just not much time.

3) For some reason I don't 'panic' as much when I still have a bit of air left in my lungs! ...because I can't always count on the next breath to be 'clean'...sometimes I get a small wave from someone when sharing a lane, or maybe due to bad balance. But I'm improving.

Hey, different strokes for different folks. LOL!

But yes, you should be working on bilateral breathing, and exhaling underwater. Just do some breathing exercises in shallow water to start with.

If you are using nose plugs due to allergies or irritation from chlorine in the water, or general sinus issues, believe me, I understand! My nose runs for hours after I swim.

But otherwise, try to exhale with nose underwater, or maybe nose and mouth. This seems to work better for me.

Last edited by novaswimmer : 03-22-2015 at 09:45 PM.
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