Breaststroke 103: Breathing
In this lesson, we close up on the breaststroke basics, taking up from the last lesson where we covered arm action, this part will introduce the breathing technique in breaststroke.
For any person who has learnt how to swim any stroke, breathing is a critical stage in this learning process, since it relies on all other previous lessons taught. For one to undertake any breathing exercises, they have to be able to move their hands well, as well as produce a kick that is strong enough to propel them through water. Beyond this, learning to breath requires a confidence in ones abilities; the knowledge that you are safe in water to progress and learn a new skill. Such confidence is a factor of both skill and courage from the learner supported by instruction from the trainer. If you can perform exercises in Breaststroke 101 and 102, learning to breath should not present a major problem.
In breaststroke, the swimmer has to lift their upper body up to allow the head to come out of the water for a breath. The timing to lift the head and breath is important to the stroke, as it has to balance the body’s need for oxygen as well as reduce any unnecessary breathing that ultimately slows the swimmer down. A compromise has to be reached between the two to allow a considerably fast stroke.
If there is any golden rule to breathing while swimming in general is breathing in through the mouth when the head is out and exhaling inside the water through the nose in small bubbles. For any swimmer this works to prevent water from going in through the nose while breathing in and may be used as a relevant distraction.
Before you can venture into the pool to try the breathing on your own, a simple breathing drill at the wall of the pool will assist you to get the timing right.
While at the edge of the pool, stand and inhale properly- diaphragmatically- as explained here. By folding your legs, dip yourself in water so that the body is fully submerged. Slowly, begin breathing out through the nose, creating several small bubbles until ALL air is expelled from the lungs. Stand again take another breath repeating the same sequence till you get the ropes-or the breaths for that matter.
When you can do this drill repeatedly, you are a step closer to breathing while swimming all strokes and not just breaststroke.