Body Glove Extra 25% Off
Shop New Arrivals
Women's
Men's
Kids'
Gear
Facility
Shop By Activity
Shop Sale
Shop By Brand

Breathing issues



  • Hello,
    I would like to swim laps but having trouble breathing when I push off the wall. I start the first lap fine, breathing normally but once i reach the wall and turn (open turn) I'm short of breath and it's a struggle to breathe from that point on. Any advice is appreciated.



  • This post is deleted!


  • It sounds like you'll need to build your cardiovascular endurance before attempting distances longer than 25 yards/meters. I would suggest trying a simple workout of 25s to help get your lungs used to working through a full swimming work-out. For example, try a set of 10 x 25s (one lap, 10 times) with 15- 20 seconds rest in between each 25/lap. The first 2 laps, do 5 strong strokes then easy, long, and smooth to the end. The second two, 7 strong stokes. The third two, 9 strokes. Etc., etc. The last two 25s (#9 & #10) you should be taking strong strokes the entire length, maintaining that 15 - 20 seconds rest in between each 25/lap.

    Also, don't be afraid to breathe every stroke. As your stamina and endurance increase, you'll be able to adopt a less frequent breathing pattern. For now, get the oxygen in you need to maintain proper technique.

    Hope this helps!



  • You could also try using a swimmers snorkel with a cardio cap combo. Its restricts the amount of air you are able to intake similar to those high altitude masks.



  • Many swimmers are working too hard and actually over-breathing during the stroke , which causes exhaustion by the end of the lap. Often a cause is inefficient body position and stroke mechanics that cause rising and sinking motion in the water, leading to lifting the head in order to get the breath. If this is happening to you, perhaps a coach can help you correct it, or you may find tips online with videos.



  • I'm trying to keep up my breathing due to the fact that I have autism and trying to keep up my endurance.



  • I'm in a similar but worse position, have not been a confident swimmer since an incident in a pool when I was young. I can swim for 1-2 breaths before I feel I'm out of air and stop, gasping for breath. Always put off the idea of swimming better until I increased my cardio ability, and am finally doing a half marathon this year so maybe I will get there!

    Also like the idea of using a swimmer's snorkel to work on strokes and technique though, the breathing can come later. When snorkelling I don't have any issues swimming even if my technique is not perfect.



  • It sounds like you'll need to build your cardiovascular endurance before attempting distances longer than 25 yards/meters. I would suggest trying a simple workout of 25s to help get your lungs used to working through a full swimming work-out. For example, try a set of 10 x 25s (one lap, 10 times) with 15- 20 seconds rest in between each 25/lap. The first 2 laps, do 5 strong strokes then easy, long, and smooth to the end. The second two, 7 strong stokes. The third two, 9 strokes. Etc., etc. The last two 25s (#9 & #10) you should be taking strong strokes the entire length, maintaining that 15 - 20 seconds rest in between each 25/lap.

    Also, don't be afraid to breathe every stroke. As your stamina and endurance increase, you'll be able to adopt a less frequent breathing pattern. For now, get the oxygen in you need to maintain proper technique.

    Hope this helps!

    Thanks for the tips!!! I've been doing sets of 50m free for about a month but i guess I rest too long in between sets. I'll try your suggestion for a couple weeks and see if it helps. By the way, I hold my breath why pushing off the wall, should I exhale slowly instead?



  • When swimming laps, it is extremely important to EXHALE whenever your face is in the water. You should NOT be holding your breath. You need to exhale, clearing out the CO2 in your lungs, in order to make room for the next inhale. A small inhale will be enough, then a continuous exhale will follow. Remembering that when we do any type of exertion, such as lifting weights, for example, we do it on the exhale, never while holding our breath. It's the same with swimming. Since we are always exerting some effort in swimming, we should "always" be exhaling, except when we rotate to take a very quick inhale.



  • Deborah has excellent advice. Absolutely agree!



  • Thank you, Jim!!



  • It sounds like you'll need to build your cardiovascular endurance before attempting distances longer than 25 yards/meters. I would suggest trying a simple workout of 25s to help get your lungs used to working through a full swimming work-out. For example, try a set of 10 x 25s (one lap, 10 times) with 15- 20 seconds rest in between each 25/lap. The first 2 laps, do 5 strong strokes then easy, long, and smooth to the end. The second two, 7 strong stokes. The third two, 9 strokes. Etc., etc. The last two 25s (#9 & #10) you should be taking strong strokes the entire length, maintaining that 15 - 20 seconds rest in between each 25/lap.

    Also, don't be afraid to breathe every stroke. As your stamina and endurance increase, you'll be able to adopt a less frequent breathing pattern. For now, get the oxygen in you need to maintain proper technique.

    Hope this helps!

    Thanks for the tips!!! I've been doing sets of 50m free for about a month but i guess I rest too long in between sets. I'll try your suggestion for a couple weeks and see if it helps. By the way, I hold my breath why pushing off the wall, should I exhale slowly instead?

    --

    Yes! Off of every wall, whether you're doing a turn or starting off, you should exhale with the push. Remember, just like the rest of your stroke, there should be a rhythm to your breathing. When you're not taking air in, you should be exhaling out all in time with whatever stroke you're doing.



  • Hi Jay! I'm 2-time Olympian Chloe Sutton! Hopefully I can help!

    I see a lot of swimmers with the same issues and the other people in this forum have given GREAT advice! I also notice that a lot of people who come to me at SwimLabs for a lesson with this issue have incorrect breathing timing or technique. Watch

    and see if that helps at all!

    Best of luck to you!



  • Thanks everyone for the advices/video. I now pay more attention to breathing properly especially exhaling when my face is in the water. I still have the bad habit of holding my breath while pushing off the wall but when I do it right, there's less struggle to breathe and the next lap feels a little more enjoyable.


Log in to reply