Freediving is a fantastic sport that offers physical fitness, mental strength, and self-discovery. Every aquatic enthusiast knows the feeling of wanting to stay underwater longer, whether it is to view the underwater world’s beauty, hunt that elusive fish, or just compete with yourself. Whatever is calling you to stay down longer, we have come up with the five best ways to help you increase your breath-hold.
The key to a good, long breath-hold is relaxation, relaxation, relaxation. The more relaxed your body becomes before a breath-hold, and the more relaxed your body stays during the breath-hold will significantly increase your breath-hold time. Regular yoga practice promotes proper breathing techniques, increases flexibility of the body’s muscles and lungs, and trains you to relax your mind. Many professional freedivers incorporate regular yoga practice into their training routine.
- Find a Good Instructor/Coach
Most people interested in freediving take their first freediving course at their local freediving training center. When you do this, you are not just learning how to freedive, but you are joining a community of active freedivers. As you will learn, freediving isn’t just a fun sport; it is a lifestyle. Your freediving instructor will most likely become your training coach; to become the best freediver you can possibly be, look for a good one. Instructors usually aim to make copies of themselves. If you have ever seen the Michael Keaton movie Multiplicity, you know that a copy of a bad copy makes a worse copy. A good instructor will have a wealth of experience and will offer frequent training sessions. Attending weekly training sessions is one of the best ways to increase your breath-hold time.
Practice Breath-Holding at Home
You may not always have access to a pool, but that does not mean you can’t practice a breath-hold dive from home. Dryland training is a great way to increase your breath-hold by regularly practicing your freediving breathing components from the comfort of your own home. While laying down in a comfortable location at home, practice the three parts of a breath-hold dive: breath-up, peak inhalation, and recovery breathing. By doing this often at home, you will increase your ability to relax while holding your breath and become comfortable with the entire breath-holding process. Please note, however, to NEVER practice breath-holding at home while standing. To prevent the possibility of a blackout, only perform at-home dryland training in a laying-down position.
Increase Cardiovascular Fitness
Let’s face it, you can be the most relaxed freediver in the world, but your lungs are your air tank, and they can only hold as much air as their volume allows. You can, however, increase your lung capacity through cardiovascular training. Running and swimming are the two best ways to improve your cardio fitness. By doing so, you will not only increase your lung capacity, thereby allowing you to hold more air during a breath-hold, but your body will become more efficient at using the oxygen it has as well. Regular cardio training is an excellent way to increase your breath-hold.
Continue Your Breath-Hold Training
Becoming better at freediving, in general, is one of the best ways to increase your breath-hold time. The best way to get better at anything is by continuing your education in that area. Don’t just become a Basic Freediver and stop there; there is a whole world of freediving knowledge out there that can teach you to dive deeper and stay underwater longer. One of the best SSI programs to help increase breath-hold time is the Training Techniques program which takes holding your breath to the next level. This freediving course teaches you special breath-holding exercises that can be done both at home and in the water. In this Training Techniques course, you will discover your strengths and weaknesses and create a personalized training plan to better your freediving performance.
Learning to increase your breath-hold can be a fun and rewarding journey. Please remember, however, that you should NEVER practice freediving alone. Always have another certified freediver present as a training partner any time you are in the water, be it in your pool at home or out in the ocean.
Source: image©Janez Kranjc
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