View Full Version : Breathing with nose clips

March 18th, 2003, 11:15 AM
I have finally learned the concept that no matter how I move in the water - it will support me. I know how to float both on my back and stomach. I'm at the stage whereas I am just getting myself to be comfortable in deeper water. Now, yesterday as I was floating on my back some water got into my nose and I was wondering why. When I submerge my face in the water for minutes at the time no water ever got in my nose. Are nose clips only used for the back crawl or something? Do you need them when you're doing things that does not require you to be on your back?

March 18th, 2003, 03:18 PM
Let's say you take a drinking cup into the pool with you. If you put it into the water with the opening pointing straight down, the air will stay inside, and the water will not come up into the cup because of the air pressure pushing down. If you put the cup into the water with the mouth pointing upward and push it down below the water line, the water will pour into it because of gravity. If you put the cup in sideways, with the opening pointing at the edge of the pool, water will pour in that way also.

Similar things happen with your nose. If you have your nostrils pointing downward, so that the air is trapped in them, the air pressure will keep the water out. If you roll on your side, however, so that the air can escape, water will rush in. If you are on your back, and your nose dips below the water line, water will rush in then also.

Unfortunately, most of the time when we swim our nostrils aren't perfectly aligned to trap air in them. The way to keep the water from rushing in when in those situations is to breathe out through the nose. As long as you're breathing out through your nostrils, water can't get in there, even if you're upside down.

Instead of wearing a noseclip, it will be better in the long run for you to learn how to breathe to keep the water out naturally. I know it hurts like hell when you get water in there, but unfortunately that's a part of swimming. You just have to convince yourself that it won't kill you and that it's no big deal.

When I first learned to swim 28 years ago, the instructor had us blow bubbles through our noses to get used to it. Then she had us do flips in the water while blowing bubbles, so that we could feel the difference in pressure as our heads tumbled. Then she had us do back flips. Start easy, and just blow bubbles!

Even now I still get water in my nose occasionally. It hardly hurts at all any more.:D

March 18th, 2003, 09:11 PM
Hi Beamused -

I am gonna do the counter point arguement in favor of nose clips.

I did not wear them for many years until sinus irritation forced me to use them about 18 years ago (I am 49). Like many others I avoided nose clips like the plague.

Once I got used to breathing only through my mouth, I found my practices and racing improved dramatically. I had to breathe better and more completely which elevated my distance swimming. It obviously helped my backstroke alot without having to worry about leaking air out my nose.

I would give it a try. In my opinion, it is one of the best kept secrets in swimming that more coaches should encourage their swimmers to try.

Paul Windrath

Phil Arcuni
March 18th, 2003, 10:35 PM
I've been a proponent for nose clips for a long time. It was back in '85 that I found them essential gear for the pool I was swimming in, for the same reason as Paul.

I don't usually wear them now, because the pool I swim in is clean and outdoors. But if you look at the good backstrokers out there, they are all learning to close off their nose with their upper lip when they come off the wall. They are underwater so long that the air loss through their nose is significant.

But . . . it is *not* very attractive. *MUCH* less attractive than nose clips would be. ;)

Phil M.
March 19th, 2003, 08:02 AM
close off their nose with their upper lip ???

It is no wonder they are swimming so fast!?! (although this doesn't sound too hydrodynamic to me)

And how about those beautiful synchronized swimmers...nose clips and all?