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ralphy5555
October 7th, 2008, 06:23 AM
Hi

I really mean when is the right time to exhale.

Should I slowly exhale while swimming or should I hold my breath until I need air exhale and then turn to inhale?

Thanks for helping out this newbie

Typhoons Coach
October 7th, 2008, 09:55 AM
Hi

I really mean when is the right time to exhale.

Should I slowly exhale while swimming or should I hold my breath until I need air exhale and then turn to inhale?

Thanks for helping out this newbie

Slowly exhale throughout your strokes...definitely don't hold your breath! You want to make it as normal of a breathing process as you can (compare it to when you are walking around, etc).

ehoch
October 7th, 2008, 12:41 PM
Slowly exhale throughout your strokes

Maybe for little kids that learn how to swim and "blow bubbles" but not for good swimmers - you exhale right before you take your breath.

geochuck
October 7th, 2008, 01:07 PM
I change my breathing technique. It can be slowly out or explosive breathing.

In rough water you could almost turn on your back to get a breath in and I have done this on occasion.

Learn to breathe on both sides.

The main thing is to expel some air before you breathe in don't just breathe in.

Don't breathe in through your nose.

Don't breathe in underwater...

Don't breathe in your arm pit.

Breathe in the trough if you can.

Either equalize the pressure in your nose or expel some air out through your nose when breathing out.

If you blow all your air out your mouth don't let water syphon up your nose.

pwolf66
October 7th, 2008, 01:35 PM
Maybe for little kids that learn how to swim and "blow bubbles" but not for good swimmers - you exhale right before you take your breath.


Hmm, this comment makes me wonder. Unless it's a 50, I exhale continuously during the swim. Why would you just exhale prior to breathing as this would set up you up for not getting maximum intake or risk creating a rapidly collapsing 'pocket' of air around your mouth when you transition from exhale to inhale just prior to breaking the surface with your mouth.

mjgold
October 7th, 2008, 01:41 PM
http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=s2WKRkxeFLc&feature=related

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=clYEi1f4oz0&feature=related

It looks like he's exhaling continuously, though it looks like he pauses a bit in the first video.

Typhoons Coach
October 7th, 2008, 02:17 PM
Hmm, this comment makes me wonder. Unless it's a 50, I exhale continuously during the swim. Why would you just exhale prior to breathing as this would set up you up for not getting maximum intake or risk creating a rapidly collapsing 'pocket' of air around your mouth when you transition from exhale to inhale just prior to breaking the surface with your mouth.

Thank you for the support on this one! Almost every coaching conference that I have been to has suggested to continuously exhale throughout the stroke and make your breathing pattern as normal as possible. So, I hate to say it, but this has nothing to do with little kids "blowing bubbles" though I teach my 8 and unders to blow bubbles throughout their stroke as well!

Typhoons Coach
October 7th, 2008, 02:19 PM
http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=s2WKRkxeFLc&feature=related

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=clYEi1f4oz0&feature=related

It looks like he's exhaling continuously, though it looks like he pauses a bit in the first video.

Great videos, Michael...gotta love YouTube!

ehoch
October 7th, 2008, 03:44 PM
Well - how can put this ... are you guys blind ?

The first video clearly shows that Thorpe is holding his breath the entire time that his head / eyes are looking down - then as he is lifting his head, he is breathing out - that's what most swimmers do. That's also why most swimmers can easily switch back and forth between breathing every 2 or 4 armstrokes.

mjgold
October 7th, 2008, 03:59 PM
Wow, that's pretty funny that you're asking me if I'm blind when you clearly aren't watching the video. Watch when his head comes in the water--he's obviously exhaling. Like I said, in the first video he takes a pause before turning to breathe again, but he clearly exhales on the way back in and on the way up.

As far as the second video is concerned (which is from Athens, so I think that's a bit more important), he is clearly exhaling the whole time he is underwater. Unless your computer is really crappy and you can't see the bubbles, there isn't really a reason for you not to be able to see this.

You want some more examples? Here:

Michael Phelps (at about 0:09, he starts the stroke) (http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=ax77_hHq9Dc&feature=related)

Grant Hackett (it's 2 minutes long, but watch the first 30 seconds and you can clearly see it) (http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=f6qIhkuzTx0)

Manaudou (at about 1:50, they have a great underwater shot of her swimming) (http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=ambHZwrail4)

Rebecca Cook (http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=uTgEqgaFsQs&feature=related)

I'm not saying everybody swims that way, because obviously you don't. I'm just saying that it seems like many of the big swimmers do. All of my coaches and teammates do as well, so I don't know what to tell you. Do whatever works for you, but don't pretend like we're all inferior for not waiting until the last moment to exhale.

ehoch
October 7th, 2008, 04:24 PM
Exhaling ? So - let me get this - he breathes in, puts his head down, exhales a little, then holds his breath again and then exhales the rest.

Watch the 4x100 Free underwater cam from the Olympics + ask any good swimmer + what happens when people breath every 4 or 6 in a race ?

mjgold
October 7th, 2008, 04:26 PM
Um, everyone in those videos were breathing every stroke, not every 4 or 6. If you're going to breathe every 4 or 6, I guess you would hold your breath. I don't know anything about that, since I don't do that. I suggest you actually watch the videos before you start talking down to people.

And as far as the first video of Thorpe, I'm not sure if he actually stops exhaling, I just can't see the bubbles anymore. I think even you can admit that it takes an exhale to produce bubbles out of your nose.

geochuck
October 7th, 2008, 04:52 PM
I don't think we can set any rule to follow when breathing.

mjgold
October 7th, 2008, 05:02 PM
Thanks. That was really my point, I just don't have the gift of succinctness.

stillwater
October 7th, 2008, 07:24 PM
I think we can agree that there should be no breathing after the flags at the finish, no breathing for a stroke or two after the start (depending on the race), and no quick gasp of life giving oxygen a stroke before and after your turn.

I love, love, love, air. I would almost consider becomming a backstroker, but I just can't seem to overcome the stigma.

ALM
October 7th, 2008, 09:26 PM
I would almost consider becoming a backstroker, but I just can't seem to overcome the stigma.

:lmao:
This may become my new signature line... I'll give you credit for the quote, of course...

fanstone
October 7th, 2008, 10:11 PM
"What we have here is a lack of communication", line from Cool Hand Luke, a great film with Paul Newman. First, what makes you hunger for air isn't the need for oxygen but the need to exhale the carbon dioxide that is building up in your blood stream. If you exhale through your nose on a flip turn because you can't avoid water entering by just holding your breath, then you will want to breathe pretty fast. If you swim a straight 50 with one, or two or no breaths it doesn't matter, as you can accumulate all the C02 and then at the end of the lap you can breathe thusly expiring the air and getting rid of the C02 and starting a fresh cycle. If your lung is inflated it will continuously remove C02 from your blood, however as you exhale you have less and less alveoli to remove the excess C02 in your blood that is driving you to breathe. BUT, if you wait to exhale all at once you might not have enough time to breathe in...so you have to dose what you want, according to your speed and distance. 25 yards, don't exhale at all. From then on to 1500 exhale slowly so you won't have to exhale all at once but don't exhale to fast that you won't have any alveoli left to remove your excess C02. Clear and to the point (I think not), but even I after many sleepless night on the internet have yet to figure the validity of non breathing drills or holding your breath from flag on and so forth. No bubbles from Cielo on his way to win the 50 free...billy fanstone

Typhoons Coach
October 8th, 2008, 09:51 AM
I think we can agree that there should be no breathing after the flags at the finish, no breathing for a stroke or two after the start (depending on the race), and no quick gasp of life giving oxygen a stroke before and after your turn.

I definitely agree that there is no "one breathing style fits all" in the swimming world, and if there is then that person needs to fill us all in to rectify this discussion. However, I absolutely agree with the above statement!

Typhoons Coach
October 8th, 2008, 09:57 AM
25 yards, don't exhale at all. From then on to 1500 exhale slowly so you won't have to exhale all at once but don't exhale to fast that you won't have any alveoli left to remove your excess C02

I definitely think this is a good description of what could be done with the breathing as well!

Let me ask this to the forum: What is the benefit of holding your breath versus continuously exhaling throughout the stroke (or vice versa)?

geochuck
October 8th, 2008, 09:58 AM
No breath for me in a 50 long course, 1 breath during a 50 short course after the turn. I always expelled air out of the nose during the turn.

fanstone
October 8th, 2008, 10:25 AM
Andy: there is only one reason to hold your breath, and that is so you can remove more C02 from your blood, so as to diminish the "urge" to breathe. Notice this: if you can hold your breath while doing the flip turn you will last longer going out then someone who exhales (usually to prevent water from entering nose) during the turn. I personally am trying to exhale less, just enough to avoid water in nose, so as to last longer till the next breath out of a turn. At a certain age or at a certain lack of training (not as efficient energy expenditure and producing more C02) one has to breathe more often and I think the gain from not breathing as to maintain streamlining might not be so important as getting a breath and "feeling better". I have given up taking strokes after the turn before breathing. It isn't making ME any faster but causes some distress from the urge to breathe. Most of the oxygen consumption and need of are at a cellular level and have little to gain from breathing more or less up to a certain level. You use up most of you cellular oxygen the first 20 seconds of your sprint, and from then on it is alternative energy pathways, the oxygen you breathe in will help you immediately. So on a sprint, all you have to be concerned is about controlling your urge to breathe to get rid of the accumulated carbon dioxide in your blood. The resulting acidosis won't hinder your energy or speed, because before it has any impact on your muscles the race is over. This is dificult to undertand, and I won't even go near the Lactic Acid "build up", or the turning point in the lactic acid, where breathing plays an important factor such as in running over 400 meters or swimming longer. Finally, if you can hold your breath all the way on a 50 or longer swim, good for you, but your speed is not dependent on this unless you factor in the streamlining gained or lost from moving your head. Before anyone wants to argue that not breathing is deleterious and dangerous, I must say that I am talking about short sprints where anaerobic metabolism rules.

geochuck
October 8th, 2008, 10:50 AM
When I swam the marathon races there was a lot of discussion amongst the swimmers. It was believed by most that the breath should be held in as long as possible and expelled just before you where ready to breathe in. It was thought the body held a better position in the water if we did this. More air in the lungs for a longer time better floating ability, more streamline. I have expelled air and have found at times crashing waves sometimes did not allow you to breathe in, the secret is to be adaptable.


I definitely think this is a good description of what could be done with the breathing as well!

Let me ask this to the forum: What is the benefit of holding your breath versus continuously exhaling throughout the stroke (or vice versa)?

mjgold
October 8th, 2008, 11:37 AM
Personally, I have tried holding it in until right before I am ready to inhale. When I do that, I feel like I'm not getting enough air in my lungs, which may be because I'm either not exhaling all the way, or I'm spending too much time exhaling when I should be inhaling (mouth out of the water, obviously). When I exhale continuously--even when breathing every 3 or 4 strokes, which I do very infrequently--I find that my breathing is more natural. When I'm walking around, I don't take a breath and hold it, then exhale quickly and inhale again.

Typhoons Coach
October 8th, 2008, 11:39 AM
Andy: there is only one reason to hold your breath, and that is so you can remove more C02 from your blood, so as to diminish the "urge" to breathe. Notice this: if you can hold your breath while doing the flip turn you will last longer going out then someone who exhales (usually to prevent water from entering nose) during the turn. I personally am trying to exhale less, just enough to avoid water in nose, so as to last longer till the next breath out of a turn. At a certain age or at a certain lack of training (not as efficient energy expenditure and producing more C02) one has to breathe more often and I think the gain from not breathing as to maintain streamlining might not be so important as getting a breath and "feeling better". I have given up taking strokes after the turn before breathing. It isn't making ME any faster but causes some distress from the urge to breathe. Most of the oxygen consumption and need of are at a cellular level and have little to gain from breathing more or less up to a certain level. You use up most of you cellular oxygen the first 20 seconds of your sprint, and from then on it is alternative energy pathways, the oxygen you breathe in will help you immediately. So on a sprint, all you have to be concerned is about controlling your urge to breathe to get rid of the accumulated carbon dioxide in your blood. The resulting acidosis won't hinder your energy or speed, because before it has any impact on your muscles the race is over. This is dificult to undertand, and I won't even go near the Lactic Acid "build up", or the turning point in the lactic acid, where breathing plays an important factor such as in running over 400 meters or swimming longer. Finally, if you can hold your breath all the way on a 50 or longer swim, good for you, but your speed is not dependent on this unless you factor in the streamlining gained or lost from moving your head. Before anyone wants to argue that not breathing is deleterious and dangerous, I must say that I am talking about short sprints where anaerobic metabolism rules.

I absolutely love it! This is exactly what I was looking for! Thank you!

Typhoons Coach
October 8th, 2008, 11:40 AM
When I swam the marathon races there was a lot of discussion amongst the swimmers. It was believed by most that the breath should be held in as long as possible and expelled just before you where ready to breathe in. It was thought the body held a better position in the water if we did this. More air in the lungs for a longer time better floating ability, more streamline. I have expelled air and have found at times crashing waves sometimes did not allow you to breathe in, the secret is to be adaptable.

I agree; you have to be able to adapt to the conditions, distance, intensity, etc in order to be a better performance swimmer.

Typhoons Coach
October 8th, 2008, 11:43 AM
Personally, I have tried holding it in until right before I am ready to inhale. When I do that, I feel like I'm not getting enough air in my lungs, which may be because I'm either not exhaling all the way, or I'm spending too much time exhaling when I should be inhaling (mouth out of the water, obviously). When I exhale continuously--even when breathing every 3 or 4 strokes, which I do very infrequently--I find that my breathing is more natural. When I'm walking around, I don't take a breath and hold it, then exhale quickly and inhale again.

Michael, this was exactly my point in a couple of posts. Your breathing during swimming should not be any different than when you are walking, etc. If you are swimming a regular set you should be breathing as if you were walking. If you are swimming a medium paced set you should be breathing as if you were jogging, and if you are swimming a sprint set you should be breathing as a sprinter would....all relaxed and as normal as possible! Again, only my opinion, but it is turning into a general thought on here!

mjgold
October 8th, 2008, 11:45 AM
That's my thought exactly. My personal opinion is that if you're huffing and puffing trying to force all this air out just before taking a breath, it's going to put you out of breath. I'm sure it doesn't have that affect on some people, but that's what it does to me. I don't inhale very much when I swim, and I have a hard time transitioning from a forceful exhale to a gentle inhale--it sort of forces me to take a big-mouthed breath, which does nothing for me.

Typhoons Coach
October 8th, 2008, 12:18 PM
it sort of forces me to take a big-mouthed breath, which does nothing for me.

Which might actually make you intake water as well...

fanstone
October 8th, 2008, 05:11 PM
"the oxygen you breathe in will help you immediately" Correction: the oxygen you breathe in has no immediate effect at a cellular level. Believe me, I have held my breath while using a pulse oxymeter and I was finished, with strong urge to breath and my saturation was still above 95%, which means that although I felt a strong urge to breathe my oxygen at a cellular level, in my circulating blood was still high.

Midas
October 8th, 2008, 06:37 PM
I've tried, but I have a hard time exhaling through several strokes and then breathing. It was hard to tell from the videos posted by Michael whether any of these swimmers does that. The first video of Thorpe clearly shows him holding his breath and only expelling his air maybe a stroke before he breathes. In most of the other videos, the swimmers were breathing every 2 strokes, in which case of course they're going to need to be expelling almost immediately. I'd be surprised if most swimmers constantly exhale while breathing every 3 or more strokes... I'm with ehoch on this.

Midas
October 8th, 2008, 06:40 PM
Andy: there is only one reason to hold your breath, and that is so you can remove more C02 from your blood, so as to diminish the "urge" to breathe. Notice this: if you can hold your breath while doing the flip turn you will last longer going out then someone who exhales (usually to prevent water from entering nose) during the turn. I personally am trying to exhale less, just enough to avoid water in nose, so as to last longer till the next breath out of a turn. At a certain age or at a certain lack of training (not as efficient energy expenditure and producing more C02) one has to breathe more often and I think the gain from not breathing as to maintain streamlining might not be so important as getting a breath and "feeling better". I have given up taking strokes after the turn before breathing. It isn't making ME any faster but causes some distress from the urge to breathe. Most of the oxygen consumption and need of are at a cellular level and have little to gain from breathing more or less up to a certain level. You use up most of you cellular oxygen the first 20 seconds of your sprint, and from then on it is alternative energy pathways, the oxygen you breathe in will help you immediately. So on a sprint, all you have to be concerned is about controlling your urge to breathe to get rid of the accumulated carbon dioxide in your blood. The resulting acidosis won't hinder your energy or speed, because before it has any impact on your muscles the race is over. This is dificult to undertand, and I won't even go near the Lactic Acid "build up", or the turning point in the lactic acid, where breathing plays an important factor such as in running over 400 meters or swimming longer. Finally, if you can hold your breath all the way on a 50 or longer swim, good for you, but your speed is not dependent on this unless you factor in the streamlining gained or lost from moving your head. Before anyone wants to argue that not breathing is deleterious and dangerous, I must say that I am talking about short sprints where anaerobic metabolism rules.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but this supports the theory that you should only exhale immediately before your next opportunity to inhale.

mjgold
October 8th, 2008, 06:58 PM
Everything I've read, and everything my coaches have told me say that holding your breath is not correct. I'm not sure exactly why, but when various books and coaches tell me something, that leads me to believe it is correct (especially when I see it done by the big guys and gals).

Now, as far as breathing when you're taking more than 2 strokes between breaths, I'm not really sure how it works, since I don't do that. But, I have seen videos of Stefan Nystrand swimming an easy 50, and he does sort of a combination of holding and exhaling. If you watch the video (http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=Sbb2MkBtN20), he breathes every 3rd stroke, but sometimes he's holding it, and sometimes he's exhaling. I guess it just depends on personal preference really.

geochuck
October 8th, 2008, 07:24 PM
Don't believe everything you read.

If you are bilateral breathing and as soon as your face is in the water you start exhalling you will soon stop bilateral breathing.

If you swim a 50 and only breathe in 2 or 3 times during the 50 don't start exhalling as soon as you put your face in the water.

Several will say blow out all your air, I say hold a little back.

Many exceptions to what you have read. But you are welcome to do whatever you wish.

fanstone
October 8th, 2008, 08:50 PM
Repeating: if you exhale, your C02 removal from the blood will end and you will soon have the strong urge to breathe. If you are breathing every stroke than you can exhale as you wish, if you are taking your time to take a new breath, then exhale appropriately, exhaling stronger when you will be taking a breath. I went swimming today and noticed that I breathe in then hold for a little while then slowly exhale, but harder when I am approaching the time to breathe again. As I only breathe to the left, If I am holding my breath, skipping a breathing opportunity, then I will not exhale until I start the next cycle, which in my case is always one sided. If I am swimming fly then I wait to exhale at the cycle that I will take a breath that might happen every two and eventually every stroke. Keep in mind that the relaxed exhaling during the stroke is only that, it has no influence in your performance, but might make you distressed by the stronger urge to breathe once you have exhaled completely. Once you have exhaled completely, your strong urge to breathe will hit you fast. I speak not as a swimmer, but as a gas passer....billy(passing gas professionally and sometimes on his own)fanstone

mjgold
October 8th, 2008, 09:45 PM
Don't believe everything you read.

If you are bilateral breathing and as soon as your face is in the water you start exhalling you will soon stop bilateral breathing.

If you swim a 50 and only breathe in 2 or 3 times during the 50 don't start exhalling as soon as you put your face in the water.

Several will say blow out all your air, I say hold a little back.

Many exceptions to what you have read. But you are welcome to do whatever you wish.

I hear what you are saying. I'm not trying to tell anyone how to swim, and I'm sorry if that is what it looks like. Basically, I'm just saying that I have tried both ways, and when I don't exhale continuously, I feel like I'm huffing and puffing. For what it's worth, I don't breathe bilaterally.

Typhoons Coach
October 9th, 2008, 11:08 AM
Keep in mind that the relaxed exhaling during the stroke is only that, it has no influence in your performance, but might make you distressed by the stronger urge to breathe once you have exhaled completely. Once you have exhaled completely, your strong urge to breathe will hit you fast. I speak not as a swimmer, but as a gas passer....billy(passing gas professionally and sometimes on his own)fanstone

I agree that you should not completely exhale all of the air while your face is still in-water. In my opinion, you should be controlling the rate of your exhale so you have enough air to continue a controlled exhale as you are rotating to breath.

P.S. That is absolutely the best line that I have heard, "passing gas professionally and sometimes on his own"...excellent!