View Full Version : Underwater Swim

December 22nd, 2004, 07:06 PM
I've been self coaching, lap swimming for one year. I often see people swimming under water for at least a few lengths. Why?
Do you gain endurance/stamina with this drill. Personally I just finish my workout doing 10 x 25 sprints and try to limit my breaths.

December 22nd, 2004, 09:55 PM
Well, if I'm just swimming breaststroke underwater then I'm doing it for fun', plus it's great when you're able to cross a 25 meter pool without breathing.

However, sometimes I do short dolphin kicks underwater (very close to the bottom of the pool), with my arms stretched out in front of me (and for that I sometimes do have to come up to breathe once), and when I get to the other side I feel like I just did loads of sit-ups -- I can REALLY feel it on my stomach muscles...

Anyway, those are my reasons!

December 23rd, 2004, 12:26 PM
I watched Ian Crocker dolphin kick the length of a 50 yd pool during a swim with the stars event in Morgan Hill. It was pretty impressive but I have heard that it serves no purpose to practice such a thing.

December 23rd, 2004, 01:23 PM
Originally posted by 330man
It was pretty impressive but I have heard that it serves no purpose to practice such a thing.

Oh no, it definitely serves a purpose. If done well, underwater swimming is faster than swimming at the surface. In order to do it well, you need to practice, both on technique and to get the breath control necessary to stay under so long.

jim clemmons
December 23rd, 2004, 02:39 PM
As I understand it, the impulse to breathe is driven by the buildup of CO2 in the bloodstream (not lack of oxygen). If you force your body to "get used to" the sensation and to ignore the urge (somewhat) of having to breathe, it can come in useful during racing, especially during finishing.

Not breathing for a 50 sprint or keeping your head down during the last 10-12 yards/meters of a longer race may help you knock off a few competitors.

We'll sometimes do 8 to 12 - 25's without a breath on 25 to 30 seconds at the end of workout just to acclimate ourselves.

And, yes, it can be dangerous so do not hyperventilate prior to performing the exercise and let the lifeguard/coaches know what you are up to.

December 24th, 2004, 04:05 AM
yepp, I do it for the same purpose as Jim said.
Usually I run very fast out of air during the long glide phase on the turns and sometimes even have to stop the long glide phase because the urge to breath is too strong.
So I try to swim a few lenght underwater to help my self getting used to it and make better use of the air in my lungs to avoid the feeling of running out of air on turns and glides.