Freestyle Breathing Technique Tips

I need some freestyle breathing technique tips. I recently returned to swimming after many years, I'm in my fifties, reasonably fit, and my favoured style is freestyle; my main problem is keeping my face down in the water and breathing to the side; I tend to end up gasping for air after a short time, any tips on breathing would be very much appreciated.

Firstly, ensure you are breathing out into the water and not holding your breath. Breath-holding makes swimming very difficult, and many people swim holding their breath and do not realise they are doing it.

Breathing out into the water, or trickle breathing as it is known, allows air to be exhaled from the lungs whilst swimming. When a breath is needed and the head rolls to the side, you only have to breathe in. If you hold your breath, you have only a short time to breathe out and then again, known as explosive breathing, which can be very energy consuming.

Turning the head to the side should be smooth and in time with the breath out, then in, and also in time with the arm action.

Try breathing more often, even if you feel you don't need to - e.g., every stroke or every other stroke. You may find you last longer.

Good Front Crawl requires a decent level of fitness, and if you have just returned to the pool, it may take a few weeks for your swimming fitness to increase. Swim fitness is entirely different to other kinds of fitness, so be patient!

Good swimming is all about efficiency, and all aspects of the stroke technique directly affect one another. Breathing can be affected by body position, arm and leg action and of course coordination.

My best-selling book How To Swim Front Crawl contains over 20 separate swimming exercises to help all parts of basic freestyle, including breathing. You can download it, print out the parts you need and take them to your pool to try out. Click below to download your copy and improve your freestyle breathing technique.

Basic drills for learning how to swim front crawl
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Freestyle Breathing Tips

I need some help with my freestyle technique. I recently returned to swimming after many years, I'm in my fifties, reasonably fit, and my favoured style is freestyle; my main problem is keeping my face down in the water and breathing to the side; I tend to end up gasping for air after a short time, any tips on breathing would be very much appreciated.

Firstly, ensure you are breathing out into the water and not holding your breath. Breath-holding makes swimming very difficult, and many people swim holding their breath and do not realise they are doing it.
Breathing out into the water, or trickle breathing as it is known, allows air to be exhaled from the lungs whilst swimming.

front-crawl-breathing.jpg

You only have to breathe in when a breath is needed and the head is rolled to the side. If you hold your breath, you have only a short time to breathe out and then again, known as explosive breathing, which can be very energy consuming.

Turning the head to the side should be smooth and in time with the breath out, then in, and also in time with the arm action.
Try breathing more often, even if you feel you don't need to - e.g., every stroke or every other stroke. You may find you last longer.

Good Front Crawl requires a decent level of fitness, and if you have just returned to the pool, it may take a few weeks for your swimming fitness to increase. Swim fitness is entirely different to other kinds of fitness, so be patient!

Good swimming is all about efficiency, and all aspects of the stroke technique directly affect one another. Breathing can be affected by body position, arm and leg action and coordination.

Breathing Exercises to Improve Freestyle

I have difficulty swimming more than 3-lengths freestyle in a 25-yard pool at a time. I have to stop to catch my breath after the 3rd. Are there any breathing exercises to improve freestyle? Physically I have no other problems. I am 82 and have not smoked since 1956. I swim for at least three days a week.

There are two types of freestyle breathing techniques: explosive and trickle breathing. Both techniques are correct, and it is your preference for which you choose. You will find one easier than the other.

Explosive breathing is arguably the most challenging and exhaustive as the breath is held during the stroke. When the head is rolled to the side to breathe, you have to exhale sharply and then instantly inhale again, all in the short second that the head is turned and the arm is out of the way.

Breathing and holding itself is difficult and tiring. Add the physical act of explosive breathing to it, and you can quickly become tired.

Trickle breathing is, as it suggests, exhaling a slow trickle of air whilst swimming the stroke. As the air is expelled and you need to breathe again, rolling the head to the side to inhale is more comfortable. This is because you only have to inhale when the head is turned, and you have more time to get enough air to continue.

This type of breathing is as natural as it gets in the water and therefore requires less energy.

Freestyle swimming is physically demanding work and is an excellent form of aerobic exercise. Everyone gets breathless at some point. Take a look at other aspects of your technique. Make sure your body position is horizontal and streamlined and that your arm technique stretches forward through the water to make your strokes longer. All this will make your swimming stroke more efficient and, therefore, easier.

My eBook How To Swim Front Crawl contains over 20 separate exercises to help correct all parts of your freestyle swimming technique. You can print out the exercises you need and take them to your pool to try out. The exercises are clear and easy to follow, and you can download them instantly. Click the link below for more details.

Basic drills for learning how to swim front crawl
add to cart
add to cart

$4.99

pay using paypal

I am a member of the Amazon Associates Program and I will earn a commission from qualifying purchases at no extra cost to you. 


Buy a PRINTED copy from: 

buy from amazon

You can also download from:

buy from apple
buy from Google