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breathing - beginner swim problem - help !

  • 19-02-2022 9:04pm
    Registered Users Posts: 30

    Beginner swimmer advice please ? I did some one on one swimming lessons last July and then group classes since September 2021 and previous to that I was afraid to even try due to a few of water. Now I can do freestyle and backstroke and laps in the pool, scrappy but still it's good progress. I've been doing classes which run from level 1 to 6 and I'm stuck at level 4 and have to repeat it again for a second time as I just can't get the breathing right. It's so disheartening as I'm loving the water, I go to the pool 5 mornings and to class and still breathing properly just won't come for me and I can't progress to the next level until that's sorted. I'm wondering if it's something that just takes time or any hints as I'm so disappointed at the moment, feeling maybe it just wont' happen and I should just accept that and not throw good money after bad repeating a level again 'cause if I can't get it after classes and so much time in the pool, I never will - help !!!


  • Registered Users Posts: 47 Turtle001

    The thing with swimming is that there's a few different things that need to click together in order to swim smoothly e.g. keeping legs high (no big kicks), hands timing (only start to pull when the other one is entering the water) and keeping your head down when breathing (rotate your body not your neck).

    I would recommend reading Total Immersion which I found was very good at explaining swimming through analogy and pictures.

    Drills are good also just keep asking what the learning objective is for each one.

    Hang in there - it does take some time but it'll be amazing when you get to the stage of being able to easily glide through the water

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,405 ✭✭✭MacDanger

    I used to have a problem with breathing caused by me keeping my face aimed too much at the ground if that makes sense. I fixed it by tilting my head slightly up so that the water line is on my forehead rather than at the top of my head

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,286 ✭✭✭slinky2000

    Just came across this post. I would recommend someone video you from the poolside (if you can) and walk alongside you as you swim. If possible also video you underwater especially after a few hundred meters.

    If you can get this, watch it back and talk through the technique with someone like a coach, teacher or an experienced swimmer.

    You would be surprised how fast you can change your technique once you see it for yourself and get a good recommendation on the changes to be made.

  • Registered Users Posts: 350 ✭✭kal7

    Most swimmers feel like their breathing is poor.

    Even experts have to overcome dive reflex which when face hits cold water makes you want to take deep breathe in and ups heart rate.

    So we all have to calm the breathing. Some just better than others.

    Stick with it. As Turtle 001 said as other things become automatic, like learning to drive it should bet easier.

    Also try breathing out less forcefully and later in stroke sequence, so you don't have to wait for as long, before being able to take a breathe.

    Hoping this helps. or that you have sorted it out.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,129 ✭✭✭wildwillow

    I find that breathing out is often the problem with beginners. You are so concerned at getting enough air that you don't empty your lungs enough when exhaling and quickly can't breathe in enough. Learning to relax is the key but easier said than done.

    A good argument for teaching children as babies as it seems to come naturally.

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