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How to Breath Correctly in Freestyle?



Could you please answer a question relating to how to breath correctly for freestyle swimming. On the exhale phrase, do I breath out, underwater of course, through my nose or through my mouth or a bit of both, in a long release?

Also, when I use the 3 stroke method with a alternating head turning left and then right on the inhale phrase, I seem to run out of air, like I am rushing or something, maybe I should switch to a 5 stroke method?  I haven’t being able to find too much information on this question. I can’t seem to get this phrase of my freestyle swimming right.




Hi Shawn,

Most swimmers learn to exhale underwater through their month, however there is no reason you could not use a combination of exhaling through your mouth and nose.  From what I understand, swimmers who try to exhale through their ‘nose only’, sometimes struggle to exhale all the air before turning to breath in again.

So to answer your first question I would say exhale primarily through your mouth.

In regards to your concern in regards to ‘running out of air’ and  the feeling of ‘rushing’ when you breath, this is often related to not exhaling fully before breathing in again.  If a swimmer does not exhale fully when they turn to breath in, there is not enough room in the lungs for a deep breath in. The air remaining in the lungs is stale air and needs to be exhaled to be replaced.  This often explains the ‘running out of air’ feeling.

Practise fully exhaling through your mouth before turning your head to take a deep breath in. It will take some time to get used to however should help you a lot.

If anyone else has some suggestions for Shawn, please leave them in the comments section below.



The Swimming Expert

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One Response to How to Breath Correctly in Freestyle?

  1. Mohammed May 9, 2013 at 5:17 am #

    Thanks for your clarification, but i have problems with the stroke as I can do 2 strokes only and this impact on my speed and before I tried to make 4 stroke not 3 but I got tired and I was suffering much while my head in water… So how I gonna improve my swimming to make my stroke more longer and not to get tired.

    Thnx and looking for advice.

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