We don’t often equate freediving with ordinary sports. While it’s certainly an athletic activity in many respects, it’s not something we associate with popular athletes and competitions. That said, there are some basic concepts and techniques that overlap from ordinary sport to freediving. One is the importance of steady, deep, proper breathing. This is something a lot of successful athletes have had to master at one point or another, and it’s something we don’t often think about until we’re having trouble with it.
We’ve talked about the importance of proper breathing before, and to be clear there are techniques that apply to freediving and basically nothing else. If you’re planning to dive, you should take breathing advice specific to the freediving experience. But if you’re looking to improve your general habits and potentially expand your lung capacity, some famous athletes and trainers have offered tips over the years.
Calming the nerves can be very important for athletes in all kinds of different sports. And one of the best ways to learn how to do it is by practicing meditative breathing techniques. Learning how to focus in on your breathing and use it to relax the body and the mind is invaluable – as has been discussed by Olympic golfer Fabienne In-Albon. The Swiss national has spoken about her experience at the 2016 Olympic Games, where she was able to tap into her experience with meditative breathing to drown out the pressure and focus on hitting important shots. She’s just one example, but it’s a common technique that certainly emphasizes the importance of proper breathing.
You might be shocked how many top athletes are doing yoga these days, with the most high profile of them all probably being LeBron James. Almost 33 years old, James is still at the top of the NBA, so much so that his Cavaliers were given a realistic chance to beat the historically great Warriors before this year’s Finals. One reason he’s been able to stay on top is that he keeps his body flexible and his breathing calm with a regular yoga routine. If you’ve never tried yoga you might be surprised how much it regulates breathing, teaching you to take deep breaths in proper sequence with your movements. It’s incredibly valuable in this respect.
Learn The Anatomy Of Breathing
Breathing is the most natural thing in the world to a human being, and so the idea of focusing on the anatomy and science behind it can seem almost absurd. It’s actually necessary, however, if you want to improve your breathing and prime yourself for athletic performance. Dana Santas, a yoga trainer for numerous pro athletes and sports organizations, has discussed how to breathe better in detail, largely preaching an understanding of anatomy as the basis for proper technique. She explains things such as that the lower ribs should experience the most movement with a proper intake of breath, and that the ribcage should expand without movement from the neck and shoulders. It’s well worth reading her full range of advice on the topic.
These are general concepts and techniques that have helped athletes in many different sports, and they can all help you to be better prepared for freediving as well. Again, you’ll want to be sure you take into account specific advice for breathing while diving as well. But if you plan on making diving a regular part of your life, sound breathing habits can be an excellent foundation.