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Thread: Exercises and Preparation

  1. #1

    Exercises and Preparation

    Of course we all know to get good at holding your breathe you literally need to practice EVERYDAY. But what kind of stretches, exercises or other forms of preparation do you guys know of that can help with breathe-holding or just swimming for that matter??

    I recently found out that if you sing while excersizing or running it helps to give you better control over your diaphragm which can in turn help you control your breath underwater. It can also help you hold notes longing while singing.

    Any other thoughts?

    "She felt a sarcastic impulse to point out to him that in some circles "inhuman" would be considered a compliment..."

    - Waking Storms, Sarah Porter

  2. #2
    Senior Member North Pacific Pod LindseyLu's Avatar
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    I'm a dedicated swimmer I swim about a mile a day, 4-6 days a week. I'm also an ex-smoker though, so my breath holding is not my strongest feature in the water... To build up my lung strength and capacity I invested in a dry cap for my finis front mount swimmers snorkel it's awesome! Not only is it good for keeping water out, but it forces you to work harder to take in a breath! It has made a huge impact on my lung capacity which has really helped me with my breath holds

  3. #3
    Senior Member Undisclosed Pod
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    I sing while doing cardio as far as swimming do a lot of core work it helps with the dolphin kick, and I lift weights

  4. #4
    Strong diaphragm does help you with breathing! Believe it or not, most people breathe wrong. Ask them to take a deep breath and they puff out their chest. Proper breath comes from the diaphragm, as in your stomach should puff out when you breathe in. If you breathe out all of your air from your lungs via your mouth- pushing your diaphragm in as you do so to get all the air out you can then "release" that muscle and breathe in through your nose your diaphragm will automatically engage and expand to take in the air properly. A good breath out is a good breath in Well, singing wise anyway- along with soft palate raising and bunch of other stuff, but we won't go there.

    When I was in show choir doing 200-500 crunches for warm ups was a daily thing. And the way we used our diaphragms singing, that many crunches really WAS just a warm up. But as you said, you don't use it, you lose it. (*sigh* I miss being a power house alto..)

    You can do ab work outs, cardio, ect, and all of that will help. Also practice breathing with your diaphragm day to day. As a bonus, doing it slowly and deeply will not only help more, but it is a de-stressor and can be used as a deep relaxation technique (5 mins or more of deep breathing can be like taking something for anxiety, but all natural!).

    So that's my input!

  5. #5
    Senior Member Undisclosed Pod
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    I was a first soprano Winged mermaid, got sidetracked with health and family issues, Ive never been the same

  6. #6
    Wow, 1st soprano! We only had a few true 1sts in our choir and they always amazed me! But yeah, you lose it if you don't keep at it. I miss it a lot. Also missed the awesome shape I was in from the whole singing/dancing/performing thing.

  7. #7
    Also remember that it takes about 20 min in the water for your body to adjust before you can really do good breatholds. So spend the time at relaxation and breath control. Also spend more time on the surface than your dive times. It takes time for your body to build up it's oxygen supply again. For dry practice hold time can equal rest time. For diving, begin to surface at your first urge to breathe.

  8. #8
    great info!! i use that ultra breathe thing and it helps me breathe deeper. and NEVER hold your breathe while exercising.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Undisclosed Pod
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    I thought I'd actually share my routine since it seems to be working really well for increasing my swimming ability and flexibility which I think are super important. I think any cardio also helps with breathing.

    I start off with some gentle stretching or I use a stretch machine at the gym that puts you through a little routine. Nothing too nuts but rolling your shoulders, looking left and right a few times, spinning your arms outstretched in big circles that get tiny and tinier, standing on your tip toes and going back down a few times.
    Try some of these:



    The thing about stretches it they wont do much if you hold them for more or less than 30 seconds.

    After stretching I do 20 minutes on a cardio machine, I try to mix it up, then I move on to the weight machines


    The seated leg press is pretty easy, and you can adjust the weight til youre comfortable but I used it when I was learning to walk and still could do it. It works your upper thighs but I also feel it improves your posture and resembles a similar motion you use while in a monofin

    A good core machine can help a lot too. In addition to doing sit ups and different core stuff on the matts I use a machine that sorta looks like this


    If you stick with just 1 exercise for your core you probably wont notice a diff but core is essential for monofin swimming ive found

    I lift weights, and I use the different machines at the gym to do so as well as free weights too.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Pod of Cali HBMermaid_Angela's Avatar
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    I basically swim and surf everyday. I can hold my breath up to 4 minutes. I also do sit ups with weights and bike ride along the beach

  11. #11
    Before dives I like to do diaphragm stretches. Helps lessen contractions


    I posted a youtube video a while back to help some spear fisherman, Here I am demonstrating the diaphragm stretch
    Last edited by Derek Broussard; 08-20-2011 at 12:37 AM.

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