How to Increase Breath Hold for Freediving?
A person holiding their breath freediving in deep waters.

We guess today’s the day we’ll talk about freediving (and diving en général) for the first time on this blog. That’s why we’ve chosen a topic most folks, even those who aren’t so much into watersports would most likely inquire about. Also, don’t even try to deny the fact you’re curious about breath-holding records, ’cause we’re going to talk a little about them too.

Anyway, since you’re reading this text, there’s a good chance you’re practicing or at the very least planning to practice the amazing underwater sport known as freediving. If that’s so, you’re in for a special treat! In our first diving-related article, we’ll show you how to increase breath-hold for freediving!

First of all, you might want to enroll yourself in some yoga classes. That way, you’ll learn some basic breathing techniques, which will turn out to be quite useful! Also, you’ll want to do a bit of at-home practice. And what about some good ol’ cardio? If you want to ensure nothing goes awry, hire an experienced freediving instructor! 

Of course, that’s not even close to what we’ve planned for today’s text! Stay tuned to find out what else’s in store!

Table of Contents

What is freediving?

Some of you might know this, but it’s always good to lift any mist surrounding the terminology we’ll use in the rest of the text. That being said, let’s provide you with a standard definition of freediving. In the widest sense of the words, freediving is an activity of diving underwater without the use of artificial breathing equipment. This could mean that kids playing in the sea holding their breath underwater can be considered freedivers. Let’s get something clear: we’ll talk about freediving as a sport, mostly practiced in deep water. 

Freedivers rely on their lungs as their one & only breathing equipment. Of course, freedivers need to know very well what to do what they’ve got. There are many techniques they use to achieve something you’d think is absolutely unachievable. We’ll talk about that in just a couple of paragraphs.

Also, if you’re interested in other watersports (such as surfing, for instance), feel free to follow this link.

What is the difference between freediving and snorkeling?

Many folks confuse freediving with snorkeling, thinking they’re talking about the same kind of thing. However, the truth’s a little bit different.

Snorkeling is definitely a more popular activity than freediving. God knows how many folks enjoy it each summer. Here’s the gist of it: when snorkeling, you’re always pretty close to the surface, gazing down through a plastic mask and breathing, of course, through a snorkel (hence the name this activity got). Usually, the usage of fins is also present. Some snorkelers (what a word) choose to wear flotation vests, most likely the ones that aren’t such good swimmers.

It’s pretty evident one doesn’t need to hold any breath when snorkeling, as breathing through the let’s-call-it-primitive equipment (snorkel) is allowed. Now, freediving is all about that one breath you take above water before heading down into deep waters. Instead of following the surface and moving vertically like snorkelers, freedivers use a vertically aligned rope to plunge themselves deeper into the abyss.

Also, there’s something else about freediving we forgot to mention here: it is a fairly new discipline. Still, that doesn’t make it unpopular or something. Quite the contrary!

What is the point of freediving?

What’s the point of anything? Never mind that rather uncalled-for existentialist attempt-at-a-joke. Anyway, here’s why many folks like to practice this amazing sport/activity/however you wanna call it:

  • It makes you feel independent. Since you’re not relying on any other equipment other than the one that’s built-in (your lungs), freediving makes you feel less dependent on artificial diving equipment.
  • It helps you regain control over both your mind & body. Although freediving demands you to be in control of your body, controlling your mind’s an even more important requirement.
  • It constantly challenges you to test your limits. That being said, a fine self-confidence boost is an obvious consequence of practicing this sport.
  • It gives you the opportunity to be one with the water. Without all the equipment, you’ll move through the aquatic world in absolute silence. In other words: you won’t scare the fish away and you’ll feel more in touch with the surrounding nature.
  • It helps you cope with stressful situations and handle stress en général. Certain breathing techniques you’ll have to master are pretty useful even when you’re not underwater. Practicing long, deep, cleansing breath is a scientifically-proved way of dealing with stress effectively.

Okay, now that we’ve seen why’s freediving such an amazing and life-affirming activity, let’s dive into our main topic for today! So, how does one increase breath-hold for freediving?

A person freediving near the water surface.

How to increase breath hold for freediving?

Without further ado, here’s how you’ll increase breath-hold for freediving.

#1 Practice yoga (no kidding)

Believe it or not, practicing yoga will greatly help you with this issue. Of course, at first sight, it seems yoga and freediving don’t have much in common. As a matter of fact, both activities require you to use advanced breathing techniques. Also, they say the key to good, long breath comes from feeling relaxed. Needless to say, attending yoga classes or practicing this activity at home will help your body feel more relaxed.

Not to mention the fact yoga boosts the flexibility of your body’s muscles and lungs in addition to training your mind how to relax. It’s hardly a surprise that many professional freedivers are also regular yoga practitioners.

#2 You don’t need water to train (home practice)

Okay, we can agree on the same thing: you can absolutely practice everywhere (no need for water). One might not have the access to the water, of course. The thing is: you can practice holding your breath directly from the comfort of your own home. There are three things you can do to make yourself more capable of long breathing underwater while being at home:

  • Breath-up.
  • “Access” peak inhalation.
  • Practice recovery breathing.

All of these little issues you can easily practice at home. By practicing this at home, you’ll most likely increase the ability to relax while holding your breath. Have this in mind: never, should you ever, practice breath-holding at home while standing. There’s a chance you’ll “enjoy” a blackout. Only perform these activities at home in a laying-down position.

#3 Cardiovascular training? (a must, so to say)

We might as well face it, there’s something every freediver can’t ignore. That’s right! We’re talking about some cardiovascular training. The thing is: no matter how much your lung capacity is, by doing some cardio you’ll allow your body to hold more air during a breath-hold. That way, your body will undoubtedly become more powerful at using the oxygen you’ve provided it with. Needless to say, cardio training is one of the best ways to expand your breath-hold.

#4 Find an experienced instructor (a modest suggestion)

Last but not least, we’ve got something to suggest. Many folks that are interested in this amazing sport take first lessons at their local freediving center. Of course, there’s more to it than learning how to freedive. The main thing is you’ll also become a part of the community. First things first, you’ll end up having an instructor which is a good thing on its own (there won’t be any of the good ol’ feeling lost in the dark). Your coach will help you be the best freediver you’re able to be!

A good freediving coach with a lot of experience is, as always, your best bet! Frequent training sessions will do what they have to do, of you attend them on a regular basis! In other words: you’ll achieve greatness just by being guided (even if any form of ocassionaly-mild authority’s not really your thing).

Final words (a summary and other curiosities)

That’s about it for the notes on how to increase breath-hold for freediving! Here at Go Extreme Sports, we like to summarize the things we’ve learned during the course of a single day. That’s exactly what we’ll try to do here!

If you’re curious about how does one improve the practice of holding breath while freediving, it might be time to involve yourself in some yoga classes. Not only will you learn how to hold your breath underwater, but you’ll also know how to relax your body. Needless to say, a relaxed body is a gateway to success when freediving.

Also, it’s alright if you do some training at your home. In other words: there’s no need to be surrounded by water to do some practice. A good cardio workout will allow your body to hold more air during a breath-hold! That way, there’s no denying your body will become more powerful at using the oxygen it’s provided with, right?

Lastly, think about hiring a freediving coach! There’s really no way you’ll regret making that decision!

For more diving tips and other info, don’t hesitate to click right here!

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