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Beginner Freediving Tips


Freediving requires proper training and technique to make sure that you, and your dive buddies, are safe. In this post, I'll summarize some tidbits for those who have recently completed a freediving course and want to continue improving their skills with some training on their own (but not alone!)


Freediving is not just about depths or distances; it's about relaxation and streamlining your technique. Here are beginner freediving tips for anyone who wants to organize their own freediving training:


Prioritize Relaxation in Pool Training

One of the most important aspects of freediving is relaxation. When you're tense, your body consumes oxygen more rapidly. By focusing on relaxation, you can conserve oxygen and improve your breath-holding time.


Freediving instructors suggest resisting the urge to constantly increase swim distances during your initial pool training sessions. Instead, focus on swimming short distances (20-40 meters) without any contractions. Pay close attention to how relaxed your entire body feels, especially your face, neck, jaw, and shoulder muscles.

Here are some additional tips for promoting relaxation in the pool:

  • Visualization: Before entering the pool, take a few minutes to visualize yourself swimming effortlessly underwater. Imagine yourself feeling calm and relaxed. Imagine swimming 20 meters, 40 meters, with a clear mind. Nothing uncomfortable, you're totally relaxed.

  • Breathing exercises: Practice deep, diaphragmatic breathing exercises before and after your pool sessions. This will help to slow your heart rate and promote relaxation. If you're not familiar yet with diaphragm stretching, please do some research or watch some youtube videos. The full lung and empty lung exercises can drastically change your breathhold and comfort at depth.

  • Meditation: Meditation can be a powerful tool for promoting relaxation and focus. Even a few minutes of meditation before your pool training can make a big difference. There's many different methods of meditation. Some of my favorites are body scans, finger switching, and repeated phrases


Streamline Your Body Position

Another critical aspect of freediving technique is streamlining your body position. This minimizes drag in the water, which helps you conserve oxygen and improve efficiency. Although we may feel streamlined, it's sometimes hard to be aware of where our body is...Do yourself a favor and ask a friend to take a video of you. I think you'll be surprised!


Freediving instructors emphasize the importance of achieving neutral buoyancy. This means that you should neither sink nor float excessively in the pool. You can adjust your weight belt to achieve neutral buoyancy. In the pool, I generally use a small fraction of what I normally would wear in the ocean or springs. But test it out, it's the only way to figure out exactly what you need. Your belly should not drag on the botttom, but you should be able to swim and stay in the middle of the water.


Here are some additional tips for streamlining your body position:

  • Head position: Maintain a streamlined head position by looking at the bottom of the pool. This keeps your neck in a relaxed, natural position. Avoid looking up or down, as this can create drag. You can also imagine there is a small ball under your chin and you're trying to hold it in place. This will help you remember to keep your chin tucked.

  • Body posture: Keep your body straight and aligned from head to toe. Avoid hunching your back or arching your lower back.

  • Fin position: Keep your fins pointed slightly downward. This will help to propel you through the water without creating excessive drag.


Master the Kicking Technique

Proper kicking technique is essential for efficient movement underwater. Instructors recommend initiating the kick from your hips, not your knees. Avoid bending your knees excessively, and point your ankles throughout the kicking motion. Avoid letting your ankles relax at the top of the kick cycle.

Here are some additional tips for mastering the kicking technique:


Focus on Technique Over Distance

During your initial freediving training phase, it's important to focus on proper technique over distance. Don't chase personal bests or try to swim long distances. The goal is to solidify proper technique to avoid mistakes or picking up bad habits that will hinder progress later.


Once you've mastered the basics of relaxation, streamlining, and kicking , you can gradually start to increase the distance of your pool swims. But remember, slow and steady progress is key.


Additional Tips

  • Train with a buddy: Always train with a certified freediving buddy who can ensure your safety in the pool.

  • Follow freediving instructors on social media: Consider following social media accounts of freediving instructors for more freediving training tips.

  • Take additional certification courses or find an instructor who offers day training


By following these steps and prioritizing relaxation, streamlining, and proper kicking technique, beginner freedivers can establish a solid foundation for continued progress in the sport. Remember, consistency is key to improvement!

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