1. Rhythmic Breathing
The first skill we will practice in this learn to swim guide is rhythmic breathing.
Start off by sinking down in shallow water until the water is level with the bottom of your chin. Next, inhale through your mouth not your nose. When swimming, you want to inhale through the mouth and exhale through the nose.
This will take practice, as on land we tend to inhale through the nose more. Inhale through the mouth and then sink until your mouth and nose are under the water. As soon as your face goes under the water start exhaling through your nose.
You will notice a bunch of bubbles being created by the air being exhaled. Next bring your head back out of the water until the bottom of your chin clears the water line. Inhale through your mouth and do it again. As you get used to this, try to get a rhythm going with no pausing in between.
Not only will this drill get you comfortable with breathing through your mouth and exhaling through your nose, but the breathing is pretty much identical to what you would do during the breast stroke.
Don’t be afraid of getting water in your mouth. You can get water in your mouth without inhaling it or swallowing it. If you get water in your mouth, just spit it out. If you’re in the pool with a buddy, have them tell you to open your mouth if they see you aren’t breathing through it. If you tend to keep breathing through your nose, you will inhale water.
The drill I want you to focus on in the video is drill 1 and it starts at 1:35. The video isn’t in english, but that’s ok, it still demonstrates the technique I describe. FYI: The rest of the video is describing the breathing drills for freestyle.
photo credit: gcwest