Hi! I'm Mark, creator of Swim Teach

The 2 Most Common Breathing Mistakes When Swimming - Are You Guilty?

Published about 1 month ago • 1 min read

'Why do I get so out of breath when I swim?' - one of the most commonly asked questions in the pool. There are 2 very common breathing mistakes that many beginners learning to swim are guilty of.

Hi, Mark here. I hope you've had a great week.

When it comes to breathing technique, whichever swimming stroke is being attempted, there are two common mistakes that many adults make.

  • Breath-holding
  • Breathing too late

What happens when you hold your breath?

Breath-holding is an unnatural act for a human being to carry out. That is why some people find it difficult and even stressful.

The human body has several responses to breath holding along with other reactions to being submerged underwater. How we deal with these responses determines how comfortable or uncomfortable we are and, therefore, how long we can spend underwater while holding our breath.

Firstly, the amount of air we can inhale into our lungs depends on the size of our lungs. A taller person will have larger lungs, filling them with more oxygen and remaining underwater for longer.

While holding our breath, oxygen in our lungs decreases as it is carried away in the bloodstream and used, and the amount of carbon dioxide increases. Carbon dioxide is a waste product, and when a certain level is reached, a signal is sent to the brain to tell you to breathe again.

Changes in heart rate occur whilst breath-holding, and the more relaxed a person is, the slower they consume oxygen and, therefore, the longer they can remain holding their breath.

Click here to find out how to iron out these breathing mistakes.

Fix Breathing Technique For Each Stroke

Click the link above to take you to my page about swimming breathing techniques, and scroll down to find links to information about the breathing technique for front crawl, breaststroke, backstroke and butterfly. Or just click here if you missed it!

Support your swimming lessons with my Complete Beginners Guide

Everything you need is right here at your fingertips.


  • how to relax
  • how to breathe
  • how to swim with ease and confidence

Let my words of encouragement in my book take you by the hand and support you during your swimming lessons. Download your copy today! Click here for more details.

That's it for this week. Stay focused, stay in touch and stay safe.

Happy swimming!



Swim Teach

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Hi! I'm Mark, creator of Swim Teach

I've been teaching swimming for over 30 years and I built Swim Teach so that I can share all my knowledge, wisdom and experience from the thousands of swimming lessons I have had the pleasure of teaching. Take a look back through my previous newsletters and see what you missed.

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