Exercises That Improve Your Freediving
Have you noticed that most top freedivers are in good physical condition? The sport is very harsh and in shape helps to maintain a good performance. Dry breath maintenance training can help freedivers improve their dive time, but good at exercising and need more than simple breathing. The most serious freedivers are also involved in cross-training: non-freediving activities and exercises that can improve their ability to become years old. Take a look at these suggestions and start your keepers cross training today!
Yoga has long been popular as a cross-training activity for freedivers. It is not necessary to do yoga to freedive, but yoga certainly benefits freedivers in many ways:
• Body Consciousness (Asana)
On a purely physical level, the practice of yoga improves strength, flexibility and motor control. Yoga increases a freediver’s awareness of his muscles and his body. The ability to consciously disengage muscles is an important part of asana practice, and the ability to do so benefits freedivers by helping them to reduce oxygen consumption and have a more efficient “body scan” (a visualization technique to check that a freediver’s muscles are completely relaxed) during a breath hold.
• Flexibility of the Body, Rib Cage and Diaphragm (Bandas)
During deep freedives, a diver is exposed to incredible amounts of water pressure. The increased pressure of the water compresses the air in a freediver’s lungs and reduces his lung volume according to Boyle’s Law. This can lead to lung squeeze. Yoga (bandas) increases thoracic flexibility and helps to avoid lung squeeze.
Yoga is one of the few physical activities that trains the diaphragm, the most active muscle in the breathing cycle. A strong and flexible diaphragm will improve lung capacity and make the contraction (movement of the diaphragm during the breath hold) a lot less painful and easier to handle.
• Breathing Awareness (Pranayamas)
Pranayamas (yoga breathing techniques) improves a diver’s consciousness and control of his breathing, which is important in developing confidence and relaxation in the water. The breathe-up prior to a freedive is an important freediving technique. If a diver cannot relax during his breathe-up, he will not be able to make a deep or long dives. Breathing exercises also help to improve lung capacity, allowing a diver to hold more air in his lungs and have more oxygen available for his body.
• Introduction to Meditation and Visualization
Yoga teaches all the basics of meditation and visualization. There is a huge mental aspect to freediving, especially at the beginner level. The ability to relax and control the mind is extremely helpful. A diver who is mentally peaceful has reduced brain activity, which reduces oxygen consumption and results in longer, calmer dives.
2. Biking, Running, and Weight Training
Constant weight or dynamic freedives require physical exertion during the breath hold. A freediver must train his body to tolerate lower oxygen levels and higher carbon dioxide while working. One way to do this is to work out. Here are some suggested activities:
• Biking and Running
These two movements improve freediver’s strength and endurance, and he needs to become fins in use years. The freediver can practice holding his breath, running or riding a bike (not too long, not through) to raise his oxygen consumption and lactic acid resistance, resulting in a burning sensation in the diver’s muscles due to poor oxidation. These exercises are equally great tools to manage practical efforts to exert your ability without the heartbeat acceleration or to generate excessive carbon dioxide.
• Weight Training
Weight training improves muscle efficiency during exertion. It also allows freedivers to target specific muscles. For freedivers, it is best to focus on the legs, abdominals and lower back (especially for divers using monofin). Weight lifting will also improve a freediver’s cardiac health, which can help to avoid excessive heart rate acceleration underwater.
A great swimmer can easily become a good freediver because both sports require similar abilities.
Swimming improves aquaticity, or comfort in the water. The temperature, change of the gravity, and resistance of water make it a very different element than air. Training the body and mind to be one hundred percent confident into the water will help a person become a better freediver.
• Effort Management
Swimming can help to train a freediver’s muscles to tolerate the exertion required during a dynamic or a constant weight freedive. Freedivers are encouraged to swim with fins, doing so strengthens the muscles used for kicking and improves a freediver’s stamina.
Swimming regularly will improve a freediver’s propulsion techniques, making him more efficient and faster underwater. New freedivers often have trouble mastering the glide after a kick or becoming accustomed to their inertia underwater. Swimming can help a new freediver learn how his body moves through the water, making it easier for him to feel when a free fall starts, maintain his bearings, and lower his exertion during a dive.
• Diving Reflex
The more time the underwater holder spends, the more effective the diving reflex of his mammal. Mammal diving reflexes can improve the ability of the holder to breathe, simplify, and re-dive.