Breathing with Bubbles for Faster Swimming

From the moment young swimmers start taking lessons, they learn to blow bubbles underwater. This is primarily taught to kids as a way to keep water out of the nose and to making breathing easier. But in our sport of competitive swimming, it serves another important function.Using drag meter technology, we found a 9.3 percent reduction in drag when our test swimmer released bubbles under their chest. In our video "How to Breathe in Swimming," we discuss two examples of this. One is cruise ships emitting air bubbles underneath the hull to improve gas mileage. The other example is penguins, who trap air in between their feathers and use it to speed away from predators.Learning how to incorporate air bubbles into your breathing is simple. The first step is to be conscious of where those bubbles are being released. By tucking the chin and not lifting the head, swimmers will send the bubbles underneath their chest rather than straight to the surface. This is an easy skill that we see world-class swimmers use on a regular basis. Because it's easy to learn and it reduces frontal drag, we recommend it to all our Race Club campers. Watch the video above to learn how to incorporate breathing with bubbles into your swimming.