Practicing Free Diving When You're Landlocked

Freediving requires a lot of practice to keep in top diving shape, but what do you do when there’s no water in sight? How do you continue to progress in the sport when you're landlocked? Well, there's actually several things you can do like practicing your breathing techniques and stretching to keep your diaphragm flexible.

 

You might not be underwater, but that doesn’t mean you can’t train like you are. Here's a couple of breathing and diaphragm stretching exercises that you can practice at home.

Couch Training 

You can practice freediving from your living room as you binge your favorite show on the couch. All you have to do is hold your breath in cycles by breathing in, holding, and then letting out when you feel the first contraction of your lungs. Do this twelve times with two minutes of breathing at the beginning of each cycle.

Half Lung Breath Holds

When you’re freediving, your lungs compress the deeper you go. At 10 meters deep, your lungs are just 50% of the size they are above the surface. If you want to improve your freediving, then you need to get used to operating with your lungs at half capacity. 

 

You can do this by practicing your breath holds with only half full lungs. Start by inhaling a passive breath, which means taking a normal breath without trying to fill your lungs with oxygen. Practice your first half lung breath until you feel the first lung contractions. Then, go all out on your fifth breath hold until you can’t do it anymore. This is a great freediving exercise to do when you're landlocked. For the best results, practice half lung breath holds at least four times a week.   

Apnea Walks

An apnea walk is a training exercise used to improve your breath-hold while underwater. When you are freediving, you aren’t stationary. That’s why it’s important to get used to moving while you are practicing your breath holds. The best way to do this is by going on walks. Walk slowly around a flat surface, like your kitchen or living room, staying as relaxed as possible. Whild walking, hold your breath for a few seconds at a time while taking breaks. Doing this will help you get comfortable with resisting the urge to breathe while moving. A one-minute apnea walk translates to a 30-meter freedive at a dive rate of one meter per second.

Keep Your Diaphragm Flexible

Having a flexible diaphragm is one of the most important parts of freediving successfully. So one of the best ways to practice freediving when you are landlocked is by stretching your diaphragm. 

 

Start with a complete exhale. Then lock your throat and relax your stomach while moving your diaphragm up. Hold your diaphragm in the up position for a few seconds before breathing in. It’s best to do this in the morning on an empty stomach.

Cameron’s Favorite Method

Spearo Cameron Kirkconnell believes that the closest activity to stimulate freediving on dry land is climbing stairs while holding your breath. Start with a full inhale at the bottom and slowly walk up the stairs at a pace that you feel comfortable with while trying not to elevate your heart rate. When you run out of air, breathe as you slowly walk back down to the bottom. Start out tripling your breath hold time to rest time. A 10-second breath hold and a 30-second rest time is what Cameron finds the most useful. As you get better, climb higher and reduce your rest time. This will increase your C02 tolerance. He says that this can be extremely dangerous, so do not push yourself too hard.

 

When you’re ready to start practicing in the water, make sure you have a properly trained diving buddy with you. If you’re interested in freediving, Cameron recommends taking a freediving class to learn the safety and techniques required to safely enjoy this amazing sport as a first step.

Practice Practice Practice

Practice makes perfect, but don’t let being landlocked hold you back. Days away from the water can be some of your best training days if you make the effort to practice your breathing and diaphragm stretching. Make sure you subscribe to our email list so that you don’t miss out on more diving tips and tricks!

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