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How to freedive: theoretical notes and practical advice to start practicing scuba diving. Preliminary breathing exercises and things to know to ensure maximum safety.

Please note
Before freediving in the pool or in the open sea, we recommend that you follow a specific training course. The apnea courses will give you the opportunity to understand the different risks to which you expose yourself by holding your breath underwater and subjecting your body (blood vessels, lungs, tissues, eardrums ...) to a pressure higher than atmospheric pressure. Knowing the risks and physiology that is at the basis of a free dive, avoids trivial accidents.

Techniques for holding the breath in apnea

Among the techniques for holding your breath, someone suggests hyperventilation: absolutely wrong! Unless you are about to dive with an experienced supervisor, avoid hyperventilation.

With hyperventilation you go to eliminate the carbon dioxide present in your blood, causing your body to think that it has a higher concentration of oxygen than it really has. Of course, with the desaturation of carbon dioxide you can really have more oxygen available but if this situation does not occur you risk the so-calledrespiratory syncope. This is why hyperventilation is recommended only if you are followed by an experienced supervisor.

The only breathing technique recommended before apnea is diaphragmatic breathing followed by relaxation techniques.

Then, remember: theapnearequires certainathletic skills. If you lead a sedentary lifestyle, before starting freediving, learn to oxygenate your tissues: increase muscle mass and decrease fat mass, adequate physical fitness will also help you in your trim in the water and during the descent.

How to start freediving?Start training out of the water. To learn afreedivingrefines the relaxation techniques that will allow you to use oxygen more sparingly, improving apnea times. Try to reach your ideal body weight and start physical activities that can improve your athletic skills, if you don't already do it, I invite you to go jogging and read the article"How to start running". It may seem trivial to you but good physical shape will improve your underwater performance.

Please note: hyperventilation means fast and deep breathing. This breathing, once recommended, can cause serious problems for the freediver because it tends to strain the chest muscles, increases the heart rate and can cause syncope.

How to do apnea: diaphragmatic breathing

Before diving intoapneayou will have to follow a preparatory breathing phase, diaphragmatic breathing.

How to breathe before freediving

  • Use a relaxation technique such as Autogenic Training which provides almost the same inspiration and expiration times.
  • Use diaphragmatic breathing using the diaphragm for both inhalation and exhalation. With diaphragmatic breathing, the exhalation time will be twice as long as the inspiration time.
  • Before of free diving perform 5 deep breaths using both chest breathing and diaphragmatic breathing.
  • The last inhalation beforefree divingit will have to allow you to take in as much air as possible based on your lung capacity.

Recovery hyperventilation

The first breath, just after emergence, should not be deep but short, so as to bring little air to the lungs. It is true that this will increase recovery times but will guarantee greater safety. For recovery, you can perform thehyperventilation which, however, should not last more than 60 seconds.

In this context, you may be interested in the guide article ondiaphragmatic breathing.

How to do apnea: decompression of the eardrum

When you dive underwater, your body is under high pressure, which means that your blood vessels will start to shrink, the volume of your lungs will also decrease and all your cavities will be damaged by switching from atmospheric pressure to one. higher pressure. Among the cavities at risk are the eardrums. In this context we speak of "decompression" and it is a mandatory procedure for those who intend to dive.

To know how to do apnea decompressionand better understand why your eardrums are at risk, I invite you to read the article onValsalva maneuver to perform a correct decompressionduring scuba diving. In particular, in apnea a technique of decompression more complex, then read the entire article and follow the instructions dictated on the decompression technique by Marcante-Odaglia.

At great depths, you will also need to decompress your diving mask in order to avoid a possible blow from the suction cup or, if the depths are such, the breaking of an ocular capillary.

How to dive in apnea: tips

As we suggested at the beginning, an apnea course can provide you with the training you need to manage your breathing before diving, to hold your breath and to cope with the various risk factors to which you expose yourself. If you really don't want to take a course and you wantlearn how to freedive on your own, do not stop documenting: read manuals, books, guides and continue your training independently.

Among the readings that we can recommend, we point out the book "Apnea course“, It is an extremely complete manual that will introduce them to the world of freediving and allow you tolengthen immersion times making the most of the last breath on the surface.

The book in question can be bought on Amazon at a price of € 37.40 (free shipping) and is recommended by many expert freedivers. For all information and to read the introduction to the book, I refer you to the official page of the book:Apnea course.


Video: 11 tips on how to dive VERY deep - How to freedive to 55 meters (May 2022).