After reading our article about freediving history, your freediving mask and fins are ready, you’ve just received your dive camera and tried it out along with the waterproof housing, and all you have to do before you hit the road is to take a freediving course to earn a certificate that will allow you to dive anywhere you want. Besides gathering all your diving gear, the other thing you should do is to get your body ready for the upcoming task.
In this article, we’ll go through some of the essential freediving training and workout drills that will, combined with the freediving diet, get your body in the best shape so you can completely enjoy the time you spend under the surface.
Types Of Training
Two types of training will help you achieve what you want to become fully prepared for your first freediving session:
- Dry freediving training exercises are those that you do outside of the water, on dry land.
- Wet freediver training, where exercises are done in the water.
Dry Freediving Training
Dry training includes overall fitness level improvement, gaining physical strength and stretching, and relaxation. Wearing a heart rate monitor can be helpful to know how your body reacts and how your heart works during workouts. Proper dry freediving training is essential as it serves as a groundwork you’re later building upon once you enter the water to start your course, as you’ll be able to concentrate on learning how to properly equalize, relax and dive with the proper technique. Remember, diving requires lots of strength and stamina because of the water pressure and the current power. Also, you could practice holding your breath so your body adapts to freediving breathing patterns. Be careful not to blackout, though, so do it with extreme precaution.
This simple drill can be done basically anytime you’re walking, as long there is enough room for you to walk a bit faster. The minimum pace is the one where you have to breathe through your mouth.
Focus and try to breathe in through your nose slowly, for four steps. Follow by holding your breath for between four and eight steps, and finish up by exhaling for four steps. Repeat it for about 10 minutes. Once you catch the rhythm, you could try it out while running or on a gym’s treadmill or a stationary bike. The possible side effect can be dizziness, but if you feel dizzy, slow down a bit until you feel comfortable. It is also recommended to do it on soft ground, like on the beach or grass, and if possible with someone beside you to help you if needed.
Breath Holding Drill During Strength Training
While you do your strength exercises in the gym you could combine them with breath-holding, but only if you have an instructor with you. If you plan to try this out, first check with your doctor, and then tell your trainer what you want to achieve to let him or her know about your goals so they can be prepared to react on time if needed.
The best combination is to practice breath-holding with a workout that is connected to the area you’d use the most during your freediving session. For instance, a great one is to hold your breath as you work your legs.
Yoga (And/Or) Stretching
Although it may sound unbelievable, yoga is another activity that will help you with freediving skills and preparation. Using yoga you’ll not only relax and increase the strength, but you’ll also but this way your body awareness will rise and you’ll become more flexible.
If you’d love to take yoga to another level, you could try out surfboard yoga, and if you would love to skip it or don’t like the idea of doing yoga, another option is to regularly stretch yourself to make your muscles relaxed.
Wet Freediving Training Drills
Besides the dry training, there are also several exercises you could do in a swimming pool, or basically any body of water deep enough to allow you to do them properly. Before you start with this, you should ask a freediving instructor to assist you and help you with your workout. If there is none, you could bring an experienced freediving buddy along.
Static Apnea Training
Static apnea training will help you increase the time you’ll be able to spend under the water with a single breath. You could start your static apnea sessions by swimming distances and reducing the amounts of breaths you take during each lap. This way your body will start to become more tolerant to high levels of CO2 produced while you’re under the surface, but be careful not to do it on your own because it can be dangerous if not done properly. Stick to your limits and don’t ignore your body telling you to slow down.
Underwater Hockey Or Other Similar Sports
If you’d love to take your training to another level, there are a few sports that will provide you the opportunity to participate in something way more dynamic. The first option is the so-called octopush also known as underwater hockey. This way you’ll get the chance to increase your breath while you try to outscore your rivals. If you prefer something a bit harsher, there is an option called underwater rugby. Also, check out our guide on freediving breathing techniques.
These are some of the drills you can do that will help you get ready for a freediving trip:
Sit and place your hands on your knees. Start by slowly rotating your upper body straight from the hips in a clockwise direction, in as big circles as you can pull off while keeping your head up high, without lowering it. As you do it, breathe deeply and focus on your breathing. At first, change the direction after 1 minute, but as you practice, raise the bar to 3 minutes.
Static Stretch While Holding Your Breath
This one is simple but effective. Take two deep breaths, and follow by holding the third as you move your arms above the head. Keep your hands together and your arms straight. The elbows should be beside your ears. Hold your arms stretched as long as you don’t feel the need to breathe. When you start to exhale, relax your hands.
Sit, place your hands on your knees and move your chest forward as you breathe in, and then move your back backward, as you breathe out. Don’t do it too quickly, it may take some time for your spine to warm up.
With your hands on your shoulders and thumbs pointing backward, twist your body to the left while breathing in, and move right as you breathe out. Slowly increase both speed and range as you warm up.
The name itself says enough – you’ll perform neck rolls. Start by placing your head down to fall as far as you can, and then start moving it slowly to your right. Try to keep your head as low as possible, ideally, your left ear should touch your left shoulder. Continue by moving your head in a round movement counterclockwise for three full circles. Once done, repeat in the opposite direction.
Resting Is A Must!
Yes, working out is healthy, but don’t overdo it or overestimate yourself. If you do, you may end up injured. No matter what the activity is, give your body the chance to heal itself by resting, gain new power, and freshness for your next adventure.
Globo Surf Overview
With this article, getting ready for your first freediving training session shouldn’t be a problem. Just be responsible to you and your body, and there shouldn’t be any problem and all you should get are amazing memories from the time under the surface. And learn how to stay safe!
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- Freediving Training Exercises: Morning Routine (also pre-dive routine), freedivegili.com