Welcome to Part Seventeen of The Beginner’s Guide to Freediving, the best place to start your freediving journey. If you’re planning to start freediving, this chapter is all about training for recreational freediving. It looks at dry training exercises that you can do at home, including CO2 and O2 tables, fitness training with apnea walking, strength training and yoga, and wet training exercises and games that you can do in a pool. Rest and recovery are talked about as well as the overwhelming importance of the mind and how you can use this to train for freediving.
Exercises For Recreational Freediving
Before you even hit the water for your first freediving course, there are exercises that you can do to help prepare you mentally and physically for freediving. Before anyone arrives for a freediving course with me, they have already received an information pack containing optional breathing, stretching and breath hold exercises and advice on diet and mental preparation. After you have completed your course you will have a clearer idea about how to breathe correctly and can continue with dry training before you hit the water again.
Even though there is no substitute for actually getting wet, many top level freedivers have little access to the water and do a lot of their pre-competition training in the gym and at home. You may only be able to get to the water every month or on holiday, but there is plenty of training that you can do every day without any special equipment.
In this article we’ll be looking at different forms of training that you can do, both in and out of the water, to enhance your enjoyment of recreational freediving.
Training for Recreational Freediving – Dry training exercises
Dry training for freediving is simply training for recreational freediving that you do out of the water. For obvious reasons this is far safer than training in water, however any training that involves breath holding should be thought through carefully. If you are holding your breath then it should be done when you are lying down on a bed or sofa. If you are practicing breath holding when standing or walking, make sure someone is on hand to lend assistance or put appropriate safety measures in place.
It can be interesting to observe your mammalian dive reflex in action by wearing a heart rate monitor and getting your instructor or buddy to observe how your heart rate changes during the exercises.