5 Ways to Breathe Underwater


Scuba diving is one of the most extreme water sports in the world. In fact, it’s also a fun and thrilling experience, especially when you are exploring under the water. While scuba diving would be such a great hobby, breathing underwater would never be easy, even when you have been certified as a scuba diver. Learning the proper breathing technique when scuba diving takes time. Not to mention, this skill can also be very tricky, especially for beginners.

Surprisingly, scuba divers tend to hyperventilate when they get into the water. Some of them do this when they get nervous, when they get excited about being underwater, or when they are swimming against a strong current. In this post, we will be discussing everything that you need to know on how to breathe underwater. In addition, we will also be talking about the ways on how a scuba diver like you can improve your breathing technique.

5 Ways to Breathe Underwater

In this section, we will try to provide you with answers to the following questions: How do you prevent hyperventilating underwater? How can you master the proper breathing technique? How can you lengthen your diving time? How can you improve your scuba diving techniques? Here’s what you need to do to be able to improve your scuba diving breathing technique:

Focus on your breathing

Before thinking about scuba diving, it is vital that you first understand your breathing technique. To do this, you may try sitting inside a quiet and calm room, close your eyes, get your focus on, and then, observe the way you breathe. This exercise should be done for the sole purpose of making yourself aware of your breathing technique. You may see this as a crucial part, as this is the first step to improving your overall underwater breathing when scuba diving.

There are other ways on how you can determine your breathing method. You may do this one if you find it impossible to focus inside a quiet room while sitting down. What you need to do is lie down on your couch, bed, or anywhere you feel comfortable. After, position your left hand just above your stomach while your right-hand lands on your chest. Then, try to focus on your breathing method once you have closed your eyes.

Slowly fill your lungs by inhaling and drawing air in. Pause for a couple of seconds while you hold your breath. Gently exhale while you empty your lungs out. It is very important not to rush this step, as you may get out of focus on the exhaling technique. You may try pausing for another couple of seconds and then do the entire procedure all over again.

We do recommend that you perform this exercise at least three times in a span of a few days just to be able to get the sense of the proper breathing technique while scuba diving. If you can, you may do it on a daily basis.

Control your breathing

Learning how to control your breathing method helps you be aware of your technique, especially in stressful scenarios. Here are the three different ways on how to control your breathing. It is also up to you whether you only choose one or do all three exercises.

  • First Exercise: Lie down on your back with one hand on your chest and the other one on top of your stomach. Focus on the hand above your chest. Slowly inhale, making the chest rise, and then exhale when your chest sinks back in. The next thing you should do is to do the same step above but on your stomach.
  • Second Exercise: This next method teaches you how to control your breathing using time. With the same procedure in the first exercise, take control of your inhalation and exhalation time in these four phases: First, inhale for four seconds. Second, pause for at least two seconds. Third, try exhaling within the four seconds time. And fourth, pause for at least two seconds right after you have exhaled. Then, repeat this routine for at least two times.
  • Third Exercise: This last exercise will help you focus on the amount of air you breathe in. Begin by taking a deep breath, making sure that your stomach expands first before your chest area. It is very important that you follow these steps carefully, as these will help you improve and maximize your breathing abilities.

Take a focus on the way your lungs expand by feeling it. This technique also teaches you how to be attentive to your breathing style. Then, take a slight breath while you focus on the stomach area. This time, ensure that you maintain the air-intake minimum. After that, you may try alternating between slight and deep breathing exercises.

Inhale and Exhale

As simple as it is, you just need to breathe in and then breathe out while you feel the breath rhythm. Just keep in mind that you need to pause for a bit between the inhale and the exhale. It would also be helpful if you maintain the breathing pattern, as it provides you with a steady supply of oxygen while you exhale out the carbon dioxide.

Focus on exhaling while you breathe under the water

This breathing exercise is also very crucial, as it helps you improve the way you breathe by adding more attention to the exhalation. Nonetheless, this method allows an easier inhaling and exhaling, making oxygen intake deep and good. 

Breathe deep instead of big

When scuba diving, learning how to breathe deep rather than big certainly improves your overall breathing technique underwater. You just need to remember this statement: breathe deep and not big. Most beginners tend to make the mistake of breathing big, therefore, expanding their lungs to an extent. However, breathing deep using your stomach doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re also breathing big for the lungs. To make things easier, just breathe deeply using your stomach.


To sum, as long as you maintain the deep and slow breath, scuba diving would be such a fun, enjoyable, and worthwhile activity. If you’re like every scuba diver in the world, you would say that breathing underwater is very exciting. Once you have learned the proper way of breathing underwater, the diving part should become second nature. You might want to bring along a dive knife in the event of an emergency. In addition, a great underwater camera would also come in handy if you want to capture what you find underwater. More importantly, you must remember to enjoy the scuba diving experience and have fun.

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