How-to: Freestyle breathing technique video

Want to master your breathing technique for a more comfortable, super-efficient swim? Our freestyle video demonstrates the most effective underarm breathing technique to use when swimming freestyle, and features top tips from our elite swimming coach on how and when to take a breath.

Freestyle/Front Crawl Breathing Technique and Tips

A good breathing technique delivers oxygen to your muscles and helps you to swim more comfortably and efficiently. The more efficient your breathing technique, the less impact it has on your stroke.

As your arm begins to recover over the water, turn your head to the side, breathing under your arm as it moves through to the front of the stroke.

Try to keep your body straight, only moving your head as you turn to breathe. Your body will rotate slightly, but aim to keep it as flat as possible.

To breathe, turn your head slightly so that your mouth is just out of the water. Your eyeline should be level with the side of the pool, not the roof. Reduce the amount you turn your head if necessary.

Return your head to face the bottom of the pool as soon as possible after breathing. Always breathe in through your mouth, not your nose.

Once you have returned your head to the neutral position, slowly breathe out through your nose or mouth.

Exhale slowly and comfortably, breathing out until the next breath in.

Try using fins to help support your body and keep it positioned high in the water.