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5 Ways to Improve Your Scuba Dive Breathing Underwater

5 Ways to Improve Your Scuba Dive Breathing Underwater

Did you know scuba dive is one of the fastest chosen, extreme sports in the world? Let’s face it; diving underwater, seeing a different world can be a thrill and fun to explore. It’s a wonderful experience, no doubt! However, breathing underwater is not easy even if you’re a newly certified scuba diver.

Learning how to breath properly takes times, and it can be tricky sometimes. Surprisingly, a lot of divers face a common problem; they tend to hyperventilate in different situations, such as the excitement they face by being underwater, swimming against a current, and even when they are nervous.

So how do you stop hyperventilating underwater? How do you master proper breathing techniques that will not only help you to breathe properly but lengthen your diving skills? In what ways can you improve your scuba-dive breathing techniques to achieve a steady breathing rate? 

That is to say, here are 5 different ways to improve your breathing technique, as a scuba diver. 

First, let’s focus on these two techniques that will help and improve your breathing method before diving.

1. Be aware and focus on your breathing

Focus on Breathing

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It is important to understand your breathing method. Pay attention to how you breathe. Sit in a quiet room with your eyes closed, focus and observe how you breathe.

Now, this exercise will simply teach and make you aware of your breathing. This technique is crucial, as your first step in improving your breathing underwater and it is a very critical skill to master if you are keen on freediving with just your dive mask and fins without any other diving gears.

However, if you cannot focus sitting down, in a quiet room; you can try another technique. Now, lie down on your bed, couch or anywhere comfortable and place your left hand on your stomach and your right hand on your chest. 

Next, close your eyes and focus on your breathing. Follow accordingly to the instructions:

  1. Inhale by drawing the air in, filling your lungs slowly. 
  2. Pause for 3 seconds, holding your breath. 
  3. Exhale gently while emptying your lungs out. Do not rush and focus on your exhale method. 
  4. Pause for another 3 seconds and repeat the entire procedure again

It is recommended to this exercise three times over few days to get the sense of your breathing. Do it daily if you must.

2. Control your breathing

This technique is crucial, as you’ll learn to control your breathing. This exercise not only helps you aware of your breathing but also help you take control of it in any stressful situations.

Here are the 3 different exercises to help you control your breathing. It is entirely up to you if you choose to do 1 exercise or all 3 of them.

A). First Exercise

dive breathing exercises

Very similar to the first technique, lie down and put one hand on your chest and the other on your stomach. However, this exercise is a bit different as its main aim is to focus on making one of these areas to expand as you breathe in.

First, focus on your hand on your chest. Start by inhaling, making your chest rise and then, exhale as your chest sinks back. Again, it is vital to focus on the movement of your hand and chest as you inhale and exhale. Next, do it on your stomach similarly, like your chest exercise.

B). Second Exercise

Next, this exercise teaches you to control your breathing with time. Using the same routine from the first exercise, this time, control your inhalation and exhalation breathing time in 4 stages:

  1. Do a 4 seconds inhalation 
  2. Following, a pause for 2 seconds 
  3. Exhale within 4 seconds 
  4. Lastly, pause for 2 seconds after exhaling

Repeat, two times.

C). Third Exercise

This exercise focuses on how much air you can take in. Start by taking the deepest breath you possibly can, make sure to expand your stomach area first, and then your chest.

It’s crucial to follow these steps to maximize and improve your breathing capabilities.

Focus on how your lungs expand and feel it. To put it another way, it will teach you to be aware of your breathing. Next, try a light breathing, focusing on your stomach area. Make sure to keep the air-intake minimum. Alternate between the deep and light breath exercise.

Moreover, remember never to skip breathing. Don’t pause too long between your breathing intakes or outtakes as it might lead you feeling too short of breath. Go slow and time your breathing stages. 

Now without delay, here are the other 3 techniques that will improve your breathing underwater. It’s a truth universally acknowledged by scuba divers that as you keep diving deeper, you’ll feel more comfortable in the waters. It is also, crucial for you to know that you should master the buoyancy control as it might help and improve your breathing underwater.

3. Inhale, exhale

These words are simple. By all means, breathe in and breathe out; feel your breathing rhythm. Remember to minimize the pause between inhaling and exhaling.

In other words, follow the exercises mentioned above and naturally; it will come to you while you’re breathing underwater.

Above all, maintain and control your breathing pattern. Give your body a steady, supply of fresh oxygen while exhaling carbon dioxide out.

4. Focus more on exhaling while breathing underwater

In this case, this technique is imperative for you to know. To improve your breathing, focus more on exhaling the air out. Nevertheless, this technique will make you easier to breathe and get rid of carbon dioxide, making your intake of oxygen good and deep.

5. Breathe deeply, not big

scuba dive control breathing

As a matter of fact, this technique improves your breathing while diving. 

Remember these words, "breath deep, not big"

However, new divers tend to make a rookie mistake; they would often breathe big, expanding their lungs as much as possible. On the contrary, breathing in deep with your stomach, it doesn’t necessarily have to be a big breath for your lungs. To point out, Breathe deeply with your stomach.

By all means, follow the second technique mentioned above. It will help and improve your breathing underwater.


To conclude, as long as you continue to breathe deeply and slowly, this activity will be an enjoyable, smooth ride for you. In other words, breathing underwater is exciting.

Diving will become second nature to you with these techniques. More importantly, bring along a dive knife in case of emergency, a great camera to capture your diving finds and remember to have fun and enjoy your scuba dive experience.

What are the current methods that you are using to improve your breathing underwater?

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