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The medical definition of hypoxia is a pathological state caused by inadequate oxygen supply to the entire body with Lifeguard Class near me. Hypoxic training applied to swimming refers to a type of training that is performed using different breathing patterns from the conventional method of breathing every stroke or every three strokes.

Hypoxic training was initially intended to simulate training at altitude, where the partial pressure of oxygen in the air is reduced, so oxygen circulates through the blood more slowly. Several studies* have shown that hypoxic training does not reduce oxygen flow to the tissues or recreate the conditions discovered during training at altitude,

So what is the real benefit of hypoxic training? The ability to hold your breath longer.

Hypoxic training leads to a state called hypercapnia (from the Greek hyper: over or too much, and kapnos: smoke), or, in other words, an increase in carbon dioxide (CO2) levels in the blood. Therefore, hypercapnia provokes a breathing reflex. If you have trouble holding your breath at certain times while swimming (during the exertion of a race or a prolonged submerged phase), it is the amount of carbon dioxide in your body that increases and not the supply of oxygen, which increases. which means you need air.

The frequency of your workouts is important. The more you practice holding your breath, the better you will be able to control this reflex, so you will be able to swim longer and breathe less.

That’s why hypoxic training is great for freestyle and butterfly swimmers, but not just for them. Backstroke swimmers will notice its benefits during the dive phase when using the butterfly kick and breaststroke swimmers can also improve by practicing this skill during their dive phases.

butterfly swimmers

You can improve your technique quickly, mitigating the effects of hypercapnia in just a few weeks and teaching your body to breathe less when needed.

Here are some simple exercises that you can include in your training sessions to learn this technique:

  • From 4-8 X 25 meters freestyle with 1.00 rest in “hypoxia 1”, for example, breathing only once every 25 meters. When you feel more comfortable with this type of training, try alternating it with “hypoxia 0”, or in other words, without breathing for the full 25 meters.
  • 4 x 50m freestyle with a 1.00 rest, trying to vary how often you breathe during the 50m: try to breathe once every 25m to start with and then try to swim the first 25m without breathing and the second 25m breathing only once.
  • 3×100 freestyle with a 1.00 rest, altering your breathing pattern every 25 meters: breathing every 3 strokes for 25 meters, then every 5 strokes for 25 meters, then every 3 strokes for 25 meters, and every 7 strokes for the following 25 meters.
  • 8×25 meter butterfly kick during the dive phase with a 1:00 rest.
  • 4 × 50 meters swimming 15 meters submerged with butterfly kick from the wall at the end of each heat.

Last but not least, remember that hypoxic training is psychologically stressful, so we advise you to do it very carefully during your weekly training sessions.

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