Fitness training for freedivers

Fitness training for freedivers: improving breath-hold

Freediving, also known as free immersion, is a type of underwater sport where the participant dives to a depth using only their breath, without any breathing equipment. One of the key aspects of freediving is the ability of participants to hold their breath for extended periods. This requires both physical training and psychological discipline. In this article, we will explore several fitness workouts that can help improve these skills.

Diaphragm Training

The diaphragm is the primary muscle for breathing, and training it can help increase lung capacity and breath-hold duration.
Diaphragm exercises:

  • Full inhale and exhale: Stand straight, hands on hips. Take a deep breath through the nose, filling your lungs with air. Then slowly exhale through the mouth until no air remains. Repeat this exercise 10 times.
  • Diaphragm training in a lying position: Lie on your back with knees bent. Place one hand on your chest and the other on your abdomen. Take a deep breath so that your abdomen rises higher than your chest. Slowly exhale and repeat the exercise.

Cardio Training

Cardio training is paramount for improving overall fitness and increasing lung capacity. Running, swimming, cycling can help improve the cardiovascular system and increase the body's ability to tolerate oxygen deficiency.

Yoga and Meditation

Yoga and meditation can help improve breath control and increase the ability to hold your breath. Techniques such as pranayama help learn to control the breath and can be very beneficial for freedivers.

Static Apnea Training

These are exercises where you hold your breath for as long as possible in a calm state. This can be done on land or in water (under supervision) and serves to increase the time you can spend without breathing. Note that any breath-holding exercises should be performed under supervision and only after thorough training.

Please note that any breath-holding exercises should be performed under supervision and only after thorough training.

Strength training for freedivers

Strength training is a key element of freediver preparation as it strengthens the muscles needed for swimming and diving.

Strength exercises:

  • Swimming Exercises
Swimming is a fundamental element of freediver training, and strength exercises that strengthen the muscles used in swimming can be especially useful. This may include dryland training such as resistance band workouts to enhance arm movements in swimming.

  • Leg Exercises
Strong legs are needed for effective swimming and diving. Exercises such as squats, lunges, calf raises, and running can help strengthen the lower body.

  • Upper Body Exercises
A strong upper body aids in swimming and diving. Push-ups, pull-ups, dumbbell lifts, and other upper-body exercises can help strengthen these muscles.

  • Flexibility Exercises
Flexibility helps improve swimming technique and prevent injuries. Flexibility exercises such as stretching and yoga can be included in the workout program.

Remember that each workout should start with a warm-up and end with a cool-down to prepare the muscles for the load and prevent injuries. It is also recommended to conduct strength training under the guidance of an experienced coach to ensure correct exercise execution.


Freediving is a complex and demanding sport that requires not only the ability to control one's breath but also overall physical fitness. Strength training, flexibility improvement exercises, and cardio workouts all together help strengthen the body and improve endurance, which directly relates to improving breath-hold.

On the other hand, relaxation and concentration exercises also play a key role in enhancing breath-holding ability as they help manage stress and maintain calmness during immersion.

It's important to remember that all these workouts should be conducted under the guidance of experienced coaches and specialists to ensure safety and effectiveness of training. Freediving is an exciting and enjoyable activity, and with proper preparation, you can achieve significant results in this sport.
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