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How do I recognize contractions ?

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New Member
Jul 31, 2003
As you can see by the nature of my question, i'm a newbie allright :) . (have been checking out the forum for a while, though).

Here's my question : How do I recognize a "contraction" ?
Perhaps it would help if I knew what a contraction exactly is for a start, but I don't think I've ever had one.

I've been diving in a pool (25 m-pool @ 29°) for a couple of weeks now and my dynamic has improved from one length previously to 2 lengths (50 m) currently (and proud of it !! :eek:) . After that, I really have to get up for air, except on a good day when 2 lengths is fairly easy to do, but the extra psychological effort needed to make another turn is simply too much :head .

Haven't done any max statics yet (wouldn't do more than 2'30" I guess) but is it possible that a beginner is not really at the edge yet, so he doesn't have any contractions anyway ?
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Interesting... Didn't have a contraction yet huh...
There are two possible explanations:
1. you are one of those people that don't get contractions
2.or you are hell of a good beginer that didn't hold his breath long enough to get contractions (looking at your post 2.30 without contractions would be very impresive)

Contraction is like a cramp, you can't stop it. Your body is tryaing to breathe so your chest and stomach will move up and down with that comes an incredible desire to inhale :D

hope this helps a bit :)

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OK, so I did a max static today : 3'07" :)t very happy with it for my first attempt ever). Keep in mind that I have been doing some dynamics over the last few weeks.

And I can now proudly announce that I know what contractions are, at least I think I felt 'em now. They started at 2'30" approx. and I had at least 15 (stopped counting at about 10, had to concentrate on holding my breath > lacking brain capacity to do both :) )

First thing I noticed was my stomach moving, I didn't feel anything by then, but that changed allright.
It felt a bit like trying to breathe with your mouth and nose closed as zipy describes, starting of rather gently but becoming less gentle as the seconds ticked away. They weren't entirely uncontrolable, I could slightly slow them down, but they would be a little bit more violent if I did so.

I am practicely sure I must have had them before during dynamics, but for some reason I never really noticed (too busy swimming, I guess). Either that or I can do more than 2 lengths :D .
when i was training i got to about 3'1/2 minutes we contractions started then they stopped and didnt start again until about 5'00min
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I dont get contraction when i'm doing statics on empty lungs. I could balckout but i wouldn't feel any contraction.
On normal static they con normaly...
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Newbie here too!!
I'm not sure I've felt contractions yet either. I do 3:00 static consistently and my best was 3:30 today. I do feel my hands and arms start to tingle around 3:00 though. Maybe as you say Luchtbus I'm not looking for the right thing! I do feel mild invouluntary stomach movements, but nothing powerful.
Good thread!
I've never had "contractions" either. would really love to know what they feel like. PB of 4:40 and an Norm of 3:30 - 3:50. but then again i never push past the "breathing response"

For me contractions are always preceded by an urge to swallow and then basically just jumps in the diaphragm, feels a bit like a very slow hiccup. You can push the diaphragm down and think the contraction away, if you are relaxed about it, if feels like breathing!
lucky you not getting any!