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out of the comfort zone..

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
It can take a long time to get an up-to-date response or contact with relevant users.


Sep 5, 2001
Hi there,

Here's a nice (and rather funny) problem for the freedive training experts on this forum (efattah, laminar & co)...

I cannot dive with full lungs !?! :confused:

When I do static or shallow dynamic apnea I never do anything like packing, I don't even fill my lungs completely because the (hyper)tension in my ribcage bothers me. Ergo, I have to surface early.

When freediving deep I do fill up my lungs to the brim as on descent the volume of air diminishes (because of the pressure increase); I feel very much at ease in that state.

Whacky (but true !!) example: when I fill my lungs and do a static at -3.5m to -4m I can do about 1'30 more than at the surface.

Anyone else who has this problem ?

Is there a way to get used to the feeling of having your lungs 'topped off' with air ? (...Like practise holding my breath with full lungs at my desk ?)
Or am I only good for diving below 4m ? :duh

I think if I can take more air and feel comfy with that my surface static and shallow dynamic will improve a lot.


Well, if you like freediving, going below 4 meters is what you most often would do.. why bother holding your breath other than that? :p
hi lynn

that is pretty weird maybe your lungs arnt stretchy like mine I think I will give up on this packing thing I remember eric fattah or someone saying they get 3 L extra air from packing wouldnt that be good.

Lynn, you should start doing some pack-stretching. Stand up and do some torso stretches in all directions (with your breath held), then do it again with say...5 packs, or whatever is reasonable for you to do. Then do it with 10, 15, etc...
Don't push it too much; let your intercostals and lungs adapt over time to the large amounts of air you're putting in. Try a maximum pack(careful), to find out what you are capable of and improve your stretch. You don't need to pack to actually dive, but your full breath will inevitably be more comfortable at the beginning and end of your dive :)
I went through something similar when I first started freediving, and could not pack 10 times when I first learned from Eric F how to do pack properly. Now I can pack over 60 mouthfuls, and they are not small mouthfulls either, so I know that the technique works.
Erik Y.
Grazie mille !

Thanks Erik !

I'll start training rightaway.

Glad to know my 'cannot dive with full lungs - problem' isn't so weird after all... :eek:
I just feel the tension of the muscles on my ribcage when I expand it to get as much air in as possible. The tension stays there when I keep the air in because if I relax my ribcage and diaphragm the pressure inside my lungs gets too big, causing me to exhale.

It (the steady tension in my ribcage and diaphragm) feels like when you go half way a sit-up and stay in that position till your muscles get sore. (Pretty hard to do in apnea too.)


hi erik

I though pack stretching was just practicing packing to stretch the lungs im same as you when you first started I can pack 10 times but that hasn;t increased with pack stretching do you just pack say 5 times then twist your body or something.

Hey ivan, the technique for the stretch involves stretching in as many directions as possible, so as to get all the angles.
Stand or kneel, take your full breath, pack some smaller amount.....lift your arms over your head, with your hands together as if you were fin swimming....lean to your right for 5 or 10 seconds, lean to your left.....bring your arms down and behind your back, lock the hands together, and pull your shoulders around to your back, while arching your chest forward. Now bring your hands to the front, lock your hands together, arch your back to behind you....hold that for a while, then turn to the right without moving your legs (or knees, if you're kneeling), then turn to the left. Come back to a normal position and release your breath. Maybe do a couple of hook-breaths if your blood pressure is low. You'll know that your blood pressure is low at the beginning of the stretch: as you pack, or as you start to stretch, you may get dizzy, so be ready to drop to your knees and hands if you feel faint. Dropping down before you faint is a good idea ;)
I start with a full lung stretch, then 10 packs, then 20, then 30, etc. I usually can't stretch much beyond 30 packs: the lungs are really full, and it could get dodgy pushing the torso stretches at this pressure, but in a static position you can pack more. So be aware of what's happening in your body, and take your time. I've been doing yoga for many years, and USUALLY know how much I can push ;) , and have never had a packing-related injury, but some have apparently. Be careful.
Lynn, I hope that helps you too :)
Erik Y.
hi erik

I didn't see this till now so If I practice what you are saying here about pack strectching do you think it increases lung capacity cos my lungs are rather small which explains my poor cb attempts thanks again erik for explaining this to a newbie

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