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relaxation befor a dive

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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New Member
Mar 11, 2002
Guys, I have a question regarding relaxation before you make a dive. So, when you are in the water, resting on the surface, what are you doing? I mean, what is the procedure before you imersse - how to relax a muscles, how many and what sort of breaths,... And do you have any experience in diference when you are using a snorkel (sometimes it is a must) and without it?

Thanks for a help and have safe dives!
At the sea, with the snorkel, I´ve found that I can´t relax and take good breaths than dry. So I´ve made a "buoyant chair" to made the relax routine in water more comfortable.
Hay, buddha, thanks for your opinion. But what about breathing procedure on the surface of the sea? I'm using 3mm neopren shorty with 3 kg of weights and I can on a very comfortable way reach 20 - 21m (it is very difficult to find deeper part of the sea in north adriatic sea, especially at Slovene coast). So, I'm wondering, what procedure are you yousing before you immerse? My goal is not to go deep, but more to stay a bit more on the bottom since it's the best way to see fishes, crabs at a close view.
Thanks, Buddha, I've read that part. I understand that this part of preparation is very important in should be done regulary as a preparation phase. But I'm talking about preparation in the water. How to relax a group of muscles or single musles, floating on the surface? And, after you feel relaxed, what should be the breathing procedure before you immerse? Slow, deep breath? How many of them?
Thanks for answers.
The way I do it

First of all, I prepare myself with the relaxation, I made it before putting on the wetsuit, maybe laying down on the beach (Savashana Yoga posture) or sitting on the dock... you have to find the best for you... then I put on my wetsuit but continue very relaxed, without more energy on my muscles but the only need to do movements, and breathing slow and deep to fullfill the body with O2. Then, I go to the buoy, and stay on the water laying face down, and breathing with the snorkel... 2 minutes of normal slow breathing, then 4-5 deep Yoga breathing and go for 3 metres. I stay here relaxed to calm my heart rate as long as I can. Then I repeat the pattern and go 10 metres... that´s my way. I know this is not the best so I´m actually working on new breathing and breath-holds patterns.

Good Luck
Hi guys, here is a quick version of what I do that gets me to 50 metres and also gives me 3+ minutes on 20 metre dives:
After something like what buddha describes, I do 2 empty-lung dives to 8 or 12 metres...this slows the heart below 30 beats a second: do them for around 30 to 45 seconds total time if possible, with a few minutes in between (buddy mandatory).
Breathe for 3 minutes in this pattern: inhale for 3 or 4 seconds, hold for 3 or 4, then exhale for 6 to 8 seconds. If that's too long of a cycle, then shorten the inhale to 2 seconds and the exhale to 6.
At the 2:30 mark, hold for 10 seconds....exhale deeply, without too much effort, inhale, exhale again, then hold for 10 seconds again.
Now do 5 to 8 quick breaths, 1 second each, to clear the CO2 out. Now dive!
That works great for me....3 minutes of total breathe up between relaxed 3 minute (warm water) dives is adequate. You will need to adjust all factors for your own comfort and physiology.
Buddha, you will notice the resemblance to yogic breathing, I imagine.....that's because it works: no surprise if you have read some of the exploits of enlightened masters, agreed?
Erik Y.
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At the 2:30 mark, hold for 10 seconds....exhale deeply, without too much effort, inhale, exhale again, then hold for 10 seconds again.
Now do 5 to 8 quick breaths, 1 second each, to clear the CO2 out

5 to 8 quick breaths, is that hyperventilate? :naughty
not to speak for erik...

i do a similar routine, and my "quick breaths" are full deep quick breaths (hyperventilations is shallow quick breaths)

there is a diffrence (so i have been told) and i know that the deep quick breaths work well...

in an attempt to find out if the ventilations (quick deep breaths) made me BO sooner i did 2 sets of statics 2 days appart with the only difference being that for the final hold on the first i ventilated and the second i didnt

on both days i had the same routine wake up at 0630 stretch eat breakfast and go to school, get home, eat a banana, do homework, eat supper at around 1800 rest/relax/finish homework and do my statics at 2130

on the day that i ventilated i samba'ed at 4:50
on the day i didnt ventilate i samba'ed at 4:47
something i did notice though was that when i ventilated, the contractions started later but hit harder, on the non ventilated day, the contractions started sooner but the were more "fluid" (smoother/easier to take - hard to describe)

hope this helps
Routine to get deeper...
As erik described slow breathing and relaxed body is what it takes, but when you do your dive you should be relaxed as well...
I went diving few days ago.. first time with a rope.. and as I did some diving I noticed thast even with good preparation the dive time was about 1minute if I moved too fast, then I did some VERY relaxed slow dives and reached about the same depths but with SLOW descend and ascend, the dive time was about 2minutes.

My question is when you say have reached 3minutes at the bottom..about -20meters is there anything you can do to find out if you are about to experience SWB?
Why I am asking is that when diving relaxed to depth I didn't get any contractions.. I usually get them after about 1minute..
or should I try to SWB somewhere with a buddy for this purpose that I would get better picture what my limits are..
Hmmm....I thought that we must avoid SWB and all about. Why do you acctually want to reach it? Do you really think, that is a good way to show your limits? (that goes to all members...Im just a newbie).


P.S. Does anyone of you know, if there is some video clip downloadable that demonstrates SWB?
If you MUST black out to see how it feels before you reach it, DONT DO IT IN THE WATER. It's not something you'd want to do anyway, but if you simply have to, do it on land, where you arent going to fall over, and where there's nothing there to stop you breathing. Imagine SWB happening, and for some reason your buddy cant get to you. Not a pleasant thought....

Safe diving
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Oh I have had BO many times with different reasons...CO2 and pain..
But to find out your limits in diving, active U/W time... sure one can try apnea walking and other stuff like that, but it is just so different in water, and if you are going to try your limits... I am not going to try that with a person I don't know! I would have familliar buddy and clear water... I just thought if anyone else has tried that?
I am so interester in it because I do my diving solo sometimes and I don't want to push my limits even accidentally!

Safe diving!
I do all my dynamics in the pool our scuba club uses, so there's always people in the water there to help me should I get in to difficulties. Only push myself when there are people in the water round me and watching, which isn't a problem as many of the club members find it amazing that I can swim 33m on one breath (they obviously don't know much about this freediving lark ;) ), so I often have an audience. The divers all know that if I stop moving, they need to get me up to the surface. Luckily that hasn't been needed yet.

Safe diving,
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