• Welcome to the DeeperBlue.com Forums, the largest online community dedicated to Freediving, Scuba Diving and Spearfishing. To gain full access to the DeeperBlue.com Forums you must register for a free account. As a registered member you will be able to:

    • Join over 44,280+ fellow diving enthusiasts from around the world on this forum
    • Participate in and browse from over 516,210+ posts.
    • Communicate privately with other divers from around the world.
    • Post your own photos or view from 7,441+ user submitted images.
    • All this and much more...

    You can gain access to all this absolutely free when you register for an account, so sign up today!

stuck - exercises to work on glottis and soft palate separation?

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.


New Member
Dec 30, 2020
Hello all,

I've embarked on my freediving journey recently (Molchanovs Wave2, working on W3), and loving it. But working on equalisation muscle control exercises, I just realised I can't really separate the soft palate and glottis.

I can Frenzel however, I learned to do it on scuba a few years back (watching freediving tutorials), and since I was working with a mouthpiece in my mouth I think I do something like a K or more likely SP position. I can do it with near empty lungs, mouth open etc...
I haven't had any issues freediving to 30 meters, and currently working on VTO, which I can do heads up to 1)m+, but not consistently.

However while trying to build more muscle control and precision tonight I stumbled on my first major block. I can't seem to hold the soft palate in a neutral position with the glottis closed.

I found this out by using a ballon, I was trying the exercise where you inflate a balloon, close the glottis, and get the air to flow out the nose.

Just couldn't do it.

So I dug out Eric Fattah's Frenzel technique exercises.

No problem with "Step 2: Learn to control the epiglottis" exercises and also no problem with "Step 3: Learn to control the soft palate" exercises as well.

But I just can't seem to do "Step 6: Learn to control the epiglottis and soft palate independently" exercises....

I'm guessing it's probably linked to the tongue or something, but I've been trying and trying and just can't seem to get air from the mouth to flow through the nose with a closed glottis.

Would you have other ideas on what I could try to unlock this?

The exercises I'm stuck on are the ballon exercise as demonstrated here

And the following Frenzel building blocks:

1. Place your index finger and thumb below your nostrils, so that your nose is very gently plugged. 

2. It should be possible to exhale through your nose—your nostrils should flare. 

3. Fill your cheeks up completely, until they are bursting. 

4. Close the epiglottis. 

5. Try to squeeze your cheeks and force the air OUT OF YOUR NOSE. 

6. You should feel the air pass over your index finger and thumb, and your nostrils should flare. 

7. If the air disappears and your nostrils don’t flare, the air went back into your lungs—you must not 
have closed the epiglottis 

8. If the air won’t go anywhere, and is just JAMMED, it means your soft palate is raised, which is blocking your nasal passage.
Redo the soft palate exercises to gain a feeling of that muscle.
9. Repeat the above steps again, concentrating on the soft palate—keep the soft palate in the NEUTRAL position! The only way you can squeeze your cheeks and force the air out of your nose is if the soft palate is in the NEUTRAL position. 

10. If you still cannot master the above exercise, try the following: 

11. Once again, pinch your nose gently. 

12. Exhale 90% of your air out your mouth. 

13. Close your mouth, and exhale the last 10% of your air into your cheeks, filling them until they are 

14. Close the epiglottis. 

15. Now your lungs should be completely empty, and your cheeks should be full. The air should be 
trapped in your mouth because your epiglottis is closed. 

16. Now, inhale against your closed throat. Of course, no air will rush into your lungs, because the 
epiglottis is closed. Instead, you create an uncomfortable vacuum in your lungs. 

17. Maintain the lung vacuum. Now try to squeeze your cheeks and force the air in your cheeks out of 
your nose. Concentrate on the soft palate. Relax it—keep it in the neutral position. If you 
succeed, the air will come rushing out of your nose. Do not let the air rush into your lungs. 

18. Keep practising the above exercises until you can fill your cheeks, close your epiglottis, squeeze 
your cheeks and force the air out of your nose. When you do that, the epiglottis is closed, and the soft palate is in the neutral position. That is the muscle state that you must remember.

Thanks in advance for your help!

I've watched more videos showing the same exercise and it's a no go.

It's really odd. I'm taking a full breath in, locking my glottis.
With my mouth open, I can physically keep the air in the lungs and move the soft palate up and down, but when I do the same up/down movement with the balloon in my mouth, the air doesn't go anywhere.

I'm trying the same thing with inflated cheeks (breath in, inflate cheeks at the end, lock glottis), pressing on the cheeks while moving the palate up/down to try to get the air to the nasal cavity but no go.

Since the palate is moving up and down with glottis closed or open, this probably means the back of my tongue is blocking the air flow when my glottis is closed in a way it doesn't when the glottis is open and I switch from nose to mouth while exhaling.

Not sure what to do about this, if anyone has tips I could try to unlock this it would be fantastic.


If I am not mistaken, you must be able to close the glottis and open the soft palate in order to move air through the nose, this is essential to the Frenzel technique, no? Can you not move air in and out of your nose with your mouth and glottis closed by manipulating your larynx?
DeeperBlue.com - The Worlds Largest Community Dedicated To Freediving, Scuba Diving and Spearfishing


ISSN 1469-865X | Copyright © 1996 - 2024 deeperblue.net limited.

DeeperBlue.com is the World's Largest Community dedicated to Freediving, Scuba Diving, Ocean Advocacy and Diving Travel.

We've been dedicated to bringing you the freshest news, features and discussions from around the underwater world since 1996.