In the freediving world we call preparing to hold your breath as the breathe up. A breathe up is simply a couple of minutes of relaxed rhythmic breathing with the sole aim of calming your body and slowing your heart rate. This is so often underestimated but an effective breathe up can have a huge impact on how long you can hold your breath for.
So before holding your breath you want to be breathing in a relaxed, calm, way, exactly as you are watching reading this… I hope! It’s the same relaxed breathing however it needs to be breathing from the diaphragm which is the lower section of the lungs where your abs are (we cover diaphragmatic breathing technique in more detail in The 5 Minute Freediver).
Make sure you’re not overbreathing during your breath up. You shouldn’t be breathing too deeply. This would classify as hyperventilation and we know we definitely don’t want that.
The next addition is a technique we can use to trigger the heart rate to slow down. We do this by extending the time of the breath out phase. So for example, we might breathe in for 3 seconds, but breathe out for 6 seconds. The idea is that the breathe out should be twice as long as the breath in. By doing this our heart rate naturally slows down and after a couple of minutes you should be at your resting heart rate.
So to summarise, to prepare to hold your breath you need to be in a comfortable position, relaxing every single muscle that doesn’t need to be used. The preparation is all about calm, rhythmic breathing from the diaphragm. After a couple of minutes of this you’ll actually feel your heart rate slow down and you should be feeling pretty relaxed ready for a big gulp of air!
PS. Take advantage of The 5 Minute Freediver discount price before the price goes up next week!