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July 19, 2020 5 min read

Freediving is considered an extreme sport, due to the dangers it contains, but nevertheless many people think that the benefits and the wonders of being under the sea make the risks of this sport worthwhile.


What is freediving?

It is a sport that is based on apnea, which means "the voluntary suspension of breathing in water", with the purpose of traveling the longest possible distances or descending to the depths of the sea.

Basically it is descending to the depth of the sea with free lungs and without a team that helps us stay underwater for longer, by having an air supply.


Enthusiasts of this sport when they are beginners or are gaining some experience, they have a very common question: How to dive deeper without a diving equipment?

But the reality is that freedivers have a limit, or else our body can receive a series of negative effects.


How deep can you safely freedive?

Swimmers who practice this sport as beginners can dive to a depth of 20 feet safely and without too much effort.

 

In reality, there are many practitioners of this sport who have never dived much more than 20 feet, however, experienced swimmers can descend to a depth of 60 feet, as a maximum limit.

 

The professional associations of this sport do not recommend exceeding this depth, because beyond this limit the body can begin to experience negative effects due to the high pressure in the water and the lack of oxygen.

 

Most experienced divers keep practicing this sport at depths between 30 and 40 feet, for these reasons.

 

What the athlete must primarily assess is her ability to hold her breath, as this will determine how deep it can go. But in addition to this, before trying to dive deeper than usual, you must also take precautions to ensure the safety of the swimmer.

 

We must remember that when we exceed our own limits in-depth, we do not know how our bodies can react to water pressure.

 

Freediving Wetsuits


Why is there a depth limit for scuba diving?

What happens is that at certain depths our body can absorb nitrogen and other gases, when we carry specialized equipment.

The water pressure changes and increases significantly as we dive. About every 33 feet this happens, and with increasing water pressure gas pressures also increase.

 

These gases remain in our tissues until the moment of ascent arrives, because they escape from the body when the pressure decreases.


For this reason, it is important to assess how deep you can go, depending on the conditions of the diving equipment, without the absorption of nitrogen and other gases becoming a real problem in the water.


When divers know the limits and stay within them, the risks are reduced and decompression sickness can be avoided.

 

Dive tanks contain different air mixtures, and this mixture limits the depth to which a scuba diver can dive, and will also determine the level of risk to which he is exposed to certain depths.

 

This type of diving with equipment allows those who practice this sport to dive to a depth of 130 feet, without taking risks. This type of diving is called "recreational diving".


Then there is also technical diving, this is a type of diving that allows divers to explore depths between 130 and 330 feet, depending on conditions and dive site.


This dive is special for exploring structures and environments that are very deep diving underwater. This type of diving requires a special certification and the use of optimal equipment.


To descend to these depths, a large number of tanks will be necessary, especially for the time of the ascent, which usually takes long hours.


These air tanks must have mixtures that minimize the risk of narcosis effects and avoid decompression sickness.


When you want to dive at the deepest levels, technical diving is the best option, however, there are risks of dizziness, muscle contractions, or fatigue in the water.

 

How do you apnea deeper in a safe way?

Having the right information and learning how to practice freediving in the depths, makes the experience of diving much safer and also allows you to go deeper.

 

There are two fundamental things about practicing a deeper and safer freediving.


Learning how to freedive deeper and deeper requires that we work on holding our breath effectively while keeping our minds and bodies relaxed.


There are exercises that help increase our ability to retain air for longer. This consequently gives us more freedom to dive a little deep diving.

 

Relaxation is also a fundamental point, because we must strengthen our confidence when we were submerged in the sea, to avoid entering states of panic and that as a consequence fear dominates us.


Fear can cause us to make major mistakes. Losing your calm underwater can become a fatal event.

 

Master your breathing

To master and improve our ability to hold air, it is important to be consistent in the practice of exercises aimed at improving your general breathing capacity and increasing the threshold of carbon dioxide and hypoxic.

 

These are the 3 fundamentals of breathing.


To improve general breathing capacity, the most important exercise is to practice abdominal breathing.


This breathing technique is special to help us hold much more air. It is about breathing through the nose and expanding the abdomen first so that the little one fills with air and we can exhale through the mouth.


To increase the dioxide threshold, we must understand that when our body requires us to breathe again, it is not because there is a lack of air inside it, but because intolerable levels of CO2 have been concentrated for us. For this reason, it is important to do exercises that allow us to increase that threshold.


There are exercises such as wet and dry static apnea, which must be done under the supervision of another person since it requires you to hold your breath in series that will help increase the CO2 levels that your body tolerates.


Finally, there is the hypoxic threshold, which refers to our ability to move when we have low oxygen levels.


Exercises to strengthen this generally they try to get our bodies to work with less oxygen. It is about subjecting the body to this experience several times until it tolerates this situation much better.


All the exercises that we want to implement must be done with professional and specialized trainers, who can suggest the most suitable ones for us.

We cannot forget that what is really going to determine our progress in terms of our ability to immerse ourselves deeply, is to have tranquility and be relaxed when we carry out this practice.

In this sense, relaxation will be intimately linked to the time and depth that we can reach. Our mind plays a fundamental role in this sport.

Liz H.
Liz H.


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