I exhale through my nose, but get water in it when I turn my head and start to inhale. I thought this could have something to do with the timing, and as far as I can tell there are 3 different moments when one could stop exhaling:

  1. Right before the head is turned.
  2. The head is turned to one side and right before the nose leaves the water (under the surface).
  3. The head is turned to one side and right after the nose has left the water (above the surface).

When is the best moment to stop exhaling and why?

  • I inhale once - followed by 4 arm strokes - I exhale when my body rolls towards the right (which brings my face to the right) - I do this twice and at this point - i'm 90% out of air in my lungs - I stop exhaling here - Turn towards the right and inhale with my mouth .... And the cycle follows.... – Prasanna Apr 21 '17 at 11:49

I breathe in through my mouth, only, and exhale through both nose and mouth. For the most part, any water coming in during the inhale phase gets caught in my mouth and gets spit out on exhale.

My inhale starts as I'm turning my head, as my face breaks the surface of the water. Since I'm not inhaling through my nose, my nose never gets water going in the wrong direction.

If it seems unnatural, you can practice the breathing pattern just sitting around, watching TV or at your desk.

EDIT - Happened to get this link via email the other day....

Blog: Freestyle Breathing Tips

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I am assuming that you are doing freestyle.

Without actually seeing you, I'm guessing that you have a form problem, and/or are going slow enough that you aren't able to create the "bow wave" effect where the water coming over your head flares out slightly to give you a space.

When you breathe, you want to turn your head to the side, and slightly tuck your chin in towards your shoulder. As stated, the water should sheet over your head in a way that leaves you a pocket of air to breathe.

As far as when, I generally start breathing in through both my mouth and nose as soon as my face starts to emerge enough. Occasionally I do get some water in my mouth, but that's just the nature of swimming. I start breathing out as soon as my face goes underwater again.

You don't say how long you have been swimming, but I suspect this is mostly a form/timing issue, and that you need to get an instructor to show you the technique. It's simple once you get it, but it's not that intuitive to just be able to do.

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  • Yes, freestyle. Bow wave - breathing "in the pocket" - chin towards shoulder - timing, maybe get an instructor - got it. Additionally, it would be interesting to know when exactly you stop exhaling and switch to inhaling - there has to be a specific moment (maybe there's also some time in between when you do neither nor). What's the position of your head and is it under the water surface or above? – user25352 Apr 14 '17 at 19:17

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