I have a problem. When I am in the water, I can't blow air from my nose. I have tried really hard and always ended up using my mouth like a reflex. Is there any technique, it feels really weird to fail at this stage.

And can I continue learning swimming without blowing air from my nose, just using my mouth?

  • 1
    Why do you only want to blow air from your nose? I swam competitively for years, mouth breathing is perfectly acceptable. (In fact I have never met a competitive swimmer that breathed through their nose).
    – JohnP
    Commented Jan 25, 2019 at 13:50
  • @JohnP - I certainly breathe out slowly through my nose, and breathe in through my mouth. So, now you know one competitive swimmer who does!
    – Jon Custer
    Commented Jan 28, 2019 at 21:23
  • I honestly dont know, its just my friends have been telling me I have to blow out from my nose. Its really good news for me to hear that I can just use my mouth lol. Thanks anyways!
    – takobaba
    Commented Jan 28, 2019 at 23:45
  • 2
    Try blowing out in a big basin or bowl of water, mouth then nose. Then try standing in the pool and bending to put you face in the water and do the same. Then try sitting on the bottom in the pool and breathing out through your mouth and nose. Perhaps you will find that you can breath out though your nose after all. Commented Apr 2, 2019 at 7:24
  • 1
    I think the important thing is to get the air out in a consistent, timely way so that you can “prime” your lungs properly for the next breath in. Whether it’s through the mouth or nose isn’t really relevant, IMO. I personally prefer breathing out through my nose, but I’ll sometimes inadvertently switch.
    – Frank
    Commented Sep 14, 2019 at 18:40

1 Answer 1


The reason swimmers should exhale through their nose when their face is in the water is to prevent the feeling of having to gasp for air during the breath. Breathing while swimming should feel as natural as possible, thus some continuous exhale beginning right after you breathe in. If you exhale through your nose while on land, you should also exhale through your nose underwater. I swam competitively for many years and this became natural over time.

One way I've found to coach this is to hum a tune or just make a humming sound with your mouth closed right after you take a breath. When it's time to breath again, you just need a little puffing or popping action from your mouth to clear the way and you are ready to inhale immediately. There should be only a little air left to blow out when you turn your head so you have plenty of time to take in a full breath without feeling rushed. It's also totally fine to breath out through both your nose and mouth, but I mostly blow out through my nose. It makes it easier to control how much I'm exhaling when I only exhale through my nose.

The comments above give good advice on how to start, but you should definitely make the effort to make it a habit.

  • 1
    I dont know how I did it but I can exhale through my nose in the water now. I have improved crazy in swimming since then. Recently, I have seen a video on youtube that shows a perfect trick on how to blow air from your nose, if you make humming sound you naturally exhale. Exactly like @PJNoes mentioned. I cant find the link to the video but keep your mouth closed and try to make a sound, you will see you are exhaling pretty strongly. Do the same under water.
    – takobaba
    Commented Sep 16, 2019 at 7:18
  • Hmmm. Someone down voted and yet the answer was accepted.
    – PJNoes
    Commented Sep 16, 2019 at 22:12

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