The Nose & Swimming

Because it is an imperative part of your breathing and comfort level, protecting your nose is an important priority when swimming. Proper technique ensures that you swim with less effort, making workouts and races more successful. Learning to breath correctly, avoiding nasal congestion, preventing chlorine damage and managing nosebleeds are keys to your success.


Breathing Out is Key

Exhalation under water is key to good swim technique as it keeps your chest from acting as a buoy, popping you up in the water. Blowing air bubbles from your nose while submerged in water is the first step to understanding a proper breathing technique while swimming, according to David G. Thomas, author of "Swimming: Steps to Success." He suggests getting started by holding onto the edge of the pool and stretching your feet behind you. Then, take a deep breath through your mouth, place your face in the water and gently exhale through your nose underwater.

Water Up Your Nose

If you get water in your nose, practice your exhalation technique. Particularly during flip turns or when swimming backstroke, this issue can interfere with a relaxing swim, leaving you sputtering in the pool. Thomas recommends continually exhaling through your nose and breathing quickly through your mouth in between strokes. The more you practice this technique, the more natural the process will seem to you.

Using a Nose Clip

Nose clips prevent water from entering your nose. They're useful if you have adverse reactions to chlorine or have difficulty keeping water out of your nose. Competitive backstroke swimmers sometimes wear nose clips: The furious motion of the arms during a race causes splashing that make it virtually impossible to keep water out of their noses.


A highly chlorinated pool can trigger a nosebleed. If you are sensitive or allergic to chlorine or other chemicals used in swimming pools, wear a nose clip to avoid irritating your sensitive nasal passages. If you get a nosebleed, get out of the pool. Tilt your head forward and gently blow the loose blood and mucus from your nose. Then, pinch the sides of your nose together and surround it with an icepack to encourage clotting.


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This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or