Learn to Hold your Breath Longer Underwater Like a Navy Clearance Diver

Learn to Hold your Breath Longer Underwater Like a Navy Clearance Diver

Interview with Max B - Royal Australian Navy Clearance Diver

Max shares his insights on the importance of holding your breath longer underwater. His expertise in breath control has become a crucial aspect of his profession, and he believes it should be equally valuable for others. Let's delve into his tips and expand on how you can incorporate them into your routine.

Max's Tips on Increasing Breath-Holding Ability:

“While it's obviously impossible to increase the physical size of your lungs, it is possible to train them to be more efficient in taking in and using oxygen. This allows a person to breathe in more air and hold it longer. Increased lung efficiency also leads to a healthier lifestyle because the body can better use the oxygen it takes in.”

In order to increase breath holding and general health, Max highlights the importance of training your lungs to be more efficient at absorbing oxygen. Although you cannot alter the size of your lungs, you can improve their performance. Max advises concentrating on taking full, deep breaths that involve the belly as opposed to the shoulders and chest.

Additional Tip: Consider practicing deep inhalations for about 20 seconds before exhaling, gradually building lung efficiency.

Factors Affecting Breath-Holding Time:

Max lists variables including water temperature, work rate, and personal fitness levels that might affect how long a breath is held. Comprehending these aspects enables you to customise your training for the best outcomes.

Additional Insight: Be mindful of your surroundings and fitness level when practising breath-holding exercises.

Breath-Holding Exercises:

Max provides practical exercises to extend breath-holding capabilities:

  • Hold your breath for a minute, breathe normally for two, gradually increasing breath-holding time by fifteen seconds with each repetition.
  • Pinched lip breathing: Inhale through your nose, exhale slowly with pursed lips, making a hissing sound that takes twice as long as inhaling.

Additional Exercise: Practise breath-holding exercises in a controlled environment before moving to water.

Pool Exercises for Advanced Training:

Max introduces pool exercises to take your breath-holding skills to the next level:

  • Freestyle swimming for 25 meters without breathing, followed by ten sets with fifteen seconds rest.
  • Underwater swimming for 25 meters (using fins if available), followed by 25 meters of slow, controlled freestyle. Rest for twenty seconds between sets.
  • Max's favorite: Swap fins for kettlebells or dumbbells, walk along the pool bottom for 25 meters, tread water for twenty seconds, and repeat for ten sets.

Additional Pool Tip: Stay still while holding your breath to conserve oxygen.


The benefits of improving lung capacity and breath-holding skills are numerous, regardless of the motivation behind the training—personal challenges, fitness goals, or careers. Under Max's direction, breath control can be improved in a well-rounded manner by combining land workouts and aquatic training. Who knows, maybe knowing these techniques can come in handy in an emergency and save someone's life. Thus, inhale deeply, heed Max's guidance, and embark on a more wholesome, breath-controlled way of living.

Always consult your doctor before attempting any physical exercise.

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