Pre-Race Deep-Breathing Improves 50 & 100-yard Swim Performance in Female NCAA Swimmers

Document Type


Department or Administrative Unit

Nutrition Exercise and Health Sciences

Publication Date

Fall 2018


The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of a 30sec or 2min deep-breathing exercise on a 50-yard and 100-yard freestyle performance. Methods: Seven competitive female NCAA (Division I and Division III) swimmers performed a 50-yard and 100-yard freestyle sprint either in normal conditions (DBNO) after deep-breathing of 30sec (DB30) or 2min (DB2) of deep-breathing. Results: Average velocity for the 50-yard freestyle was not significantly faster after the DB30 (DBNO 1.76 ± 0.12 y/s vs. DB30 1.77 ± 0.10 y/s P = 0.37). Average velocity for the 100-yard freestyle was also not significantly faster for the DB30 (DBNO 1.63 ± 0.11 y/s vs. DB30 1.63 ± 0.13 y/s P = 0.62). However, faster swim times were observed in both the 50-yard freestyle (50 free: DBNO 28.45 ± 1.90sec vs. DB30 28.18 ± 1.59sec, P > 0.23).and 100 freestyle (100 free: DBNO 61.73 ± 4.33sec vs. DB30 61.54 ± 5.11sec P = 0.79) after DB30. The DB2 resulted in slower swim times for both 50 and 100-yard swims when compared to DBNO (DBNO 28.45 ± 1.90sec vs. DB2 28.85 ± 2.21sec P = 0.29; DBNO 61.73 ± 4.33sec vs. DB2 62.15 ± 5.52sec P = 0.58, respectively). Conclusions: A pre-race, voluntary 30sec deep-breathing procedure resulted in slight improvement in time for the 50-yard and 100-yard freestyle race, which could potentially translate to a competitive advantage.


This article was originally published in Journal of Swimming Research. The full-text article from the publisher can be found here.

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Journal of Swimming Research