How To Breathe Underwater – Breathing Tips for Scuba Divers

One of the most important things to remember when learning scuba diving is breathing properly under the water.

That may not seem like a big deal, especially because most beginners think that breathing underwater will be the same as breathing above the water. It is a common misconception that oxygen tanks make diving easy.

This is not true in most cases. Professional scuba divers are used to breathing underwater easily, but you should be a little careful if you are a beginner. It might be challenging at first, but if you learn the proper techniques, you can easily master them.

In this article, you will learn about the various techniques to breathe with ease while scuba diving. You will also find a few tips and tricks that you can use to master the art of underwater breathing.

How Can You Improve Your Breathing Underwater?

Breathing while scuba diving might be a challenge if you are a beginner. However, there are various techniques that you can learn and master to overcome this problem.

One thing to always keep in mind is that each person has their own breathing capacity. That majorly depends on the size of your lungs. The bigger your lungs, the more easily you will be able to breathe.

Breathing Techniques for Scuba Divers

The following techniques can boost your breathing skills. Each of these requires a lot of patience and practice. Over time, you will get to know and understand how you can manage your breath when diving.

Freediving Technique

Freediving is one of the most common techniques used by divers today.

Freediving is a technique that will help you develop better breathing habits that will prove to be beneficial while diving. It will also help you get in touch with the various senses of your body while underwater. Listening to these body signals will help you get better control over your breathing.

Besides that, free diving also helps teach you how to slow down your breathing when your oxygen supply is almost over. In this case, free divers tend to act more calmly, which also helps in saving oxygen.

Freedivers are also known to handle the pressure of the water well while in great depths.


By yoga, we mean the breathing exercises in yoga. Yoga is known to help improve and control your breathing patterns. It also teaches us how to expand our lungs, stomach, and chest fully to make the most out of breathing.

If you learn how to use these organs, you will find it much easier to inhale and exhale while diving.

Diaphragmatic Breathing

This technique involves using the diaphragm to transfer oxygen to the lower part of our lungs. That might sound strange, but when we are on land, our breathing is mostly shallow. That is because we do not make full use of our lungs.

However, it is essential to remember to use the entire lung capacity for using the oxygen effectively. By breathing from the diaphragm, you won’t have to inhale a large amount of air to provide the cells with oxygen. This way, you’ll be making the optimal use of the oxygen in your tank.

Skip Breathing

Skip breathing is a technique practiced by divers, and it involves holding the breath for a short period in between inhalation and exhalation. In theory, skip breathing can cause a lot of complications.

However, many divers often practice this technique. Why? Let’s take a look.

To Save Air

It is a technique that scuba divers apply to save air. Professional divers understand the importance of conserving air while underwater. They are used to taking quick, short breaths.

To Get Better Control Over Buoyancy

Every diver knows the importance of maintaining and controlling their buoyancy. One way to get better control over this is by practicing breath control. That is very natural; however, it is important to remember that breath control and breath holding are two very different practices.

Keep in mind to not get confused between these two. Instead of focusing more on holding your breath, adapt and practice to get better control over it.

Unconscious Breathing

Another reason why most people have the bad habit to skip breath is due to the subconscious mind. Most of the time, when we do skip breath, we may not even realize it.

However, habits adapted by the unconscious mind are hard to break. It is important to stay aware of when you are doing skip breathing and avoid it from developing into a dangerous habit.

When it comes to diving, a slow, controlled breathing pattern is best recommended. Most divers recommend people to practice controlled breathing instead of skipping breath. This technique is much safer and proves to be more beneficial even while swimming under the water.

Can You Breathe Through The Nose When Scuba Diving?

cannot breath through nose when diving

The short answer is no. You cannot breathe through your nose while scuba diving. Because you need to use a mask.

When you put on a scuba mask, it helps to protect your eyes and nose and it completely seals them. That makes it impossible for water to enter your nose.

If you want to equalize your ears, you can always use the flexible straps on the nose and pinch them gently.

Every dive mask has been designed in a way to keep the nose protected from the water. That is because of two major reasons.

  1. To clear out the mask – One of the major reasons why the nose stays inside the mask is because you will need to push out any water that has entered the mask. That is an important and mandatory lesson that instructors will teach you if you ever start scuba diving. Professional divers will also tell you that water entering into the mask is a common problem. In order to get rid of the water, you will simply need to breathe in through the mouth, pinch the top portion of the mask and then exhale through the nose. That will gently push the water out of the mask.
  2. To avoid a mask squeeze – Mask squeeze is another common problem faced by divers. A mask squeeze is where the diver’s mask gets uncomfortably tight on the face. That causes the mask to “squeeze” against their face. Usually, this problem can easily be fixed by getting a mask with the right fit in the first place (so if you have a larger face choose a mask accordingly). However, if you want to avoid a mask squeeze, you will need to exhale through your nose gently while descending into the water. By doing this, you can easily prevent mask squeeze.
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How to Increase Your Breath Hold for Scuba Diving

Yes, it is possible to increase your breath hold. Similar to mastering any other technique, this one too requires a lot of patience and practice.

The process of breath holding can be easily done in one simple step.

Before trying to practice under the water, it is best to see how well you can do it above water. And that is the first step.

Sit upright on a chair or lie down straight on a bed. Before you start holding your breath, breathe normally for two minutes. Inhale and exhale peacefully. Once you feel ready, take a deep breath in and slowly exhale it out.

After this, take a really deep breath, as deep as your lungs can. Hold your breath here. Do not focus on the activity you are doing at the moment. Try to distract yourself by thinking about other things.

When you start to find it a little difficult, exhale the air out. Keep practicing this technique over and over again.

You may find it a little difficult at first. However, as time goes on, you can easily master the art of breath holding.

Why is it Important to Practice Breathing Techniques?

scuba breathing techniques

When a person is at rest, they can easily inhale and exhale 20 times a minute. However, when you master the art of controlled breathing, you can easily hold your breath for longer without struggling too much.

And what’s even better is that you will also learn how to make full use of your lungs. This way, you can take shorter breaths that will help you last longer as well.

When you have completely learned how to use your lungs, you will find that you can breathe easier underwater and you will not face any pressure or struggle

That is why it is necessary to practice these techniques before you go scuba diving. One reason beginner divers find it difficult under the water is that they are not familiar with breathing techniques.

On the other hand, professional divers have years of experience and have full control over their breathing patterns.

If you are a beginner diver, we would recommend you practice your breathing on land first. During this process, you can familiarize yourself with the various techniques used to control your breathing pattern.

Once you are confident about your skills, you can try testing them out in a swimming pool. Make sure you try these techniques in a shallow pool, as this is much safer. It might be difficult at first, but you will be ready to scuba dive with time and constant practice.

How to Breathe the Right Way While Scuba Diving

Even after you master the breathing techniques, you might still find scuba diving a bit troubling. Listed below are a few tips and tricks that you can make use of the next time you take the plunge.

Swim Before You Dive

Before you go scuba diving, make sure you go for a quick swim first. That will help get prepared for what is to come later.

Stretch Your Body

Scuba diving is an activity that requires you to stretch out your body. In order to avoid muscle cramps and pulls, remember to stretch properly.

Swim Naturally

When you are underwater, do not force yourself. Keep in mind to go with the flow and swim easily. Do not get stressed or anxious at any point.

Experience Diving

Beginner divers always struggle when compared to professional divers, but that is completely normal. As time goes by, you will eventually get the hang of it, so just keep practicing.

Final Words

Scuba diving has been and still is one of the most exciting adventurous activities. With the rise in its popularity, a lot of people are curious to experience it.

However, you need to keep in mind that the rules of breathing are important, especially if you are a beginner. Please make sure you regularly practice it before you go underwater. This way, you will have a safer and more enjoyable experience.

My unbounded love for the oceans and everything it has to offer motivated me to pursue my passion and become a professional scuba diving instructor.

I keep reading, exploring, and learning more about scuba diving and the underwater world all the time, so I’m excited to share my knowledge with fellow scuba enthusiasts and hopefully contribute a little to your development as a diver. I want people to fall in love with the oceans with as much passion as I have. Read more about me here.

Water Up Your Nose

Everyone hates it, right? It’s why you see so many people holding their noses before they jump into the water.

One of the biggest problem skills I’ve seen as an instructor is breathing without a mask underwater. Some people handle it fine, but others have extreme, nearly insurmountable difficulty with it. After a couple of difficult sessions with some student divers, I decided to try to learn how to teach the skill better. I needed a better way to impart knowledge instead of just saying, “Just don’t let the water in!” without really knowing how to tell them not to let the water in. I really didn’t understand why or how I was keeping the water out myself. I just did it! I always have. I was never a nose-holder.

After some research, I thought I’d share here. I realize there are a lot of experienced divers here, but that doesn’t mean that readers haven’t had an issue when it comes to breathing without a mask underwater. And, I’m sure we also have some newer divers reading who perhaps barely made it through that skill in the hopes that they would never, ever have to do it again. I’m sorry to say to those individuals… you probably will have to deal with it again. Masks flood, they get knocked off. It happens and you should be prepared for it and be confident that you’ll be okay with it.


While I’m sure you’ve noticed people jumping in while holding their noses, have you noticed all the people not doing it? What do they know that you don’t? Some double top secret dolphin technique? Nah,they just know how to control their body to keep the water from entering too far into their nose. There’s no way to prevent water from getting into your nose proper, but you can stop it from ending up down your throat and choking you. (But if you do know a double top secret dolphin technique, please let me know!)

There are a couple of things that help you keep from inhaling water through your nose in the situation we’re talking about: Soft palate control and Epiglottis control. The two things work in tandem, so it can be difficult to distinguish which is which. I’m hoping the exercises below will help with that.


Testing soft palate control

Put on your mask without the strap around your head and suck in through your nose to try to keep the mask on. If your mask fits correctly, this shouldn’t be a problem. (This is how most folks “try on” masks before buying them anyway) While you’ve got the mask ‘stuck’ to your face, start breathing normally through your mouth and keep the mask on your face. Tilt your head down a bit so that you know the mask isn’t just balancing on your face.

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If you can do this for a bit, then you have what it takes to breath without a mask on; you have soft palate control. You just need to get over the psychological aspect of breathing with water on your nose.

If the mask immediately drops off of your face, then you don’t have very good soft palate control at all and you should learn and practice it.

Epiglottis and soft palate control

Now a new test. While exhaling through your mouth, cover your mouth with your hand to prevent air from escaping. Did your cheeks puff up? They should have! And, you should not be exhaling through your nose. That’s soft palate control.

While still trying to exhale, move your hand away. If you immediately exhale through your mouth, you used soft palate control. If you paused before exhaling through your mouth, that was your epiglottis. Either is okay, we’re just trying to get you to understand your own body at this point and how things work and feel.

Now we’re going to try alternating a bit. Take a breath, exhale through your mouth, then cover your mouth and switch to exhale through your nose. Did you feel a little nudge or jolt above and at the back of your tongue? That was your soft palate opening to let the air out of your nose.

Maybe you felt a little jolt closer to your lower neck or chest. If so, that’s your epiglottis.

Alternate now between exhaling through your nose and trying to exhale through your covered mouth. Do you feel that control? Remember it. That’s how you keep water out too!

Practice makes perfect if you’re having difficulty with this. I don’t think I can stress enough how important it is as a diver to be comfortable with water on your nose. Comfortable to the point that you’re not going to panic and bolt to the surface, at least. Practice in a tub, pool, hot tub, even the shower. (you could flood your mask in the shower, stand with it flooded and just breathe through your mouth) Practice it a little every time you dive until you are comfortable with it. It will make you a more confident diver and a safer diver.

For some more exercises on getting more control of your soft palate and learning how to equalize without using your hands, check out this document:

Has anyone had issues with breathing without the mask on underwater? How did you overcome them?

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After diving recreationally since the 90s as part of her adventure sports regimen, Shelley finally got her PADI instructor certification in 2009 in Mexico. Wreck and deep diving are her favorite specialties and she looks forward furthering her training in Tec diving, learning more about underwater photography, and doing more diving abroad. She eventually hopes to buy a sailboat and sail herself to all of her bucket-list diving destinations.

Snorkeling: How To Dive Underwater And Breathe Easy

Most people wear snorkels when diving in order to be able to breathe more easily underwater. Snorkels allow divers to breathe through their mouths while their faces are submerged, which can help conserve air and prevent divers from swallowing water. In addition, snorkels can help divers stay underwater for extended periods of time by providing a steady supply of fresh air.

Snorkels are used by scuba divers to allow them to breathe on the surface without using up their oxygen tanks. Breathing with a snorkel can increase the amount of time the diver spends diving by allowing them to conserve air before diving. There are numerous advantages to having it installed, including the ability to save air in your tank, keep track of water conditions, and enjoy surface swimming. A snorkel is useful in that it provides additional air for your tank, so you don’t have to worry about running out of air. You will also be able to feel more at ease in your swim. The best way to ensure that you have an adequate supply of air or a way to breathe at the surface is to have a backup supply. Drag in the water can be created by snorkels, and if extreme enough, they can disconnect or break clips.

In surface swimming, it is preferable to avoid using one and instead go surface swimming with a towel. You may want to consider whether or not to take a snorke with you on the dive. A snorkel can be purchased in a variety of styles. The purpose of a dry snorkel is to keep water from flooding during diving. In semi-dry snorkells, a splash guard protects the top of the tube, preventing sprays from entering the snorkel. Snorkiels are popular for both free-diving and spear fishing, in addition to free-diving and spearfishing. They have a low volume and are ideal for dragging when used in low-traffic areas.

Yes and no. When you snorkel, you have complete control over how you breathe; even if you breathe, you can control how you do so. You may have to adjust your breathing rate or how quickly you breathe in order to increase the buoyancy of your snorkel or expel water. You will, however, not be able to hold your breath for long periods of time.

What is a snorkel and when should I use it? Snorkeling your vehicle is the best way to keep the cleanest and purest air in your engine no matter where you go. Even in the absence of heavy rain or dusty terrain, a snorkel can improve performance and fuel efficiency.

What’s The Point Of Diving With A Snorkel?

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In addition to avoiding swallowing lungfuls of water, breathing through the snorkel will keep you from emptying your dive tank. The presence of a snorkel can help you determine dive conditions at the surface. If you are on a dive boat, you can enter the water before you wear your mask and snorkel to check the current and level of visibility.

How does snorkels work? The most common snorkel is made of plastic, but the tube can be curved if needed. Most people agree that it’s only appropriate for people who are relatively new to the game. Open-top snorkels, semi-dry snorkels, and dry-top snorkels are the three most common types of snorkels. The only thing that makes snorkeling worthwhile is if the tip of the snorkel remains above the water’s surface. Most scuba divers believe that because deep diving is impossible, using it is pointless. A dry-snorkel can be used underwater for a short period of time, but it must be used with extreme caution. When snorkels are used, the air in the snorkels is limited, and it is difficult to stay underwater for extended periods of time. Because a snorkel’s tip is designed to work above the surface, it may not be the best diving gear.

Can You Still Breathe Underwater With A Snorkel?

Breathing normally while wearing a full-face snorkel mask ensures that your lungs are in full working order. As long as the top of the tube stays above water, you are not submerged. It is intended to keep your whole face covered (hence the term full face mask) in order to allow you to breathe more freely through your nose and mouth.

Can snorkels breathe underwater? As you snorkel, it loops around past your face and points upwards to the surface. Beginners are only permitted to stay underwater for as long as their lungs allow them. Newly certified divers have a much greater lung capacity and can remain underwater for several minutes at a time. Because dry snorkels have a smooth snorkeling experience, we recommend that you use it. By doing so, you will never experience the sensation of swallowing salt water, whether accidentally by accident or by a large wave that splashes on the tube. A splash guard is also provided at the tip of dry snorkellers, making it difficult to get water in.

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The purge valves on J-type snorkels are unable to shut down, so you’ll need to blow extremely hard to get the water back out of the snorkel. Aside from full face masks, there is also a drainage system that allows water to escape to keep your face dry. Divers’ oxygen tanks are limited, so any method to help them conserve oxygen is beneficial to them because they can stay in the water for longer. Diving down to the ocean floor and observing the reef up close is an entirely new experience that you will not get on land. You can literally swim with the fishes and have a good time while being surprised at how close they are to you. It is simple to master duck diving with practice. You will be more buoyant if you wear more snorkel gear.

To counteract this, you can use a weight belt to make yourself lighter by attaching one or two weights. Because of the natural air pockets in your wetsuit and fins, diving weights are required. For seasoned free divers, hyperventilation is a technique for staying underwater for extended periods of time. The brain manipulates this action by tricking the body into believing that it is breathing slowly and gradually by taking many deep breaths in a row, resulting in a flush of carbon dioxide. Blackouts can and do occur, and drowning is a possibility. While snorkelers spend the majority of their time on the surface, seasoned snorkelers occasionally skin dive. You can only skin dive about 10 feet if your breathing holds well and your water pressure is high.

It is not necessary to discomfort yourself while diving at least ten meters deep. There can be some risks involved if the snorkel tube is too long. When you breathe underwater, it becomes more difficult to inhale as much fresh air through your long breathing tube. Over time, the suffocation and black-out will occur. Look for snorkels with a length of 12-15 inches and diameters ranging from 3 4 to 1 inch to avoid this. A snorkel aids in breathing underwater, allowing you to breathe deeply into the water. If you are going skin diving, you must practice breathing holds. If you have an oxygen tank attachment, you can swim underwater for a longer period of time. Taking a skin dive gives you a completely new perspective on snorkeling.

Snorkeling: How To Enjoy The Underwater World

Swimming underwater with a clear plastic mask and breathing tube is a method of snorkelling. This type of equipment is referred to as a snorkel. Underwater viewing of marine life can be accomplished by floating face down on the surface of the water. If you’re an experienced snorkeler, you can stay underwater for a little longer for a few minutes, but most people shouldn’t go more than two minutes with a full-face snorkel. If you’re a novice snorkeler, we recommend not diving for more than two minutes at a time.

How Does Snorkeling Work

When you snorkel, you wear a mask that covers your eyes and nose and a mouthpiece that goes in your mouth. The mask keeps the water out of your eyes and nose, and the mouthpiece helps you breathe. You also wear fins, which help you swim through the water.

Snorkeling is a popular way to get a sense of how the water works. The sport is superior to even water sports such as scuba diving. Every year, 7.7 million Americans wear snorkels. You can swim with tropical fish by snorkeling. While swimming underwater, it is one of the simplest ways to obtain oxygen to the lungs. You will not be able to breathe if you snorkel. Simply put, they provide you with easy access to breathing air above the water’s surface.

The three most common types of snorkel are the snorkel, the snorkel snorkel, and the snorkel. When wearing a properly constructed snorkel, it is not recommended that water be allowed into the main tube. Because the tube is designed to catch excess fluid before it can enter the mouth, it frequently has a reservoir at the bottom. It has a float valve for an airtight seal no matter how submerged the snorkel is. You can scuba dive underwater and breathe underwater by doing so. There are no additional equipment or lessons required to learn scuba diving. All you need is the finest mask and snorkel set for the first time. If you’re a beginner, a pool may be a better place to practice.

The Benefits Of Group Snorkeling For Beginners

If you are a newcomer to the sport, the best place to begin is in a group snorkel. If something goes wrong, someone will be there to help you. It’s also a good idea to practice safe swimming habits before heading to the beach for the first time, and to take a video like this one to review before you leave.

Dry Snorkel

A dry snorkel is a type of snorkel that has a valve at the top of the breathing tube that closes when submerged, keeping water out of the tube. It is used in both recreational and professional diving.

A snorkel is a tube that allows you to inhale air from the surface of the water when you face down and your mouth is covered by it. A traditional J-type snorkel is made up of a tube with a mouthpiece at the end. When it comes to scuba diving, semi-dry goggles are essential. Water is not allowed to enter the tube during a wave by a dry-top snorkel, which is located on top of the tube. Semi-dry snorkels are frequently fitted with a flexible tube that can be adjusted in order to fit the body properly. Using an Ameo Powerbreather with scuba masks or swimming goggles allows you to experience an advanced breathing experience. There are several dry snorkel models available nowadays, but the dry snorkel has held its own for some time.

Our elliptical tubes are lightweight, have a replaceable silicone mouthpiece, and are shaped with a large diameter to provide a comfortable fit. Splash guards and 100% dry-top fabrics block water from entering the tube in rough conditions or if it is submerged. Kraken Aquatics Dry snorkels have a silicone mouthpiece that is comfortable and can be worn by anyone with a wide mouth. One-way purge valves ensure that the tube is quickly cleaned. The Scubapro Escape comes with a large diameter tube for better air flow and easy breathing. With a flexi lower tube section and a ergonomic mouthpiece, you can wear this device with ease. It is possible to perform this with two simple techniques: a blast and a clear displacement.

The blast clear process involves blowing out water through the tube with a sharp blow. Your snorkel’s purge valve will be filled with water if it has one. If you don’t have a purge valve on your tube, this method works.




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