Three of the most important elements in freediving (and spearfishing) is equalization, safety & breathing. Alchemy athlete, freediver, master instructor & content creator Carlos Negrete covers these three major areas in an understandable & meaningful way. Please note that these series of videos are not meant to replace a freediving course, there are actually made to encourage you attend one.


Safety

Number one is safety, because safety first. One of the most important skills that we're going to learn in a freediving course is rescue  techniques. We should always be ready and prepared for any kind of scenario. Other important thing  to consider is that we never freedive alone. This is very important. Last but not least, whenever we feel  safe, whenever we dive with someone that is prepared, this stimulates our nervous system and helps us to  focus and relax more and enjoy our performances.


Breathing

Number two is breathing for freediving. Whenever  we attend a freediving course, we are introduced to different concepts, specially breathing concepts,  like relaxation breathing, full breath recovery breathing, hyperventilation, hypoventilation and  how all of this affects your body. Regarding relaxation breathing, there  are different techniques, different approaches, like pranayama breathing or tidal breathing  and they are all looking the same in common. Relaxing the body, relaxing the mind, lowering  the metabolic rate, lowering your brain activity and help your body and the mind relax for the  activity they're gonna perform. Also important to know how to take a full breath, how to recover  after a dive and that's why i really recommend you to attend a full course and explore your  potential and your breathing in freediving.



Equalization



Number three is equalization. Since water is  much heavier than air, all the airspaces in our body are gonna start shrinking, as soon as we  start diving down. That means our mask, our sinuses, our respiratory system and our middle ear, is  gonna start to compress,it's gonna get smaller, it's gonna shrink as we start diving down and  it's gonna continue doing it. So we need to learn how to compensate this pressure in a relaxed and  efficient way. There are different techniques like valsalva, hands-free... Let's focus on the most famous one, more common one, that is really going to help you improve your beginner technique  and your advanced technique in the future and it's called the frenzel technique.

So what we  want to look for this, what is happening with the frenzel technique is that we disengage our chest and our diaphragm, we close the gate here and we're gonna use the larynx as a pump to create and push air up, ok? What we need to do next is pinch our nose and seal our mouth in a comfortable way. After this, when we create the pressure and push it up, this  is gonna send the air through those tubes, right in the middle ear and therefore we're  gonna be able to equalize. We need to practice not only  in the water, we need to practice dry, you can try with different positions, like with a  handstand and then pressing with a nose clip or with different long volumes,  like after a passive exhale, or even a full exhale and get  familiar with this sensation. Another important tip, make sure you find the  proper center or freediving instructor, because they're gonna help you to fix your problems easier  and help you advance in a more efficient way.  


Tips


General fitness,  meditation and a healthy diet will always improve your diving and regarding equalization, whenever you're out there in the water, make sure you pre-equalize before you start  diving down. And when you equalize in your descent, make sure you do it constantly and gently, never  force it. Some good ideas that you can do is trying  the dry exercises as much as you can. Doing them in a different position, for example in handstand, pressing and doing your frenzel technique  exercises. Also you can try the same but with different long volumes, for example, after  a passive exhale and practice equalization or after a full exhale and practice the  equalization and this eventually is going to get you a smoother and smoother action, ok? 

Another tip, find the right center and the right instructor that can help you to overcome  your issues giving you the right exercises and helping you to dive deeper. And last  but not least, please never dive alone. Remember, this doesn't replace a freediving course,  it's just some general concepts and information on what to expect from it.




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