I have to confess that I was quite skeptical when Arena approached me to trial the ‘Freestyle Breather’. Don’t get me wrong – I love swimming as an exercise, and always try to swim at least once a week. I recommend swimming to all my clients as a great all over body exercise that doesn’t impact on the skeletal system. However, from being a small child learning to swim I’ve always hated getting water up my nose and in my eyes. Traditional nose clips always made me feel a bit claustrophobic, so it was with no small amount of trepidation that I donned the mask and slipped into the water!
From the off I was converted. Pushing off from the side the water just literally parted before my nose! I started to swim and was amazed by how free I felt – my technique has never been brilliant mainly because I’m always trying to keep my head out of the water. With the Freestyle Breather’ my swimming position changed and for the first time I was able to swim without lifting my head up. The Freestyle Breather creates an enhanced bow wave so I was able to literally plough my way through the water and ended up swimming twice as far as I normally would in a session. I could feel that my technique was improved – my head was in better alignment and the pressure applied on my cheeks prevented excessive head rotation.
Before trying it I assumed that the Freestyle Breather might be uncomfortable but actually I found the opposite was true – not only was it comfortable but it made me feel secure. This feeling of security made me feel far more confident and I realised what a massive benefit the Freestyle Breather would be for children and less confident swimmers. The unique design of the Freestyle Breather protects the mouth and nose from the water so would overcome any fears these groups might have.
While I was trying out the Freestyle Breather at my local pool, it attracted a fair bit of interest, mainly from the pool staff who were keen to try out this cool and unique looking piece of kit. The feedback from this bonus focus group was immensely positive with many of them agreeing that there is a real benefit for the teaching of children and those lacking in confidence.
I can see children especially being attracted to the cool design of the Freestyle Breather in the same way that cycle helmets have become a design-led accessory. The Freestyle Breather could become the next big thing in swimming fashion.
In summary, I would say that the Freestyle Breather would enable my clients to get far more out of their pool sessions because I think they will enjoy it more and work harder for longer because they can breathe more easily. I will definitely be encouraging my clients to add swimming with the Freestyle Breather to their regular exercise programme. All in all I believe they will get fitter faster, which will boost their health and fitness routines. As a trainer, what more could I ask for!
I can truly say that the Freestyle Breather is remarkable and will in my mind lead to a revolution in swimming.