On Sunday 26th May POWERbreathe attended the ASA South East Regional Age Group Championships in Crawley, West Sussex, with swim specialists Mailsports. These Swimming Championships take place annually on dates designated for Regional Championships by swimming’s governing body, the ASA and by the Region Swimming Group. This heavily subscribed event was held at the K2 Leisure Centre, a state of the art sports facility in Crawley on Saturday and Sunday. Mailsports is one of the UK and Europe’s leading swim specialist retailers, and they recently brought POWERbreathe into their portfolio, so our very own Duncan from POWERbreathe teamed up with Mailsports at the event on Sunday. Boys and girls aged 10 – 14 years took part in Freestyle events in the morning, and Freestyle, Breastroke, Butterfly and Backstroke events in the afternoon. Duncan set up a K5 centre in the Leisure Centre where he presented POWERbreathe to the swimmers, and was delighted when 12-year-old Henry popped over to tell him how he’d bought POWERbreathe at Nick Gilligham’s Art of Swimming Course in Sevenoaks. Henry’s a keen swimmer and had been using POWERbreathe for about 6-months and told Duncan how it really helped him with breath holding while underwater, and with his breathing while swimming in general. The age group swimmers were able to try out POWERbreathe for themselves on the K5 and see their breathing strength and performance in real-time on screen. Duncan explained the benefits of strengthening their breathing muscles for swimming, such as helping them to overcome the challenge they face in trying to inhale as much oxygen as possible in the shortest time possible. POWERbreathe helps with this challenge as it exercises the muscles used to inhale, making them stronger over a period of training – and for these age group swimmers who already lead packed lives, any training that takes no longer then 5-minutes is a bonus! They understood how POWERbreathe could help them improve their swimming performance and that by making their breathing muscles stronger, their breathing wouldn’t tire as quickly which would enable them to train and perform better, and for longer. Several of the swimmers went away with POWERbreathe Plus units, some with the POWERbreathe Plus Level 1 (LR) models, and some of the stronger, older swimmers with the POWERbreathe Plus Level 2 (MR) models. There was also a lot of interest in the K-Series, particularly the K5 which always seems to draw a crowd! Before each swimming event there was a warm-up period, but like many sports warm-up, a specific respiratory warm-up was missing and yet would be hugely beneficial to these swimmers. By warming up the breathing muscles with POWERbreathe before any sport will reduce the feeling of excessive breathlessness at the start, and research has shown that a standard warm-up does fail to warm-up the inspiratory muscles. Read more about why you should consider incorporating POWERbreathe inspiratory muscle training as part of your swimming training, and if you’re already using POWERbreathe as part of your training, then please leave a comment here or on the POWERbreathe Forum as we’d love to hear from you. You can also read more about using POWERbreathe in swimming training on our Blog.