How Do Freedivers Stay Down So Long?

August 18, 2022 3 min read

The science behind free diving is fascinating. How long do free divers stay down? What are their genetics and physiological methods? How do they pack their lungs and avoid a dangerous gas mix? All of these factors have a bearing on how long they stay down. Keep reading to find out. Also, read this article about Lung packing and physiology. Here is a brief explanation of each.


Physiology of free divers staying down so deep is an intriguing question. The human body has evolved for conditions at sea level, which have little or no toxicity. In contrast, gases at much higher pressures can have a toxic effect. These effects depend on gas partial pressure and depth. The human heart and lungs can only tolerate so much air before they become compromised. However, free divers can extend their breath-hold time by thirty seconds by breathing 100% oxygen through a mask.


To stay down for as long as possible without drawing air, free divers train their bodies with different techniques. The most common techniques include lung packing and efficient swimming. Many of the true free divers use this technique and claim it packs up to three liters of extra oxygen into their lungs. In addition to practicing breathing and relaxation techniques, free divers practice meditation and mental preparation. If you're interested in practicing freediving, consider taking a course on the subject.


There are some interesting facts about the human body and how free divers stay down. One theory involves an enlarged spleen. But, what exactly is the role of the spleen in free diving? This question is more complex than most people think. Genetics and evolution theories could also be at play. In a recent study, researchers from the University of California, Berkeley and the University of Copenhagen discovered that the human heart and spleen work together to help free divers stay down for so long.

Lung Packing

Lung packing, also known as air-packing, is a technique used by some freedivers who have a low lung volume or weakened breathing muscles. Lung packing can also be used by people who are unable to breathe when using a breathing apparatus. Thousands of people have survived freediving accidents thanks to this technique. It works by using the diver's tongue, cheeks, and pressure differences to swallow air into the lungs.

Activating the MDR

Freedivers are able to hold their breath for long periods of time because of a mechanism known as the Mammalian Diving Reflex (MDR). The MDR is one of the most important adaptations for the human body, making it essential for survival at great depths. The reflex causes the windpipe to close underwater in newborn babies and also helps whales and other large mammals survive. Training strengthens the MDR and helps freedivers reach the depths that they do.


How do free divers stay down for such a long time? The answer varies, but in general, it involves a combination of technique and practice. Whether you're an experienced free diver or just starting out, there are some basic principles to keep in mind. While these principles may seem complex at first, they all work together to relax the body and increase oxygen efficiency. Proper breathing, post-dive relaxation, and breath-holding time are all crucial to a successful freediving experience.

Proper Training

There are many benefits to proper training. For one, it makes it easier to stay down. It also increases your confidence. There are many benefits of freediving training. You'll learn to streamline your body, keep muscles relaxed, and focus on the targets. Your dive will be safer and easier when you have the proper training. Here are just a few. Here's what you should know about the different types of training.

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