Ok… so this will be old news for some, but hopefully good info for most. This is the standard instruction which I give all my students… its a good way to start.
The Frenzel technique is the primary form of equalisation which we, as freedivers, want to use. Its the most efficient and the most powerful technique available to us and it allows us to go very deep with a small amount of effort.
The technique is very simple once you have it mastered, as it will become completely natural to perform.
In very simple terms its all about compressing the airspace held between your Glottis and your lips/nose. By only compressing this area we minimise the amount of air needed for equalisation thereby leaving more air to achieve greater depths.
Broken down in to stages this is how you perform the technique.
Don’t practice this with a fully sealed nose on dry land. Use a half pinch.
- Pinch the nose and close the mouth
- Close off the epiglottis (you know you are doing this if when you breathe out with a wide open mouth, you can stop the air)
- Seal the mouth further by performing the T-Lock (using the tongue to seal the mouth shut along the gum line just behind and above the teeth). It is the same movement you make when you say the letter T…. hence T-Lock.
- Use the muscles in the throat, cheeks and the tongue to compress the airspace you have created. You can push the tongue up inside the space, making a K-Lock (the movement you make when you say the letter K).
- Ensure that the soft palate is open and neutral to allow the air which you are compressing to reach the openings of the sinuses and the Eustation tubes. The soft palate is open when its relaxed. Play with this sensation by feeling it move up and down when you either blow out through pursed lips (up position, not what we want), and when you breath out through your nose with an open mouth (down position, also not what we want). During this process find the neutral point as this is what we need to leave it in whilst diving.
- Allow the air which you are compressing to fill the air spaces in your ears and sinuses.
- When you are doing this on dry land (with a half pinched nose) you should hear/feel a puff of air come out of your nose. You should also see your Adams apple area move up and down a bit (apologies ladies…. ).
- You will need to re-load your mouth after you descend further, so practice filling your mouth with bits of air, then closing your epiglottis.
- Practice the whole technique with empty lungs so you know you are not cheating and compressing air directly from the chest.
Things to remember:
All you are doing is compressing the air in the mouth to push it in to the airspaces of the head, don’t over think it. Use every facial muscle in your arsenal and make sure you relax
The soft palate is neutral when its relaxed, so don’t tense up.
Keep the chin tucked in so as not to squash your eustation tubes shut.
Dont practice this with a fully sealed nose on dry land, use a half pinch.