This study was conducted to determine whether ventilatory parameters would change in breath-hold divers (BHDs) after they performed the glossopharyngeal technique for lung insufflation. Fifteen elite BHDs, 16 non-expert BHDs and 15 control subjects participated in this cross-sectional study. Volumes and expiratory flow rates were measured twice, before and after the glossopharyngeal technique performed at rest. Before the technique, greater forced vital capacity (FVC) and forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV(1)) and lower FEV(1)/FVC were noted in the elite and non-expert BHDs compared with controls. No difference was noted regarding the other pulmonary parameters. After the technique, increases were noted in FVC, FEV(1) and maximal voluntary ventilation in the elite BHDs (P < 0.001, respectively). The FEF(25-75%)/FVC ratios were lower in the BHDs both before and after the technique, indicating possible dysanapsis. The ventilatory parameters observed after the glossopharyngeal technique indicated (1) higher lung volumes in expert BHDs and (2) a correlation with BHD performance (maximal dynamic BH performance). This correlation became more significant after the technique, indicating a positive effect of glossopharyngeal insufflation on performance.