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  #1  
Old 08-24-2015
larryc larryc is offline
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larryc
Default Help with bilateral breathing

I've been breathing only to the right side for a couple of years (usually after four strokes -- left arm, right arm, left arm, breathe on right arm). I've done this for several reasons:
-- Water would go into my ear if I tried breathing to the left
-- My left shoulder/arm don't have the range of motion that my right arm does, partly because of an old arm injury and partly because it just doesn't
-- My (very good) swim coach told me he only breathes to the right and that it's OK
-- It just felt better

Now, I want to breathe bilaterally (every 3 strokes). After playing around with this a little bit, I'm convinced I could swim much better / farther / more relaxed if I could get this. I've bought earplugs to keep water out of my ears.

Problem? I can barely do it. When I try breathing to the left, my right spearing arm collapses completely, my head jerks up out of the water, and the swim falls apart. Breathing to the left just doesn't come naturally to me (and that's an understatement).

What drills, etc. can I do to get this where it needs to be?
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  #2  
Old 08-24-2015
truwani truwani is offline
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I am certainly not a coach, but if you are able to swim consistently breathing every 4 strokes then I do not think breathing bilateraly every three will increase your performance significantly.

I would keep up your current pattern and focus on other technical points. One quote that helped me a lot: either you breath in or you breath out, but you never hold your breath.

I say this because I have spent a lot of time trying to breath bilateraly, without significant results, where working on one goggle out breathing, body posture or core swimming really paid of.

I am also curious on the views of the other forum members: personally I feel bilateral breathing is overrated
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Old 08-24-2015
descending descending is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by truwani View Post
I am certainly not a coach, but if you are able to swim consistently breathing every 4 strokes then I do not think breathing bilateraly every three will increase your performance significantly.

I would keep up your current pattern and focus on other technical points. One quote that helped me a lot: either you breath in or you breath out, but you never hold your breath.

I say this because I have spent a lot of time trying to breath bilateraly, without significant results, where working on one goggle out breathing, body posture or core swimming really paid of.

I am also curious on the views of the other forum members: personally I feel bilateral breathing is overrated
I was forced to learn it from my first coach and I think it's a nice tool to have b/c even in the pool yo unever know when it might come in handy to take a peek at competition. That said I left bilateral behind by the time I was 11-12 years old b/c unless the stroke rate is really high the swimmer doesn't get enough oxygen if they are seeking their fastest result.

I think TI is pretty smart in teaching it for newcomers. They can always go to unilateral later, but it's a skill you won't regret having. What happens if you show up for an open water race and you have 3 foot swells, sun and wind coming from the right and that's the only side you can breathe on? I have seen people DNS races b/c they were so psyched out about having to breathe to their off side. That would be a bummer. What you might not appreciate when you see someone flying along in the pool unilateral is that they can breathe just fine on the other side too, they just don't b/c we all have a favorite side. The idea of symmetry makes little sense in terms of how our body works in motion. Fascia is wound up like a screw starting at the feet and working up so we all have a 'better' side and it's purely natural. Even bone is just calcified fascia.

Last edited by descending : 08-24-2015 at 09:59 PM.
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  #4  
Old 08-25-2015
Mike from NS Mike from NS is offline
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Search out the TI Swim & Nod Drill. (Maybe it is called the Nod & Swim Drill.) Coach Suzanne had some nice suggestions and mind sets on it some years back on this. It helps mostly to learn to keep the head low but by going through the sequence of the drill to one side then to then next, it helps with bilateral breathing .... at least it has for me.

Good luck

Mike
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  #5  
Old 08-25-2015
woodwards26 woodwards26 is offline
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Default My Bilateral Journey

I have posted in outside the box but its more relevant here.And May help anyone with this bilateral problem.

I only started swimming in my late 50s and had my first ever proper lesson in March 2011. However I have progresed to this year swimming 2 Miles in The Great North Swim Windemere 1hr 17m and 2.4miles in the Epic Swim in Derwentwater 1hr 38m. BUT it was all done unilaterally and the times are not that great even if I am 62 it should be better.

After Derwentwater I was a bit achey and a few days later got a lot of neck pain which I have put it down to my one sided breathing.
When I started swimming my goal was to just be able to turn round after 25m and come back without having to gasp at the wall so I have acheived that but in the process not listened enough.

I re watched my videos from various coaches who all told me I was moving my head about or moving my laser beam over my arm etc etc but I must have been deaf cos It never got thro to me. Only the pain in my neck made me look at them again and decide I have to correct my one sided breathing.

BUT now I hear what they told me! And also I already had the Perpetual Motion DVD which I had only used as a Reference before !!!!!(Sorry Terry) I would urge you to buy one as it seems to be working for me.My rush to swim further had stopped me learning the basics and so my foundations need rebuilding I think. So I have started to use it I dowloaded the guide on how to use it but me being the way I am I have planned a way that I think will suit me.

My plan is to spend 90 mins plus on each lesson but repeat if not happy with my performance. And do at least 3 sessions a week for ten weeks. I will be happy if I am able to swim unilaterally on my wrong side. 3 strokes bilateral would be a bonus.

Anyway a week and a bit in this is how it has gone
I spent 3 sessions on lesson 1 and 2 lesson .The first two sessions 200m of each step or substep that Terry recommended and the Third session a review where I did 100m of each step or sub step.
Lessons one and two were easy to remember I just watched them a few times and committed them to memory before I went to the Pool. But lessons 3 and 4 I took notes and laminated them as they are not easily remembered a transcript of the video would be really helpful but also the action of writing it down helps me.
My Fourth and Fifth sessions were Lesson 3 and some reviewing of previous lessons .Especially Super man Glide but also the weak spot that has shown up I was finding turning back to skate from an interrupted breath really hard on my poor side. So I did more of that.
Today My sixth Session I moved on to Lesson Four and also reviewed previous steps especially my weak point above.
To My amazement I did a cool down swim 100m an I did 50m poor side breathing and 50 m bilateral and this is the best I have ever felt it was a dream.I couldn't believe it felt so comfortable.So as not to ruin it I got out while feeling good.
I guess I am on the right track so the next session will be Lesson 4 again with some reviewing and then on to lesson 5.
Hope this helps but certainly for me no amount of just trying to do more poor side breathing was doing anything. to cure a fundemental error and Deafness! back to basics seems to be working for me.

I'll check back in a few days
Woody
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  #6  
Old 08-25-2015
gary p gary p is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by descending View Post
I was forced to learn it from my first coach and I think it's a nice tool to have b/c even in the pool yo unever know when it might come in handy to take a peek at competition. That said I left bilateral behind by the time I was 11-12 years old b/c unless the stroke rate is really high the swimmer doesn't get enough oxygen if they are seeking their fastest result.
I agree that it's a nice skill to have, and probably a necessary skill for open water, but I also rarely use a bilateral pattern anymore, especially in the pool. On longer distance races, (200Y plus), I'm breathing every stroke on the right. I sometimes even breath on consecutive pulls, right/left, if that last pull before a flip turn is going to be with the left hand. Conversely, I breath every 4 strokes on the left on a 100 sprint. On a 50, it's only one (short course) or two (long course), to the left. I have a bit of a "lope" when breathing to the right. Breathing to the left on sprints helps me keep my stroke rate up.

Last edited by gary p : 08-26-2015 at 12:49 AM.
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  #7  
Old 08-25-2015
Richardsk Richardsk is offline
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I'm making good progress on learning to breathe to the right ( my 'wrong' side). I can now nearly always swim a 25m length breathing only to the right, usually breathing every six and sometimes every eight, depending how I feel. If I run short of air I sometimes sneak a quick breath more or less involuntarily to the left. As yet I haven't tried a whole 50 breathing to the right, but I'll definitely try it soon. Strangely, or perhaps not so strangely, the whole stroke feels quite different when I'm breathing to the right. My feet particularly feel different and I get the impression that my kick is busier. More practice will be needed to detect what's going on.

I think bilateral breathing is a worthwhile skill to develop and probabnly good for both body and soul.
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  #8  
Old 08-25-2015
larryc larryc is offline
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Let me add that I believe bilateral breathing will ease the tension and out-of-balance in my neck, which breathing always to the right side has contributed to. (My regular yoga practice has confirmed this.)
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  #9  
Old 08-25-2015
descending descending is offline
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descending
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gary p View Post
I agree that it's a nice skill to have, and probably a necessary skill for open water, but I also rarely use a bilateral pattern anymore, especially in the pool. On longer distance races, (200Y plus), I'm breathing every stroke on the right. I sometimes even breath on consecutive pulls,right/left, if that last pull before a flip turn is going to be with the right hand. Conversely, I breath every 4 strokes on the left on a 100 sprint. On a 50, it's only one (short course) or two (long course), to the left. I have a bit of a "lope" when breathing to the right. Breathing to the left on sprints helps me keep my stroke rate up.
The higher you move up on the performance curve the less you find swimmers breathing every 3rd. Like you mine gets tweaked on the need, but other than a short course 50 where I don't take any breaths I'm breathing every left hand hit.
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  #10  
Old 08-25-2015
truwani truwani is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by descending View Post
The higher you move up on the performance curve the less you find swimmers breathing every 3rd. Like you mine gets tweaked on the need, but other than a short course 50 where I don't take any breaths I'm breathing every left hand hit.
This is exactly my point: I also have the impression the better the swimmers the less you see bilat breathing, making me conclude 'if they do not do it, why should I bother?'
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