View Full Version : Exhaling during bilateral breathing

September 11th, 2003, 06:55 AM
Can anybody tell me what is the correct position for me to have my head/face whilst exhaling during bilateral breathing.On the third stroke I am trying to wait until I feel my fingers enter the water before I exhale and then move my head to the side to breathe in.:cool:

September 11th, 2003, 01:17 PM
Try to slowly exhale throughout your stroke while keeping your face looking straight down. Don't just exahle at the end. Take your inhale after your hand has been fully extended after entry on the third stroke. Try to turn your head so your mouth is just above the surface when inhaling.

September 11th, 2003, 06:22 PM
Ditto...though I dont know if I would agree with the head straight down...too much water on your shoulders slowing you down. Tilt upward just slightly at about a 45 degree angle.


September 13th, 2003, 12:27 AM
I was coached to exhale the whole time I'm not inhaling.
So on one sided breathing, I's exhale a bit faster than I would on bilateral (every 3rd stroke).
I was told to not hold my breath at all. There was a reason for it, but i forget what it is.
I think it has something to do with making sure as much air as possible is expelled before you have to breathe in, and maximizing the amount of air you can get. If you hold your breath, it interferes, somehow, If I remember correctly.

September 15th, 2003, 05:29 AM

I was taught to exhale while my head was in the water as well. What I was told is that when you are exhaling in the water you're air should all be out by the time you are going to breathe again to make sure your head takes as little time as possible to breathe and get it back down. IF that makes sense.


September 17th, 2003, 12:40 AM
That sounds almost identical to what I was told :)

September 17th, 2003, 12:00 PM
I think I read somewhere that holding your breath causes a build up of CO2, which in turn gives that my-lungs-are about-to-burst feeling.

I'm working on (trying to learn) exhaling slowly enough that I don't run out of air to exhale from flags, through flip turn, to second stroke after I surface (and still keep the water out of my nose while I flip) any suggestions?

Gareth Eckley
September 17th, 2003, 12:36 PM
I would say to try to breathe in a normal fashion. This helps to keep you relaxed and helps to keep the muscles relaxed as you stroke.

So, don't hold your breath or gulp wildly when breathing, just breathe out steadily and exhale during turning the head to breathe and finish that exhale AS your mouth clears the water. This stops you accidentally swallowing water and triggers a more efficient intake of breath.

Other tips are:
1- When you breathe in a good check of your head position is that ' one goggle is underwater while the other is above the water. This is a check to see that your head is not being lifted up off its longitudinal axis.

2-Look with your eyes to the side of the pool and a few feet in front of you. This keeps your head in a neutral position. If you look backwards it means that you are moving your head off it's central longitudinal axis.

3- Feel that you pivot around your 'temple' on your head as you return your face to the water. This corrects a tendency to DROP your head too far into the water.

Practicing relaxed breathing as you swim helps a lot in the longer events.

Hope it helps !

September 18th, 2003, 06:34 AM
Thanks for that advise everyone.It is most appreciated.Now all I have to do is put it into practice.

September 20th, 2003, 12:16 PM

I can't picture what you mean when you write in your item #3: "pivot around your temple on your head." Could you explain this a bit further?

Your other two items are clear and right on. Thanks.

Gareth Eckley
September 20th, 2003, 03:43 PM
"Pivot around your temple" is a confusing phrase, I should explain what I mean.

This was taught to me by Steven Rojka, at a swim clinic in Vancouver a few years ago. He noticed that I was 'dropping' my head as I returned it to the water after inhaling. My head would fall too low in the water and i would then have to lift it up to the neutral position.

The corrective practice was for me to concentrate on my 'temples' and try, when turning the head up to breath and then back into the water, not to allow the temples to raise up or drop down.

Focusing on this worked immediately and once in a while that old stroke flaw will come back and I found that this "focus point"helps to eliminate it.

I am looking for a phrase that is clearer in describing this, it is not really a "pivot", any ideas ?

September 23rd, 2003, 05:51 PM
About exhaling during the flipturn...
What I do, I time my last breath intake just a stoke before getting into the flipturn, I hold my breath (or exhale just very very lightly) just a split second till I start the flipturn and my head starts going up-side down, I give it one quick exhaling burst, just to force out the water trying to get in my nose. Using maybe 152-20% of the air in my lungs, then as I'm twisting in a normal freestyle position, I continue to exhale at the normal rate.

It takes some practice to get the feel for how much air you have, and how fast you're exhaling and how much you have left.

Does your coach ever have you guys do the breath control pulling drills? Where you breath on 3's, 5's or 7's? Those are good to teach you to ration the air and the exhaling.

September 23rd, 2003, 09:07 PM
lol, what coach? Yes, I do the breathe on 3, 5, 7, 9, etc until I die.

Yep I breathe just before the turn too, but have been trying to learn to breathe outside or right at the flags.

And you are right it does take some practice and fiddling around with how much you can exhale during the flip to make your air last long enough.

Thanks, Lainey