View Full Version : I use my right hand as a support while breathing on my left

April 11th, 2016, 04:37 AM
During left side breathing I put a load on my right hand stretched out in front. I can feel this load directly on my right shoulder and becomes very uncomfortable during longer sessions. During right side breathing I do not put any such load on my left hand and can breathe with my left shoulder relaxed.

Are there any drills to correct my left side breathing so that I can breathe without putting any load on my right hand/shoulder?


With a body composed of 60% water, pool is where it belongs!

Gary P
April 11th, 2016, 08:07 AM
Not necessarily drills, but stroke suggestions.

Sounds like maybe your lifting your head. I find that if I try to aquire a visual target slightly behind me while breathing, that keeps my head rotation closer to being on the proper axis. If I'm trying to look forward, it causes head lift.

Also, you might try spearing deeper. I find that helps with natural balance, requiring less effort to maintain the proper body orientation, and making it easier to get a good breath.

April 11th, 2016, 04:19 PM
Might have much to do with flexibility too

A drill I perform for warmup/warmdown is breathe each stroke with fins drill. Each stroke, as in breathing every time each arm strokes.

April 12th, 2016, 08:39 AM
You're probably pressing down on the water with your right hand going into your stroke which puts pressure on the shoulder. You should get help from a coach, of course. But you should also work to do a high elbow catch where you are pulling with your forearm rather than pressing down with your whole arm. There are tons of videos on this if you search youtube.

April 12th, 2016, 10:43 AM
While it is difficult to make an absolute determination without actually seeing you swimming, it sounds like the strength of your core rotation and kick is more developed on one side, to the detriment of your right arm, which is forced to bear more of the burden during your swim. While you are able to balance between the upper and lower body when breathing to the right, your kick is not strong enough when breathing to the left, forcing you to put more pressure on the right arm to help you out. Drills such as side-to-side and side kick will help bring a balance of core and kicking strength to your stroke. And as flystorms points out, reinforcing a high elbow catch will also help develop a well-structured pull. This is a great drill for the early vertical forearm:
I'd also recommend working with an experienced coach to analyze and fine-tune your stroke. Good luck!