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gull
October 9th, 2007, 03:41 PM
I have been working on bilateral breathing for several months. Now I have found that my stroke has shortened and I am rotating much less. My hands tend to enter the water closer to my head than I would like. Anyone else have a similar experience?

JimRude
October 9th, 2007, 03:47 PM
I have been working on bilateral breathing for several months. Now I have found that my stroke has shortened and I am rotating much less. My hands tend to enter the water closer to my head than I would like. Anyone else have a similar experience?

No. Bilateral breathing should improve your rotation. Some side-kicking drills should help:

Right arm extended, left arm at side, do 10 kicks.
Then pull with right arm and extend left arm, and do 10 kicks.
Then pull with left arm and extend right arm, and do 8 kicks.
Repeat and continually reduce number of kicks on each side until you are swimming at normal tempo, but still focusing on "rotation".

It's a classic! :woot:

geochuck
October 9th, 2007, 03:48 PM
How about your strokes per length are they up or down. Are you swimming with bilateral breathing all the time? I personally would only bilateral breath occasionaly.

scyfreestyler
October 9th, 2007, 04:21 PM
I think bilateral breathing is overrated.


Just because a particular method is taught at swimming pools across the nation does not mean it's right for you. It seems to me that many elite athletes compete sans bilateral breathing. Phelps is known for breathing every stroke in his fly...how many coaches teach that method?

gull
October 9th, 2007, 04:22 PM
My stroke count is unchanged, at least when I'm not fatigued.

Until recently I had been breathing bilaterally all of the time, except at the end of a difficult set. Our coach saw that I was swimming relatively flat, with my hands entering from the side (if that makes sense) then extending some distance underwater at a downward angle to reach the catch.

The Fortress
October 9th, 2007, 04:27 PM
Didn't you switch to bilateral breathing to help a shoulder issue? And/or to prevent a dropped left elbow?

aquageek
October 9th, 2007, 04:31 PM
After 34 years of being barked at to bilateral breathe, my current coach has finally figured out I'm just not gonna do it and has given up. He does force it on hypoxic sets by doing odd breathing numbers and I do it on pull sets. Old dogs, new tricks, as they say.

gull
October 9th, 2007, 04:46 PM
Didn't you switch to bilateral breathing to help a shoulder issue? And/or to prevent a dropped left elbow?

Actually my shoulder had healed before that (months of rehab). I began bilateral breathing to make my stroke more symmetric and (I hoped) more efficient. I thought that might produce faster times.

geochuck
October 9th, 2007, 04:59 PM
Bilateral breathing was thought to be the end all and be all for all swimmers. Swim all distances and bilateral breathe.

Not so I do get a person to take a breath on the side that is not natural by a little bilateral breathing. It helps you learn to take a breath on your wrong side.

Syd
October 9th, 2007, 09:47 PM
I have been working on bilateral breathing for several months. Now I have found that my stroke has shortened and I am rotating much less. My hands tend to enter the water closer to my head than I would like. Anyone else have a similar experience?

I have experienced exactly the same. My stroke gets shorter and my body hardly rotates to my left side at all. I normally breathe to my right and when I do, my body usually starts the rotation from the hips. But when I try biliateral breathing and breathe to the left, it feels like just my neck is rotating and my mouth hardly clears the water.

Bilateral breathing is something I only ever do over longer distances. I can't imagine using it while sprinting because it seems to slow me down.

Syd

ourswimmer
October 9th, 2007, 09:58 PM
For the contrarian view: I forced myself to learn bilateral breathing as a teenager, to even out shoulder wear. At first it was very awkward but once I mastered it I came to prefer it and now I always use it. I find that it does even out my rotation and keep me going in a straight line (very useful in open water).

rtodd
October 9th, 2007, 10:42 PM
Looked to me like Phelps breathes to one side on every stroke, at least in the 100m and 200m free.

scyfreestyler
October 9th, 2007, 10:57 PM
Looked to me like Phelps breathes to one side on every stroke, at least in the 100m and 200m free.


Yeah. He's a rebel for sure. Between this non bilateral business and breathing every stroke in his fly, it's a wonder the guy ever made trials cuts. ;)

You've got to do what works for you.

RecreationalSwimmer
October 10th, 2007, 07:25 AM
I know now that I start the pull phase too soon when I breathe on the ugly side. It's just a matter of travelling that little bit further so that I can steal some air :eek:. Problem (will be) solved!

Leonard Jansen
October 10th, 2007, 08:48 AM
I think the key is not to get discouraged and keep at it. I also suggest some (gasp) slow laps breathing to the ugly side (I like that expression) where you can work on balancing your stroke.

Another thing is to breathe to one side going up the pool and on the other coming back. Of course, this means that you are always looking to one side, so be sure it is the side with the best "scenery."

Patience, grasshopper.

-LBJ

gull
October 10th, 2007, 09:26 AM
I think the key is not to get discouraged and keep at it. I also suggest some (gasp) slow laps breathing to the ugly side (I like that expression) where you can work on balancing your stroke.

Another thing is to breathe to one side going up the pool and on the other coming back. Of course, this means that you are always looking to one side, so be sure it is the side with the best "scenery."

Patience, grasshopper.

-LBJ

Thank you, Master. Great suggestion--I actually have tried that, and I think it may work, at least when I'm swimming at a slow to moderate pace.

SwimStud
October 10th, 2007, 09:32 AM
Thank you, Master. Great suggestion--I actually have tried that, and I think it may work, at least when I'm swimming at a slow to moderate pace.

It is odd Gull, I forced myself to bilaterally breathe and my good side has become my bad side at least at slow paces. I also think my issue is to do with my lower back and hips not being happy about twisting and rotating in general; there is a resistance to that motion for me I feel.

Dennis Tesch
October 10th, 2007, 10:11 AM
I think this happens more than most of us realize (shortened stroke, less rotation) when you bilateral breathe. Plenty of my swimmers seem flatter and more crab like when we do bilateral drills. I think the assumption that you will rotate more when you breath to the otherside isn't always right. I think people actually rotate less because they are doing their bad side and they no longer extend out on the side they normal breath on. You equalize your rotation, but it doesn't always lengthen.

I do think bilateral breathing is a great drill to focus on to even your stroke and to learn to extend more on both side if that is the purpose. I for one teach swimmers to breath to only one side when competing and training hard. Just looking statistically at the number of breathes you take breathing to one side vs breathing bilaterally, you stay aerobic much longer with more breathes.... common sense I would say.

swim4me
October 10th, 2007, 08:35 PM
I have gotten very used to bilateral breathing this year. I like the rythm of breathing bilateraly and my roll and stroke get in a real groove :groovy: (during distance, not sprints). But now, ever since the Asthma thing has been 'attacking' me :drown:, when I feel oxygen starved, I have been breathing on my 'pretty' side (as opposed to my 'ugly' side ;)) only. Lately. I have been noticing that my shoulder on my 'pretty' side aches when I breathe on that side too much. Now I have to decide between air and an achy shoulder :duel:.