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Syd
November 20th, 2007, 08:41 AM
One of the lifeguards at the pool told me today that he noticed that my right elbow clears the water higher than my left elbow. I have been aware of this for a while but haven't done anything about it.

In fact, I am all right-body. I breathe only to the right. My right arm is more developed than my left arm. My right arm pulls effortlessly past the hip whereas my left tails off near the waist. My right leg kicks with a strong THUMP THUMP and my left with a whimper.

What exercises should I be doing in the pool to correct this imbalance?

What exercises should I be doing out of the pool?

sincerely Syd

PS. I borrowed the term 'ugly' side from another thread. It was coined by someone else (sorry, can't remember who) and used to refer to the weak side.

Jeff Commings
November 20th, 2007, 10:24 AM
Get a center-mounted snorkel and swim a lot with it.

Donna
November 20th, 2007, 10:30 AM
Something I have done alot of recently (at caoches insistance) is breathing on the left side for specific sets. There is no other way but JUST DO IT! Break the old habits and make new ones. You'll be slow and feel strange at first, but after a while it will feel better, faster and make you feel more even.

quicksilver
November 20th, 2007, 10:37 AM
Everyone favors one side for breathing ...and the head motion combined with the arm coming down can give the feeling that the stroke feels heavier one on side over the other. Thorpe has a very balanced underwater stroke...but sometimes from the surface it seems as if he has a lope.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-8egC7PbOME&feature=related
It's a very natural rhythm

If it truly is ugly as you described...A good way to even this out might be done with some bilateral breathing.
Or better yet, try swimming one lap breathing on your pretty side...and one lap on your ugly side.


As long as the lope doesn't get splashy or take away forward momentum...it shouldn't be a cause for concern.
In fact, your underwater may be balanced quite well.

pwolf66
November 20th, 2007, 12:04 PM
Just took a really long slow look at it. It appears that his right arm bends at about a 90 degree angle during the pull and his left is much straighter. Just wondering if i was seeing it right. Not that it matters much to him as he is just ridiculously fast :-)

Syd
November 20th, 2007, 07:26 PM
Get a center-mounted snorkel and swim a lot with it.

This sounds like a good idea. I notice my stroke is much more even when I do 'no breathers' or when I am sprinting (sprinting because I am breathing less or in the case of a 25, hardly breathing at all).


Something I have done alot of recently (at caoches insistance) is breathing on the left side for specific sets. There is no other way but JUST DO IT! Break the old habits and make new ones. You'll be slow and feel strange at first, but after a while it will feel better, faster and make you feel more even.

Yes, I know I have to do this. It feels awkward and I feel like I don't get enough breath to my left side. It messes up my rhythm. But I am going to persevere. I have spent the last 3 weeks changing from a 2 beat crossover kick to a 6 beat kick. That felt unbelievably awkward at first but now it is starting to feel much better. I guess this will be the same.


Everyone favors one side for breathing ...and the head motion combined with the arm coming down can give the feeling that the stroke feels heavier one on side over the other. Thorpe has a very balanced underwater stroke...but sometimes from the surface it seems as if he has a lope.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-8egC7PbOME&feature=related
It's a very natural rhythm

If it truly is ugly as you described...A good way to even this out might be done with some bilateral breathing.
Or better yet, try swimming one lap breathing on your pretty side...and one lap on your ugly side.


As long as the lope doesn't get splashy or take away forward momentum...it shouldn't be a cause for concern.
In fact, your underwater may be balanced quite well.

It might be best to start off with breathing to the left side, then slowly incorporate bilateral breathing. Currently I am working on strengthing my left side for fly by doing lots of one arm fly drills with my left arm. In the space of two weeks I can already feel the difference.

Thanks for your suggestions. Much appreciated.

Syd

Blackbeard's Peg
November 21st, 2007, 08:54 AM
Syd,
Like you I was a right-only breather a while ago. I got a lot of flack from coaches about not bi-lateral breathing. Like Donna suggestion, I would swim whole practices breathing on the left. After a week of swimming like crap, it started to finally click. Now, I breathe with better technique on my left, though I do still feel like I get more quality air on the right side.

One thing I found hardest was keeping my head down and not lifting it when breathing on my left... practice the one-eye drill, where you keep one eye in the pool and one eye out. That will help with the head position a bit.

The other Jeff has a great suggestion with the snorkel as well. I bought one last spring and it is great for balancing out your stroke.

If you have a video camera, have someone tape you for a few laps. It is tough to fix a problem that you can't see, so watching yourself may help.

Syd
November 21st, 2007, 10:13 AM
Syd,
Like you I was a right-only breather a while ago. I got a lot of flack from coaches about not bi-lateral breathing. Like Donna suggestion, I would swim whole practices breathing on the left. After a week of swimming like crap, it started to finally click. Now, I breathe with better technique on my left, though I do still feel like I get more quality air on the right side.

One thing I found hardest was keeping my head down and not lifting it when breathing on my left... practice the one-eye drill, where you keep one eye in the pool and one eye out. That will help with the head position a bit.

The other Jeff has a great suggestion with the snorkel as well. I bought one last spring and it is great for balancing out your stroke.

If you have a video camera, have someone tape you for a few laps. It is tough to fix a problem that you can't see, so watching yourself may help.

Thanks Muppet. That's great advice.

I have exactly the same problem with lifting my head when breathing to the left. I will try the one-eye drill first thing tomorrow.

Also, like you, I feel I get better quality air to the right. Bilateral breathing for me is therefore, exhausting. It feels like I am only breathing every sixth stroke now. If nothing else, it is giving me a good cardio workout!

Having said that, even though it felt terrible I was definitely finding my rhythm towards the end of the practice.

And you are spot on with the video camera advice. I need to get that done soon.

Syd