Swimming World Presents “Technique Misconceptions: Bilateral Breathing”

Photo Courtesy: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports

Technique Misconceptions:

Visit the Swimming World Magazine Vault to Read More.

Many people believe that it is worth copying the technique of the fastest swimmers. In reality, even the fastest swimmers have technique limitations, but they offset them with strength and conditioning. The purpose of this series of articles is to address scientifically the technique misconceptions that have become “conventional wisdom,” and to present options that are more effective.

This month’s article addresses the misconception that bilateral breathing (i.e., breathing on both the left and right sides) makes a freestyle stroke symmetrical. Symmetry in torso rotation is promoted to facilitate breathing. However, a far more effective means of achieving symmetry is by practicing non-breathing strokes and synchronizing a downward angle on the arm entry with downward torso rotation on the same side of the body.

Dr. Rod Havriluk is a sports scientist and consultant who specializes in swimming technique instruction and analysis. His unique strategies provide rapid improvement while avoiding injury. Learn more at the STR website, or contact Rod through info@swimmingtechnology.com.

To read more about the misconceptions on breaststroke hand recovery, check out the June issue of Swimming World Magazine, available now!

june-2017-cover

Not a subscriber?  Subscribe With This Special 3-Year Offer! Swimming World Magazine gives you unlimited access to all online content on SwimmingWorldMagazine.com and access to all of the back issues of Swimming World Magazine dating back to 1960!  Visit the Swimming World Magazine Vault.  

Order a single “Collectors” issue print copy here or download a single .pdf copy here.

Take a video tour of the current issue of Swimming World Magazine…

FEATURES
018 THE LEADERSHIP OF CHUCK WIELGUS
by Chuck Warner

021 LEAVING A LASTING LEGACY
by David Rieder
Frank Busch has spent six years as national team director for USA Swimming, but that stint will be over at the end of August, after being in charge of his fourth World Championships. As he leaves, he could not be more pleased with the infrastructure he’s leaving behind.

022 ISHOF EXHIBITS: THE AUDACITY OF ANNETTE KELLERMAN—HOW SHE BECAME THE MOST FAMOUS SWIMMER IN THE WORLD
by Chuck Warner

026 MOMENTOUS MALE MILESTONES
by Annie Grevers
In February, Swimming World highlighted women in swimming who busted through barriers. This month, we’re celebrating their male counterparts who stretched the bounds of the sport.

034 NUTRITION: AROUND THE TABLE WITH KELSI WORRELL
by Annie Grevers and Tasija Korosas

036 CELEBRATING A LIVING LEGEND
by Annie Grevers
Indiana University is preparing a 90th birthday celebration later this month for Hobie Billingsley, one of the world’s most influential figures in diving. Known for his passion for the sport and profound belief in his divers, the Hall of Fame coach recently took time to speak with Swimming World Magazine. Here’s his extraordinary story.

COACHING
010 SWIMMING TECHNIQUE MISCONCEPTIONS: BILATERAL BREATHING
by Rod Havriluk

012 LESSONS WITH THE LEGENDS: DON TALBOT
by Michael J. Stott

015 ART OF THE TURN
by Michael J. Stott

040 SPECIAL SETS: RESISTED/ASSISTED TRAINING WITH CORDS AND OTHER ACCESSORIES
by Michael J. Stott

043 Q&A WITH COACH RON AITKEN
by Michael J. Stott

044 HOW THEY TRAIN ERICA SULLIVAN & BRENNAN GRAVLEY
by Michael J. Stott

TRAINING
009 DRYSIDE TRAINING: TRX SUMMER SHAPE-UP
by J.R. Rosania

JUNIOR SWIMMER
032 GOLDMINDS: IT’S OK TO BE NERVOUS
by Wayne Goldsmith
Master the nervousness of the moment—never allow the nervousness of the moment to master you.

046 UP & COMERS
by Taylor Brien

COLUMNS
008 A VOICE FOR THE SPORT
047 GUTTER TALK
048 PARTING SHOT

 

2 Comments

2 comments

  1. avatar
    Don Kimble

    Good Morning,

    Evidently the author of the article has not coached the average USA swimmers or Masters. While his explanation may be accurate, as are most of the “scientific” explanations given in our sport they are not easily applied to the average swimmer. If you were to stand in front of a typical Masters practice and tell them “a far more effective means of achieving symmetry is by practicing non-breathing strokes and synchronizing a downward angle on the arm entry with downward torso rotation on the same side of the body.” you would get more than a few puzzled looks. My personal experience is that in dealing with the bulk of the swimmers bi-lateral breathing can get you on the right track.

    Just from my personal experience…
    Don Kimble

    • avatar
      RodH

      Don,

      Thanks so much for your comment. You made a really good point. It’s critical that instruction includes information that swimmers can immediately understand and apply.

      The body of my article includes visual and kinesthetic cues for the non-breathing head position with an image (Figure 2). There is a series of three images (Figure 3) that show the synchronization of the arm entry and torso rotation. The article also includes learning strategies to master a symmetrical freestyle.

      I’ll agree that some swimmers can improve their symmetry from bilateral breathing, but there are no guarantees that it will fix anything. A liability is that bilateral breathing often produces an exaggerated movement when breathing on the side less used for breathing. My article explains strategies that have a much greater chance of helping swimmers progress as quickly as possible.

      Rod Havriluk
      Swimming Technology Research

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Author: Taylor Brien

avatar
Taylor Brien is the Circulation and Operations Manager at Swimming World. A native of Bettendorf, IA and a 2015 graduate of Illinois College, she has covered a variety of events since joining the SW team in 2015, including the NCAA Championships, World Championships, Olympic Trials, and 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

Current Swimming World Issue