While we ride or run we don't have to think about breathing. It is as simple as inhaling and exhaling. However, when we swim we don't have the luxury of taking a breath whenever we want. We must turn our head to the left or right in order to get us our next breath.
Being able to choose which side we breath on is an important skill, especially while in the open water.
Having the ability to breath on both sides during the stroke allows us to be balanced. What does being balance mean?
It means the neck muscles are being used equally. Always breathing to one side can cause a sore next and overuse injuries.
Balance with bi-lateral breathing also means that your balance will help you go straighter in the water. By breathing on one side the shoulders start to dip lower than you want and pull in a certain direction getting off track.
A balanced swimmer has the choice of which side to breath on. A sudden wave, sunlight, or another swimmer may force you to breath away from the wave/sun/swimmer.
We have a left side and a right side. So why not take advantage of each side when we reach for a breath of air.
Cleveland Tri Club