Hi I am 58 and have been swimming all my live unfortunately without any formal training. I have developed over the years a right shoulder injury due to only breathing to my left side. I have read all your articles related to breathing on both sides but still find it very difficult to breath to my right. Every time I force myself I concentrate to much on it that I completely forget to exhale underwater. I swim 8-15 km per week. Any advice? Thank you Hugo, Pretoria, South Africa
Hi Hugo, Often when a person breathes on one side (for example your left side) the right arm tends to come right under the body and complete a powerful stroke and therefore has alot of resistance against it. The left hand tends to stay a little bit wider during the underwater pull (because there is no breathing on the right side) and does not have quite the same pressure on it. When this is done often enough over many years, one shoulder may get a little sorer than the other.
Yes, breathing on both sides would help you, however if you have tried this and cannot do it then work on making sure that both arms and hands do exactly the same stroke pattern underwater so that they take equal responsibility for moving you forward in freestyle. Also make sure your right hand enters in a fairly flat position out in front and not angled so that the right thumb goes in first. Hope that makes sense!
The Swimming Expert