This week at swimgym Breathing

Every week we provide you with new training goals, coach tips and a skill video to make you a better and faster swimmer. Watch the weekly video and read the SwimGym blog.

The summer is calling on us. While we have been cozy and indulged a bit too much, it’s time to get back into shape. With the rise of the temperatures and plenty of activities being outdoors, making some changes to your diet and fitness is a necessity. Not sure where to start? Swimmi...

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Skills & drills Sidekick

This drill teaches you how to streamline and balance your body, and helps you with your breathing. During the sidekick you are kicking with one arm in front, one arm by your side, while rotated. It is the perfect drill to perfect your body rotation during swimming. Use fins if needed.

How to do it 

  • Start on your stomach with one arm stretched out in front of you, the other arm along your body

  • Kick with a steady pace

  • Now slowly turn to the side, but keep looking down towards the bottom of the pool

  • At this point one shoulder is lifted out of the water. Your hips and legs are also turned to the side

  • Gently turn your head sideways to breath. Make sure you breathe out underwater

Focus points 

  • Starting position: 1 arm in front, 1 arm next to body

  • Kick steady and face down towards the bottom of the pool

  • Breathe in by turning your head sideways (do not lift)

  • Keep your core tight and your feet up

Coach tip

Alternate the side kick with swimming freestyle. Your arm recovery and breathing should feel much easier.




Breathing bilaterally requires good body rotation. If you only breathe to your favorite side you also only rotate to that side. Not being able to breathe to your weakest side, stems from a lack of rotation to that weaker side. A good body rotation is a rotation in which your hips, torso and shoulders all rotate together in a single motion.

More coach tips?

coach tips
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One of the great myths in swimming is that we need to hold our breath while swimming. The other is that we should blow all our air out. In this blog we will explain why both is disadvantageous and how to breathe in the various strokes and stay as cool as a cucumber while doing so. 

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