Bilateral breathing (noun): To breathe on both the right and left sides during freestyle swimming. He was able to check out the landmarks and competition on both sides due to his ability to do bilateral breathing. [Origin: 1765–75; bi- + lateral] + [Origin: 1350–1400; ME brethynge]. Synonym: alternate-side breathing.
Bilateral breathing is one of the most essential skills for open water swimmers.
Not only can bilateral breathing help balance out your swimming stroke to enable better symmetry, but you can also easily check for your competition, landmarks, turn buoys, intermediate buoys and escort boat during a race or solo swim as well as easily breathe away from ocean swells, glaring sun and surface chop.
With a new technology used by dozens of Olympic and world champions, we can precisely and objectively measure your swimming velocity (speed in the water) while you breathe to both on the left and right sides using SwiMetrics. That is, you can find out how much faster or slower - in meters per second - you are when you breathe to your left side vs. breathing on your right side in a simple, yet sophisticated, test invented by Dr. Genadijus Sokolovas. Several Olympic medalists in Beijing did this precise test.
By precisely measuring your velocity in the water 60 times per second, the strengths and weaknesses in your stroke and breathing cycle can be objectively identified, measured and corrected, including any reduction in speed when you breathe to one side versus the other.
Definition excerpt from the Open Water Swimming Dictionary (English version 2009).