Yoga for Swimmers: Four Essential Yoga Poses for Every Swimmer

This yoga for swimmers article goes through the details of four essential poses for every swimmer that focus on the:

  • Chest
  • Shoulders
  • Hip Flexors
  • Quads

Any swimmer knows that these four areas are bound to get stiff and tight. They also know that to have success mobility in the shoulders and hips is crucial.

….

As with any activity ensure that you are prepared to perform the following poses. 

Take into consideration:

  • Skill level
  • Strength
  • Mobility
  • Timing

These poses are recommended to be done after a session in the water or as part of a full yoga practice where the body has been appropriately warmed up.

The following two videos outline guidelines for a safe yoga practice and the appropriate timing for a practice to be performed.

Lunge with Cactus Arms

*This pose can be done from both a high or low lunge position

Benefits:

  • Increases hips and shoulder mobility
  • Improves balance
  • Opens up through the front of the body

yoga for swimmersYoga for Swimmers

Cues:

  • Start in a low or high lunge ensuring that:
    • The hips are square
    • The core is engaged
    • There is active length in the spine
  • On an exhale bring your arms to cactus
    • 90° at your shoulders 90° at your elbows
  • Keep the spine long and core strong
  • Draw the arms back opening up through the chest and shoulders

Lunge with a Side Stretch

*This pose can be done from both a high or low lunge position

Benefits:

  • Increases hip mobility
  • Stretches the hip flexors and the sides of the body
  • Strengthens the lower body

 

yoga for swimmersYoga for Swimmers

Cues:

  • Start in a low or high lunge ensuring that:
    • The hips are square
    • The core is engaged
    • There is active length in the spine
  • ​On an inhale old onto your left wrist with your right hand
  • Ensure that the right knee stays pointed straight forward while staying grounded into the four corners of your right foot
  • On an exhale come over to your right side with your upper body stretching through the left side of your body
  • Keep your shoulders square and pointed straight forward
  • Keep the neck extended so that your chin is off of your chest

Low Lunge with a Hip Flexor Stretch

Benefits:

  • Increases hip mobility
  • Stretches hip flexors

Yoga for Swimmers

Cues:

  • Start in a low lunge
    • The hips are square
    • The core is engaged
    • There is active length in the spine
  • Bring your front knee forward and back knee back to find a stretch in the hip flexors
  • Once you find the sensation in the hip flexors untuck the back toes

Alternative Pose – Upright Dragon

*To increase the intensity of the low lunge hip flexor pose

Benefits:

  • Increases hip mobility
  • Stretches hip flexors
  • Improves posture

Yoga for SwimmersCues

  • Start in a low lunge
  • Bring your front knee forward and back knee back to find a stretch in the hip flexors
  • On an inhale bring both hands onto your front thigh
  • Ensure that the hips are square, the core is engaged and there is active length in the spine

Low Lunge with a Quadriceps Stretch

Benefits:

  • Increases thoracic spine, hip and knee mobility
  • Stretches chest, shoulders, hip flexors and quads

Yoga for Swimmers

Cues:

  • Start in a low lunge
  • Bring your left hand out to the side on the ground
  • On an inhale bring your left heel towards your seat reaching around with the righ hand to hold onto the left foot
  • Ensure that your:
    • Front foot is flat on the ground
    • Front foot and knee are pointed straight forward

Alternative Pose – Table Top with a Quadriceps Stretch

Benefits:

  • Increases hip and knee mobility
  • Stretches the quads
  • Strengthens the core
  • Improves balance

Yoga for Swimmers

Cues:

  • Start in a table top position
  • Bring your left leg up and back and right arm up and forward
  • On an inhale bring your left knee towards your seat and hold onto your left foot with your right hand

THIS YOGA FOR SWIMMERS ARTICLE IS BROUGHT TO YOU BY SWIMMING SPECIFIC YOGA. SWIMMING SPECIFIC YOGA THE WORLD’S TOP RESOURCE FOR ONLINE YOGA CLASSES AND COURSES DESIGNED FOR SWIMMERS.

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6 Comments on "Yoga for Swimmers: Four Essential Yoga Poses for Every Swimmer"

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SPLASH AND DASH

ZERO correlation between yoga and swimming performance. This should be on the side bar with the rest of the ads and not presented as if it were an actual news piece.

FormerTexasLonghorn

“Zero correlation…” I don’t know what study you refer to. There are also studies that say there is zero correlation between strength training and swimming, so some “studies” are just plain wrong. I did yoga as part of my training program and it helped significantly in my flexibility and mobility and resulted in my best season ever. It was the difference between being tight when I was racing and being loose when I was racing.

FormerTexasLonghorn

P.S. The comment about warming up is very correct. My yoga routine was 1 hr and progressed through a series of asanas, (poses), in a way so that you were properly warmed up before performing more strenuous asanas. My preferred yoga is Sivananda yoga, a program put together by a traditional Indian yogi decades ago.

This article should really have a caution to be thoroughly warmed up before even attempting some of these asanas. Especially the one strangely called “Upright Dragon” which if not properly prepared for and attempted can do serious injury to the hips and lower back. It is actually a form of Vīrabhadrāsana or “warrior” pose and is considered an advanced asana, one not for yoga beginners.

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About Jeff Grace

Jeff Grace

Jeff is a 500 hour registered yoga teacher who holds diplomas in Coaching (Douglas College) and High Performance Coaching (National Coaching Institute - Calgary). He has a background of over 20 years in the coaching profession, where he has used a unique and proven teaching methodology to help many achieve their …

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