A swimming-specific yoga practice is a wonderful way to develop strength and mobility needed for an effective freestyle.
Freestyle is the most common training stroke for most swimmers and multi-sport athletes. With the volume of conditioning done with this technique it is also extremely important to have an injury prevention strategy.
These four swimming-specific yoga poses are amazing ways to develop the strength, mobility and body awareness required for an efficient freestyle and to prevent injury.
Half Locust Variation – Alternate Arm and Leg
This variation of half locust pose increases both the mobility and stability in the hips and shoulders.
- Start by lying flat on your stomach
- Extend your arms straight forward from your shoulders with your palms on the ground
- On an exhale press your right palm and the top of your left foot firmly into the ground
- On an inhale keeping your hips flat on the ground press lift your left arm and your right leg off of the ground
This pose takes your standard plank to the next level. The two-point plank links the two sides of the body through the core which increases functionality of this plank variation.
The balancing aspect of this pose also develops body awareness.
- Start in a plank
- Bring your feet approximately mat distance apart
- On an inhale bring your left foot a few inches off of the mat
- On the next inhale bring the right arm up and forward
- Keep both the shoulders and the hips square in this pose
Table Top Quad Stretch
The starting position for this pose is sunbird which increases the core connection across the body. Once coming into the pose you will increase your hip mobility by stretching the quadriceps.
- 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
Lateral Neck Stretch
In freestyle it is important to have good range of motion in the neck, which will give you the ability to rotate the head into the breathing position with ease.
The lateral neck stretch is a great way to work on that mobility while stretching the trapezius that can often become tight.
- Start in mountain pose
- Bring your arms behind you taking the left wrist towards the right hip
- Hold onto the left wrist with you right
- Keep your shoulders as even as possible drop your right ear towards your right shoulder
This Yoga for Swimmers article is brought to you by Swimming-Specific Yoga the world’s top resource for online yoga classes and content designed for swimmers and multi-sport athletes.
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