A yoga for swimmers practice is an extremely effective way to increase hip mobility, which is one key to developing a strong and efficient kick, in all strokes.
After a hard kick set your quads, hamstrings, hip flexors and glutes can feel like they are on fire. The demands put on those muscles often results in the hips becoming extremely tight.
Developing hip mobility not only gives you the opportunity to improve the technical aspects of each stroke, but it is also important for injury prevention. Restricted range of motion in the hips can often be the underlying cause of hip, knee and back injuries.
The following four swimming-specific yoga poses will help develop your hip mobility.
Extended Upright Dragon
- Start in a low runner’s lunge with the back knee down
- The front knee stays directly over the ankle pointed straight forward
- The back knee moves back enough that you feel a stretch in the hip flexors
- Keeping your low back stable slowly bring your upper body into an upright position placing your hands on your front thigh
- On an inhale reach towards the sky with the left hand
- On an exhale continue to reach up and reach over the right side
- Keep the spine long with the shoulders relaxed back and down
Low Lunge Quad Stretch
- Start in a low lunge with your right foot forward
- Place your right hand on your right thigh
- On an inhale bring your left heel towards your seat and hold onto your left foot with your left hand
- Bring your upper body upright with the spine long and the shoulders square
Figure Four Twist
- Start on your back with the soles of your feet flat on the ground hip distance apart
- Bring your arms out wide like airplanes wings with the arms on the ground palms down
- On an inhale place your left ankle on your right thigh
- On an exhale drop your right knee and left foot to the right side turning your head to the left
- Keep your left knee pointed towards the sky
- Start on your back
- On an inhale bring your knees into your chest
- Place the soles of your feet together allowing your knees to come out wide
- Hold onto to your shins, ankles or outside of your feet
- On an exhale press the knees away from you stretching through the inner thighs
These poses should be done as part of a yoga session or after another workout so that the body is properly warmed up.
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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