Yoga for Swimmers Mobility Workout One – A Focus on the Quads

The following five poses are the foundation of a yoga for swimmers mobility workout that targets the quadriceps.

The quadriceps are one of the prime movers in freestyle, backstroke and butterfly kick. For that reason it is important to develop both power and endurance in the water and on dry land.

With most strength training programs having a focus on the quadriceps many swimmers experience a great deal of tightness in this area. To create balance in the body it is important to ensure you address mobility and allow for recovery in the same area.

Five Yoga for Swimmers Poses that Target the Quadriceps

The five yoga for swimmers poses below move through a progression of stretches that focus on the quadriceps. The video above goes through each of these poses in more detail

Before doing these poses ensure that you warm up properly and following the guidelines of a strong, safe and effective yoga practice.

You can find two mobility class that incorporate these poses on the Swimming-Specific Yoga free class page. Those practices include:

Cat Pulling Its Tail

Yoga for Swimmers


  • Start on your left side
  • Support your head with your left hand
  • Bring your right leg out in front of your towards a 90° angle
  • Bend your left knee bringing your left heel towards the left side of your seat
  • Hold onto your left foot with your right hand stretching the quads of the left leg


Yoga for Swimmers

If your range of motion is challenged in the first variation try this modification:

  • Start in the same position lying on your left side supporting your head with your hand
  • Keep your left leg straight and bring your right heel towards your seat and hold onto your right foot with your right hand feeling a stretch in the quads



Yoga PosesYoga for Swimmers


  • Start in mountain pose
  • Feel strongly into the four corners of the right foot
  • Put a slight bend in your knee engaging the quads and glutes
  • On an inhale bend your left knee bringing your heel towards your seat
  • Hold onto the inside edge of your left foot (if not possible the outside)
  • To begin with ensure that the knees are even
  • Extend your right arm overhead reaching up towards the sky
  • Kick your left foot into your left hand stretching the quads in your left leg
  • If your range of motion allows you can begin to bring your left knee back

Keep your pelvis pointed straight forward throughout the pose

Table Top Quad Stretch

swimming-specific yoga


  • Start in table top pose (on hands and knees)
  • Bring your right leg up and back and your left arm up and forward
    • Ensure the core is strong and you feel stable and balance
  • Bring your right heel towards your seat and bring your left hand around to hold onto your right foot
  • Square your hips and press your sternum forward
  • Kick your foot into your hand feeling a stretch in the quads

Lunging Quad Stretch

Yoga for SwimmersLow Lunge with Quad Stretch Front View


  • Start in a low runner’s lunge with your right foot forward and left foot back
    • Square your hips creating a foundation in the pelvis
  • Place your right hand on your right thigh
  • Inhale and bring your left heel towards your seat
  • Hold onto your left foot with your left hand
  • Bring the upper body upright with your torso directly over your hips


Half Bow

Yoga for Swimmers


  • Start by lying flat on your stomach
  • Bring your right elbow just in front of your right shoulder with your finger tips pointed to the left
    • Your chest and shoulders should naturally lift off the ground
  • Press your right forearm, hips and the top of the right foot firmly into the ground
  • On an inhale bring your left heel towards your seat
  • Hold onto the left foot with the left hand
  • Kick your foot into your hand feeling a stretch into your quads in the left leg

Half Bow Variation

Variation Two

  • All of the same cues apply with the following modification:
    • Instead of bringing bending the elbow extend your right arm out in front of you with your palm down
    • Press your right hand strongly into the floor lifting the shoulders and chest off the ground

This Yoga for Swimmers article and class were created by Jeff Grace and Swimming-Specific Yoga the world’s top resource for online yoga classes and courses designed for swimmers.

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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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