Yoga for Swimmers: A Sequence to Strengthen Your Core

Building core strength is one of the top priorities of coaches and swimmers in a dry land program. A swimming-specific yoga practice is an extremely effective way to develop that strength.

Core strength is one of the keys to having the upper and lower body work in unison. Improving core stability is also an important of an injury prevention program.

The video above is a short progressive sequence I use with swimmers to develop core strength and a cross body connection.

Some of the poses in this sequence include:

Table Top

swimming-specific yoga


  • Start on your hands and knees
  • Having the fingers pointing straight forward and spread wide
  • Ensure your shoulders are over your elbows and your elbows are over your wrists
  • Have the knees directly under the hips
  • Tuck your toes
  • Feel the spine long from tailbone to the crown of the head
  • Draw the belly button and ribs towards the spine



swimming-specific yoga


  • Start in table top
  • On an inhale lift your left foot off the ground extending the leg back behind you
  • Curl your toes back towards your shin and point your toes towards the ground keeping the hips even
  • At the same time bring your right arm up and forward extending the arm straight from the shoulder socket with the fingers extended and the thumb pointing towards the sky
  • Continue to draw the ribs and belly button towards your spine
  • Keep active length in your spine
  • Ensure that your left shoulder is over your elbow and your elbow is over your wrist
  • Press the strongly into your left hand to stay balanced


High Push Up Position

swimming-specific yoga


  • Start in table top
  • Keeping the shoulders directly over the elbows and the elbows over the wrists walk your knees back about a few inches
  • Exhale engage the core
  • Inhale lift the knees off of the ground bringing the legs towards straight
  • Engage the glutes
  • Keep active length in the spine
  • Press the ground away strongly so the space between your shoulder blades is filled with your upper back


Forearm Plank

swimming-specific yoga


  • Start in table top
  • Place forearms on the ground with your elbows directly under your shoulders
  • Walk your knees back a few inches
  • On an exhale feel the spine long from the crown of the head to the tailbone and engage the core
  • On an inhale extend the legs bringing the knees off of the ground
  • Engage the glutes to create a straight body line.

Two-Point Plank

Yoga for Swimmers


  • Start in a high push up
  • Bring your feet to 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 in line with the shoulder
  • Feel active length in the spine and the core strongly engaged
  • Keep both the shoulders and the hips square


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What people are saying about Swimming-Specific Yoga

“Jeff has worked with the HPC-Vancouver swimmers since the fall of 2016 delivering swimming specific yoga classes twice a week.

The swimmers have enjoyed the approach and orientation that Jeff brings to every class. I feel they are more flexible, more aware of their bodies and are able to control their thoughts much better.”

Tom Johnson
11 time Canadian Olympic Swim Team Coach


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We have implemented yoga into our drylands this season. Our top 12 and unders and our senior swimmers have yoga twice a week now. It has done a fantastic job of building strength, their core and their flexibility. Just about everything he does on this video, our swimmers are doing. Glad to know we’ve hired good yoga instructors.

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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