Yoga for Swimmers – 8 Best Poses for Strength and Flexibility

yoga for swimmers

Those who are swimmers at a professional level need to do certain stretches in order to warm up the body and ensure that sudden cramping or limited blood circulation does not hamper their performance in the water.

yoga poses for swimmers

8 Best Poses for Strength and Flexibility

1. Downward Facing Dog Pose

downward facing dog pose for swimmers

How to do?

  • Place a floor mat and stand on it.
  • Raise your hands above your head straight.
  • Reach down and put palms on the floor without bending the knees.
  • Look back and press down the feet on the ground.

Number of Repetitions: The posture can be done 10-15 times and held a few seconds each time.

How it Benefits: The exercise is good for the back as well as helps to lengthen as well as strengthen the quads, hips, hamstrings, and calves. It also helps in opening up the upper back and arms. The hip bones turned towards the ceiling and the heels pressed onto the ground add to the stretch.

2. Cobra Pose

cobra pose for swimmers

How to do?

  • Layout a floor mat for this exercise.
  • Lie face down on the mat.
  • Press both palms on the ground on either side of your head.
  • Lift up the front torso, keeping the legs and feet flat on the mat.
  • Breath steady as you hold the pose, reclining your head back.

Number of Repetitions: The pose can be repeated four to five times with a few seconds hold every time.

How it Benefits: This prone pose is a restorative asana. It helps in stretching and strengthening the back and neck muscles at the same time keeping the person calm. It is a good way to stretch the back as well as core muscles.

3. Cat – Cow Pose

cat - cow pose for swimmers

How to do?

  • Use a floor mat for this exercise.
  • Sit on your knees with hands supporting the front.
  • Assume cow position as you arch your back and inhale your breath.
  • Return to cat position with a rounded spine, exhaling as you bring your head down.
  • Curl toes in cow position while you release them as you assume cat position.

Number of Repetitions: Do 5 to 10 rounds of the stretch with alternating movements.

How it Benefits: This is a useful stretch to warm up the spine. It also helps to integrate back and front bodies. It also helps to coordinate breathing with different movements. It is a good stretch to help warm up the body and the back before going for a swim.

4. Balancing Table Pose (Hands And Knees Balance)

balancing table pose for swimmers

How to do?

  • Come on your knees and support the body by the hands, palms down on the floor.
  • Inhale as you raise the right leg up and hold it parallel to the floor.
  • Reach out the toes to stretch the leg muscles.
  • Raise the left arm parallel to the floor and stretch out the fingers in front.
  • Breathe and hold the position for 3-6 breaths.
  • Release the position by exhaling and letting down the left arm after which you can bring down the knee.
  • After coming back to starting position repeat with alternate arms and legs again.

Number of Repetitions: Every pose should be held for 3-6 counts and can be repeated five times for each side.

How it Benefits: This yoga pose offers several benefits such as improving balance, focus, memory as well as coordination. It helps to build the core strength and lengthen the spine.

5. Triangle Pose

triangle pose for swimmers

How to do?

  • Stand straight on a floor mat.
  • Straighten out the right leg and bring arms parallel to the floor.
  • Go down with the right arm, touching the foot while left arm reaches out at the back.
  • Tip body towards the right hand which should rest on the ankle.
  • Keep both legs straight but do not lock the knees.
  • Look back at the left arm extending to the ceiling.
  • Alternate with the other leg and arm, looking up the other way.

Number of Repetitions: Hold the position for three to five breaths. Alternate movements on each side five times each.

How it Benefits: This yoga pose helps to strengthen the balance of the body. It can be combined with downward facing dog and child’s pose to bring back the body to rest. The alternating movements help to stretch the spine and work on the outer thigh area as well.

6. Locust Pose

locust pose for swimmers

How to do?

  • Lie down on a floor mat face down.
  • Keep legs together and raise them off the floor, from the hip region.
  • Stretch the hands at the back and join them.
  • Stretch and pull back the head.
  • Hold the position for a few breaths.
  • Get back to resting position and then repeat.

Number of Repetitions: The exercise can be done four to five times with a few seconds’ holds every time.

How it Benefits: The exercise helps to strengthen core and back. It also helps in enhancing breathing capacity as well as flexibility. It can help to align the body and lengthen body and limbs. It helps to tone chest, thighs, belly, and shoulders as well as strengthens abdominal muscles.

7. Bridge Pose

bridge pose for swimmers

How to do?

  • Place a floor mat on the ground.
  • Lie down straight with arms on either side.
  • Press down with palms on the ground and bend the knees.
  • Keeping feet pressed on the ground raise the hips off the floor.
  • Hold the position for a few seconds.

Number of Repetitions: This exercise can be done by holding the position a few seconds every time and repeated five times in total.

How it Benefits: This exercise helps you to restore and relax yourself. It helps to improve blood circulation to the pelvic region as well as strengthens core muscles. It also helps to stretch muscles in the thigh and back region.

8. Supta Matsyendrasana

supta matsyendrasana pose for swimmers

How to do?

  • Use a yoga mat and lie flat on the back.
  • Exhale; press the lower back on the floor.
  • As you inhale bend the knees and lift feet off the mat.
  • Stretch arms out on both sides.
  • Keep one leg straight as you fold the other leg over it from the knee.
  • Press down the folded knee with one hand.
  • Straighten and repeat the position with the other hand.

Number of Repetitions: Hold each pose for a few seconds and repeat five times on either side.

How it Benefits: This asana, known as the supine spinal twist pose, helps in detoxifying the body. It helps to stretch the back and upper body, at the same time helping to relieve stress and brings a sense of calm to the mind.

Try the above stretches before a swimming session for optimal results.

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