Most training for swimmers will be done… well, in the water. But many swimmers will often forget to place equal importance on strength training done on land. Surprisingly, there are many commonalities found between swimming and yoga that can easily be incorporated into your next stretch routine. Yoga offers a variety of stretches and workouts that help build flexibility in the joints and strengthen critical muscle groups used when swimming. Take a deep breath, grab a yoga mat, and check out these easy yoga for swimmers to add into your dryland training:
Downward Facing Dog – While on all fours, slide your palms slightly past your shoulders and spread your fingers. Use your palm and fingers to press down against the mat and lift your hip and knees away from the ground, so you look like an upside down “V”. This pose stretches the legs, shoulders, and back making it a great stretch before or after swimming.
Bound Angle Pose – While sitting, stretch your legs out in front of you. Take a deep breath in/out and lift/bend your knees so that your heels are close to your pelvis. Carefully drop your knees to the sides and push the soles of your feet together. Don’t be afraid to use your hands to hold your feet in place. This is a great yoga pose for stretching and opening the hips.
Cat-Cow Stretch – Once again, drop down to hands and knees and get ready for one of the best back-stretching yoga poses for your dryland training. Hands should be beneath the shoulders and knees should be aligned to the hips. This pose involves smooth and relaxed movement between two positions: the Cow and the Cat.
- Cow position: Inhale deeply and lift the chin towards the sky while dropping your belly to the yoga mat. You should feel a deep stretch in the spine and shoulder blades.
- Cat position: From the cow position, exhale and round the back towards the ceiling. Shift your head down towards the floor without forcing your chin to the chest.
Follow the breathing technique between each position and repeat for about 5-15 times.
These yoga positions are simple and typically used for beginners so there should be no pain. If you experience pain or extreme discomfort with either one of these positions, we recommend you stop performing the stretch and find alternatives stretches. Subscribe to The Race Club for more dryland training tips and resources to help you perform faster and more efficiently.