Top 10 Yoga Poses For Swimmers June 20, 2016

Yoga and swimming are two powerful workout regimens that complement each other. Both these fitness forms allow you to experience your inner self completely. The sole difference – you swim in water and practice yoga on land!

Practicing yoga can prove to be beneficial for professional swimmers and for those who take up the sport as a cardio workout. Here are 5 reasons why every swimmer should practice yoga:

  1. Strengthens your core, shoulders, arms, chest, and hips
  2. Improves your flexibility levels
  3. Enhances and boosts stamina
  4. Helps in improving your focus and concentration
  5. Aids in restoring and rejuvenating your energy levels

Now that you know the benefits, here are the top 10 yoga swimming poses to reap the above mentioned goodness:

Yoga for Swimmers – Top 10 Yoga Poses

1. Adho Mukha Svanasana – Downward Facing Dog Pose:

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This is a gentle inversion pose that allows better supply of blood to the brain. By supporting yourself on the hands and legs, this asana helps you to improve your posture and balance. If you are new to yoga, then use a cushion or block beneath the palms to support yourself. Focusing on your breathing pattern while holding the pose will help you concentrate better.

Why to do:

  • Helps in stretching and strengthening your hands, arches, shoulders, hamstrings, and calves
  • Renders a new level of energy
  • Eases tension, stress, and anxiety
  • Helps you to calm down and invigorate yourself

All these factors improves your performance levels as a swimmer.

[ Read: Benefits of Adho Mukha Svanasana ]

2. Bhujangasana – Cobra Pose:

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A prone yoga pose, it is a restorative asana that helps in keeping you calm while offering numerous physical benefits. A beginner can use a bolster for additional support. Suck in your breath as you lift your torso off the floor. Make sure that your breath is steady while in the pose. Keep your eyes fixed on the ceiling. According to ancient yoga scripts, this pose is ideal to awaken your Kundalini and keep diseases at bay.

Why to do:

  • Strengthens your spine and lower back
  • Stretches, strengthens, and tones chest, shoulder, lungs, and core
  • Helps in improving your posture
  • Eases out fatigue and stress
  • Enhances the functioning of lungs and heart and improves breathing capacity and blood circulation
  • Soothes and heals back pain and sciatica

3. Gomukhasana – Cow Face Pose:

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This is a sitting pose in swimming yoga which looks quite simple, but is slightly tough. Along with correcting your posture, it is ideal to keep your biceps and triceps toned.

Why to do:

  • Stretches and strengthens your chest, hips, shoulder, and ankles
  • Stretches and tones biceps and triceps
  • Improves your posture
  • Strengthens your back muscles and spinal cord

4. Salabhasana – Locust Pose:

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If you are suffering from back pain or sciatica, then you ought to practice this pose. You can strengthen your back and core while improving your flexibility and breathing capacity with this asana.

Why to do:

  • For a stronger back and core
  • Lengthens limbs and body and aligns it
  • Stretches and tones chest, belly, thighs, and shoulders
  • Improves your posture
  • Stimulates and strengthens abdominal muscles

5. Dhanurasana – Bow Pose:

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This is done by lying down on your belly. Your hands hold the ankles while your body is bent like a bow. It is good for strengthening all the muscles of your body, with added concentration on the back, thighs, and arms.

Why to do:

  • Stretches and strengthens thighs, ankles, abdomen, chest, groin, hip flexors, and neck
  • Eases back pain
  • Improves posture
  • Tones and strengthens your back and core

6. Urdhva Mukha Svanasana – Upward Facing Dog Pose:

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This is another best yoga for swimmers. While this looks similar to Bhujangasana, there are differences in the alignment as well as the way they affect your body. In Urdhva Mukha Svanasana, your body comes into touch with the mat only through the hands and toes, while in Bhujangasana your legs remain on the floor. This revitalizing backbend pose helps in opening up a stiff chest, which is quite common in swimmers.

Why to do:

  • Opens up your chest and shoulders, easing stiffness
  • Stretches and tones core and hips
  • Elongates the spine and back
  • Strengthens lower back
  • Renders stronger arms, wrists, and shoulders
  • Improves your posture
  • Tones your hips
  • Eases sciatica
  • Alleviates stress and anxiety

7. Setu Bhandasana – Bridge Pose:

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Relax and restore yourself with this supine yoga poses. This helps in opening up your neck and chest muscles. Beginners and people suffering from back pain can place a cushion beneath your back to support it while bending backwards.

Why to do:

  • Opens up your chest and neck
  • Eases anxiety and stress levels
  • Calms your mind down
  • Strengthens back and thighs
  • Stretches your abdomen
  • Strengthens your hands

8. Balasana – Child Pose:

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Unlock the stiff pelvic girdle and hip flexor with this easy to do yoga pose. Along with strengthening your back, this pose can be used for restorative benefits also. Beginners will find it difficult to do this pose in yoga swimming and can use support to rest the head. Bolster can also be placed beneath the palms for added support.

Why to do:

  • Stretches, strengthens, and tones thighs, and hips
  • Eases back and neck pain, when done with support
  • Eases stress and anxiety
  • Improves blood circulation to the brain
  • Improves focus and concentration, if you mediate in this pose

9. Baddha Konasana – Bound Angle Pose:

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Swimmers are prone to stiff hips that hampers their efficiency and effectiveness. A congested hip can trigger back pain as well. This pose decongest, soothe, and prevent stiff hips.

Why to do:

  • Unlocks stiff hips, stretches and strengthens it
  • Stretches and stimulates reproductive organs, kidneys, and abdomen
  • Stretches and tones inner thighs, knees, and groind
  • Eases back pain and sciatica
  • Ease stress, tired, and fatigue
  • Restores your energy levels

10. Anuloma Viloma Pranayama – Alternate Nostril Breathing:

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You can practice this breathing technique while sitting in Padmasana [Lotus Pose] or Vajrasana [Thunderbolt Pose]. Along with creating and improving your awareness about your breathing capacity, it helps in easing stress levels.

Why to do:

  • Helps in improving your lung capacity
  • Helps you to know your breathing pattern
  • Improves cardiovascular strength
  • Enhances blood circulation levels
  • Beats stress and anxiety
  • Improves your focus and concentration levels

Including yoga in your training regimen will help in improving your overall strength and flexibility. Along with keeping you at ease, yoga will help in developing a better coordination between your mind and body while you swim. So if you want to swim better, try yoga!

Got to know know how beneficial is yoga for swimmers? Do you swim? Did you find this article helpful? Do leave us your feedback in the comments section below!