When swimmers do exercise out of the water they like to call it dryland workout. All swimmers have to do weight training and flexibility enhancement training to stay in shape. They do running, weight lifting, jogging, and yoga for the same. Yoga is the best way for a swimmer to gain strength and flexibility. People who swim for long hours need to train harder. They often get the problem of tight shoulders, tight hamstrings, and even hip flexors. Their front body tends to be overdeveloped as compared to their back body. This issue can be resolved by doing exercises targeting the problem areas. Yoga has proven to be very helpful in this manner.
Why yoga for swimmers is a good idea?
The swimmers can do gentle backbends, twists, and the poses related to strengthening their core. By increasing the range of motion of the flexible body parts such as ankles feet and wrists they can remain fit. When they do regular exercise such as yoga the swimmers can boost their performance in the pool. It also decreases their risk of injury while speed swimming. There are certain sequences of yoga specially designed for swimmers. The use of yoga is useful in improving balance, alignment, and breathing in swimmers.
How can a swimmer start with yoga?
To begin with, yoga must be done in a very gentle way. It must be gentle on the joints giving them a chance for recovery from the injuries that may have caused earlier. Yoga shall help overcome any physical limitations. Yoga is very useful for deep relaxing the muscles that get tired due to a long swim. When yoga and swimming are practiced together, they are very beneficial for the swimmer. It creates core strength and also improves their body alignment. Swimming continuously for long hours without any exercise has bad effects, such as body dis-alignment, it may also cause no low bone strength.
How can yoga be useful for swimmers?
Having a perfect body alignment is essential for a good swimmer. It is an integral part of the career for all the sports that a person may like to take part in. The form is essential for any purpose sports especially swimming. Yoga for swimmers is very helpful in maintaining this form of a sportsperson. Yoga has been adopted as a fitness feature all over the world. It is being used by the trainers to correct the postural deformities or any strength and endurance problems in the swimmer. Those who overdo a few specific strokes in swimming tend to have muscle problems. The strokes such as butterfly, breast, and freestyle, when done repeatedly can cause over-development of muscles in the arms. This causes dis-alignment in the structure of the swimmer. It may cause rhomboids to weaken. Practicing backstroking repeatedly contracts some of the muscles in the backbone that can cause muscle imbalance. Practicing a single stroke is not advisable for any swimmer even if this is his or her specialty. They must undertake a comprehensive regime.
Gravity loss is a problem for long time swimmers
When exercise is done only in water by the swimmers they lack the practice of gravity. This can cause great problems when on land. They have to learn to become strong in the presence of gravity. Their bodies become similar to a spring that needs to practice the presence of a force. They in turn need to have to strengthen muscles and bones.
Yoga for swimmers is more effective than other exercises.
The consistent practice of yoga helps extend muscle strength. Yoga is more effective than cycling or running. It helps in the overall development of the body structure and muscle strength. To be a good swimmer a person must have perfect arm and leg strokes. For full extension of arms and legs, the swimmer must practice yoga poses such as back went and twists.
Suggestions of certain yoga pose to improved posture:
Adho mukha svanasana: in this pose, a person is either facing downwards or facing upwards. This is used to strengthen the shoulder blades. The shoulder blades need to drop down the back. It has the same principle used in swimming. This pose is helpful in recovering from injuries or shoulder tendonitis( also called the swimmer’s shoulder). Instead of the muscles being able to carry the weight of the arms, the tendons start to bear the burden and this results in tendons becoming aggravated.
Baddha Konasana: in this pose, the soles of the feet are touching together while the outside of the knees remains flat on the floor. This pose demonstrates the healthy external rotation of the hip joint. Many people have locked hips or there is stiffness, this pose of yoga helped relieve locking or stiffness from the hip joint. In a swimmer, this problem may have developed due you to the faulty practicing of breaststrokes. But to have a perfect breaststroke, a swimmer must have free or loose hip joints. Else it shall create a hindrance in effective and efficient swimming.
Chakravakrasana: cat-cow stretching: this yoga pose is helpful in warming up the spine and integrating the whole front and back body. It introduces the body with the concept of breathing while there are stretching movements of the body. The person is supposed to inhale while in the cow position when his spine is arched. He or she is supposed to exhale in the cat position when the spine is rounded. The swimmer will feel more comfortable in the cat position but make sure not to overdo it. Always pay full attention to your feet position in the cow position, and releasing them in the cat position. Ensure full mobility of your feet while doing this pose. Once you are done with the practice you must lie down flat on your back. Let it come to a neutral position.
Practicing balance of hands and knees: the swimmer must come on all fours. He or she must extend the left leg towards the back of the mat keeping heels in line with the hips. Then he must reach for the right arm forward keeping the wrist in line with the shoulders. Keep gazing towards the floor to make sure your neck is in a neutral position. The belly and spine must be in perform position to avoid your back from collapsing.
Druvasana: this pose is also known as the bow pose. It helps open and stretch the front part of the body while ensuring the strength of the back muscles. The person must lie down flat on the stomach. Bring your hands next to your body and try bringing your heels close to your bottoms. Next, hold your ankles with your hands. Hold your left hand with the left ankle and right ankle with your right hand. Remember to keep the shoulder blades as close as possible to the spine try breathing slowly and stay there for two to three repetitions. In the beginning, when it becomes difficult you can start by doing one side at a time also known as the Half bow. As you begin to become more flexible then you must practice the full pose.
Virasana: This pose is also known as the hero pose. It is very useful in strengthening the ankles knees and feet. Some people like to do this pose while sitting on a block. The person must sit down on the knees and feet wider than the hips. You may choose to place a block under your buttocks between your legs for more comfort. The top of the feet must press against the floor and that eyes turned inwards you must stay in this position for two minutes at least. Close your eyes and take a deep breath.
Savasana: This pose is also known as the corpse pose. At the end of every yoga session, a person must practice this pose for at least five to 10 minutes. This pose helps your body absorb all the positive effects of yoga for swimmers sessions. It gives you time to relax for a few minutes in the day while you are actually doing nothing. During this pose, you must try to release any tension in your body. Trying to breathe as naturally as you can while emptying your mind of any worry of family or work. This pose not only helps the body but also refreshes the brain, as you try to free it from the preoccupations. Having a fresh brain is as important as a fresh body.
For a professional swimmer, it is very essential to have consistency. For the same, he or she may incorporate yoga for swimmers in regular practice. Yoga has long term effects which also help the swimmer attain a healthy posture and lifestyle for the rest of his or her life. Swimming and yoga both are used by a person to promote inner strength and also helps in relaxing the muscles. Even if a person is not a professional swimmer still they must practice yoga and swim comprehensively. Yoga and swimming both done together shall increase your flexibility a lot. All the stiffness can be removed with the help of yoga poses. But if you are new at yoga you must take help from a professional yoga trainer. They should help you know how much and when to do which pose.