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Best Yoga Poses For Swimmers.

By Ned Taylor

March 16, 2018

Due to the increasing awareness nowadays, and the quest for better performance, many athletes have included yoga in their daily routines.

Not only is it the best way to achieve mental peace but it also strengthens your muscles. Many different sports are now including yoga in their training sessions, and swimming is one of them!

The most common obstacles faced in swimming are related to your breathing, speed, and alignment; and yoga has a solution for all of these!

Health and fitness benefits of yoga for Athletes

The benefits of yoga are not just restricted to one area of concern, but actually, help provide a holistic improvement. Yoga caters to nearly all the problems we face nowadays, be it from chronic back pain or even severe heart disease! Let’s go through a few health and fitness benefits of yoga;

  • Flexibility
    This is the most significant advantage of yoga and often the main reason why people start it. All your muscles are toned while doing yoga which helps in making you more flexible and improving your posture.
  • Strength
    This is an added advantage which most people were not expecting. Yoga strengthens your muscle tone and especially the core muscles. In the long run, these strong core muscles help you with back pain and other age-related problems.
  • Stronger Bones
    Using your body weight, you put pressure on the bones which grow stronger.
  • Keeps the calcium levels under control
    Yoga brings peace to mind, helps you meditate, thus decreasing the level stress hormone. This results in less calcium requirement in the body and so the calcium can stay in the bones.
  • Increases blood flow
    Yoga increases your blood flow throughout the body. Also, it improves the lymphatics making your immune stronger than ever.

Specific benefits Of Yoga for swimmers

Like other athletes now swimmers are also incorporating yoga in their supplementary training for the following reasons;

  • The mobility of Core Muscles.
    Swimmers are prone to get stiff shoulder, chest, hip flexor and quad muscles. However, for better performance and prevention of injury, the mobility of these muscles is very crucial.
  • Balance and Alignment.
    Due to the nature of activity swimmers usually overdevelop their shoulder, chest and front end muscles and weak back muscles. Which may not only lead to hunch but also other injuries due to the wrong posture.
  • Improves stamina
    Long duration of holding your breath and maintaining the exercise posture increases your stamina.
  • Focus
    Yoga is proven to increase concentration, coordination and reaction time.
  • Muscle strength
    As mentioned above, the muscles become stronger, giving you more powerful strokes!
Best Yoga Poses for swimmers

Based on our research here are best yoga poses for swimmers.

01. Downward Dog Pose.

Benefits: Provide a great stretch to the entire backside, open the shoulders to get a better range of motion. Enhance shoulder and forearm strength while lengthening calf and hamstring muscles. Excellent pose for maintaining a proper running posture in long runs. Moreover, increase blood flow towards brain which decreases stress and enhances productivity.

Yoga Pose Down ward dog


  • Lie on your chest with your hands on the mat underneath your shoulders.
  • Exhale as you lift your hips up and back and roll over your toes.
  • Place your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width distant, feet four to six inches apart.
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    Press into your hands to lengthen your arms.
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    Roll your shoulders out away from your ears and relax your neck.
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    Lengthen your spine as you lift your hips and push your chest toward the thighs.
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    Flatten the lower back. Bend knees as much as necessary.
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    Press down through your heels.

Tips: Watch out for any hyper-extension of elbows and knees. If you feel too much pressure on your shoulders, shorten the distance between your hands and feet, or allow your knees to bend until you feel an even stretch throughout your entire back.  If your hamstrings are tight and your spine is rounding, bend both knees slightly and tip your pelvis so that the tailbone reaches upward. Focus on a long spine by pressing into your palms and lifting your hips.

02. Upward Dog Pose.

Benefits: A great pose to challenge you for lifting and opening your chest. Which results in improving our posture and enhancing lung capacity. Also strengthen the spine, arms wrists and shoulder muscles for visible improvisation in athletic performance.


  • Start with Lying on your chest with your hands under your shoulders. With your legs extended behind you, spread a few inches apart.
  • Inhale as you lift your chest and straighten your arms.
  • Roll over your toes to the tops of your feet.
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    Keep your shoulders down and back, away from your ears.
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    Pull your shoulder blades toward each other and open your chest.
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    Press your palms down while keeping hands straight and align your shoulder over your wrist.
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    Gaze forward to lengthen and relax your neck.
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    Hold the pose for 5 deep breaths.

Tips: If you are feeling too much pressure in your hand, shift your weight towards legs by elevating your hands on a yoga block or chair. If you are having difficulty in lifting your legs in the air, tuck your toes inside. Engage your abdominal muscles to release excessive pressure in the lower back.

03. Bird Dog Pose.

Benefits: An excellent pain reliever while improving your balance. Strengthen the spine and increase the range of motion in shoulders and hips. Great exercise for those who want to jump higher and swim faster.



  • Start in a tabletop position with your palms and knees.
  • With your neck in line with your back. Raise your arm straight.
  • Keeping your back straight raise the opposite leg straight.
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    Extend your arm with palm facing sideways and finger pointing forward.
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    Engage your core and extend your back leg heel pointed toward ceiling toes pointing to the mat.
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    Try to make a straight line from back heel to extended fingertips.
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    Hold the pose for 5 deep breaths
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    Repeat from other side.

Tips: Keep breathing and focus on your thighs and biceps muscles to keep your limbs lifted. Don’t look forward instead look down to avoid extra tension in the lower back.

04. Locust Pose.

Benefits: This pose strengthens lower back, legs and shoulder muscles while opening your chest. Stimulates your abdominal organs for better digestion and detoxification of the body. Locust pose helps to improve your posture and relief you from stress and fatigue caused by slouching forward.



  • Start with lying flat on your chest with your legs extended and hands along your sides.
  • Lift up your chest from the floor. Along with your arms to maintain your balance.
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    Internally rotate your thighs by pushing the heels away and contacting your big toes.
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    Lift the legs off the ground while extending them and keeping them straight.
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    Keep your chin parallel to the floor and gaze forward.
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    Squeeze your core and lift your heel and chest as high as possible.
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    Hold the pose for five deep breaths (50 seconds).

Tips: Extend your body first before curving up. Avoid overstretching your neck for modification try to lift one leg and alternate arm and maintain the height.

05. High Lunge Pose.

Benefits: Increase stability and flexibility in hip flexors while also opening the front torso, chest, and shoulders. It strengthens and tones the thighs, hips, and butt. Develop endurance in your thighs while focusing on balance to improve your sprinting ability and strength in single leg squats or lunges.

High Lunge


  • Take a step forward and bend your front knee over your ankle.
  • Straighten your back leg straight planted over balls of your toes.
  • Align both feet ahead and lower hips toward the ground.
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    Extend the arms overhead, maintaining a straight line from your core to shoulders.
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    Pull the shoulders back and arching your back.
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    Square your hips and position your palms to face one another.
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    Hold the pose for 5 deep breaths (50 seconds).
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    Repeat the pose from other side.

Tips: Start with a closer stance if your back is arching (i.e., you feel pinching in your lower back). Keep hips even, facing forward. Ribs draw in towards one another to prevent puffing of the chest and arching of the back

06. Camel Pose.

Benefits: If done properly this pose starches almost all of the muscles in the body. While strengthening the spine, this pose also stimulates the abdominal organs which results in better digestion and metabolism. This pose also detoxifies the body, improve lung capacity and reduce abdominal fat.


  • Start from an upright kneeling position with your hands on your hips.
  • Spread your knees about hip-width apart.
  • Lift your chest up to the ceiling, and start to push your thighs forward.
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    Tuck your chin to your chest.
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    Slowly lean back with your upper back, and place your right hand on your right heel and then your left hand to your left heel.
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    If it doesn’t bother your neck, relax your head back, stretching your throat.
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    Keep lifting your chest up, pushing your thighs forward and lengthening your tailbone downward.
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    Hold the pose for 5 deep breaths (50 Seconds).

Tips: Instead of reaching back with both hands, do the half-camel pose with one hand at a time. The arm that is not reaching back for the foot reaches up to the ceiling. In case of Knee tension, cushion the knees with a blanket.

07. Reclined Spine Twist.

Benefits: Lengthen and encourages the mobility of spine for twisting motions in various sports. Stretches shoulder, chest, back and hips muscles to relax and re-energize the body. Helps you relieve from stress and anxiety. Increase the blood flow to abdominal organs which results in detoxification of the body and toned waistline.

Reclined-Twist yoga pose


  • Start by lying on your back with knees bent and feet planted few inches below your hips.
  • Raise your knees over your hips and extend your arms side way in alignment with your shoulders.
  • Lower the knees to the side, keeping both shoulders on the ground.
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    Turn your head and gaze your hand in the opposite direction of the knees.
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    Twist your lower back to create space in the spine.
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    Pull the knees closer to the ground for an assisted stretch.
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    Hold the pose for 5 deep breaths (50 Seconds).
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    Repeat on the other side.

Tips: If your knees don’t touch the ground, don’t worry about it. Just focus on getting the gentle twisting stretch throughout your spine (especially lower back). The focus of this pose should not be on “cracking” your back. Focus on the stretch.

08. Bridge Pose.

Benefits: Stretches your spine, thighs and hip flexors to increase the range of motion. Strengthen your back to reduce chances of injury. This pose also improves digestion and metabolism as this pose also stimulates abdominal organs.



  • Start with lying on your back, bend both knees and place your feet 2 to 3 beneath your butt.
  • Rest the arms alongside the body.
  • Squeeze the shoulders blades together. Push your feet and arms into the floor, and lift your hips high as possible.
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    Push your knees forward and your chest toward your chin to lengthen your spine.
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    Lift the chest towards the chin, and reach the chin away from the chest.
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    Hold the pose for 5 deep breathes (50 Seconds).

Tips: The weight of your body in this pose rests on the shoulders, not the neck. If there is too much pressure on lower back, try placing a yoga block beneath your tailbone. Keep your core engaged by flexing the abdominal muscles.

And if you are looking for some more yoga poses and further guidance do check out our ultimate yoga assessment guide. As it comes with every thing, a yoga practitioner needs when practicing solo.

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    50+ Yoga Poses
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    The detailed set of steps to get into every pose.
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    Tips and modifications for beginners to provide extra help.
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    Assessment scale for every posture which enables the user to do a perfect workout every time.
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    10+ sequences to gains the benefits in every aspect of a daily routine.

You can check out our YOGA ASSESSMENT GUIDE™ by clicking here!

Thanks for staying till here.

Oh by the way for doing yoga you do need a mat as well. Check out our ultimate guide to choosing the best mat for yourself.

And for some heavy dose of yoga inspiration check this out.

Take good care of yourself and


Ned Taylor

About the author

Hey there, my name is Ned and I am on a mission to provide you health and fitness advice that are rational (i.e. back by scientific evidence) and sustainable ( means practical enough to be incorporated in normal people's routines with busy lives).

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