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Swimming: The Perfect Summer Sport
Swimming is one of the star sports of the summer. We take advantage of the fact that we exercise in the water, which allows us to cool off on these hot summer days. And, in addition, with many benefits. We cannot forget that swimming is one of the most complete and healthy aerobic sports that exist, but as long as it is practiced with the proper technique and coordination.
Yoga: The Perfect Complement to Swimming
“For this reason, more and more swimmers are complementing their training in the pool with ‘dry’ training, yoga being one of the practices that most complement and improve aquatic performance, having a very positive impact on the following aspects that we are going to Let’s see below”, says Sara García (@sarayoga.journey), Vinyasa Yoga Teacher.
The Advantages of Yoga for Swimming Performance
The evident improvement that is obtained by practicing yoga on joint flexibility will allow us to increasingly increase our range of movements of the back, hips and shoulders. This will make it easier for us to insert our hands much further to go “find” the water at the start of the propulsion and thus be able to drag as much water as possible and, therefore, increase our speed.
Improved stability, concentration, and awareness of the body.
Swimming in the aquatic environment is not particularly damaging to our joints as it does not receive a load on them. However, it is a very repetitive exercise that, if performed without a good technical foundation, can cause problems in the shoulders, lower back, and knees. The practice of yoga will make you take full advantage of the advice that your instructor gives you to improve your swimming technique. It will provide you with body stability that will allow you to adopt the best hydrodynamic position in the water and will increase your concentration and awareness of your own body for the coordination of all the necessary movements to achieve efficient swimming and safe from injury risks.
Improve lung capacity and breathing control.
During the practice of yoga, breathing control exercises (pranayama) are performed, which are essential for swimming. With this, we will improve our ability in the body to introduce all the possible volume of oxygen in the short period of time in which the head comes out of the water in the Crawl, Breaststroke, and Butterfly styles.
Increases physical strength and decreases the probability of injury.
Swimming is not a sport that especially strengthens the joints and bones when practiced in the aquatic environment and this can cause long-term problems if it is not complemented with other strength activities. For this reason, it is necessary to complement it with sessions with a load, such as yoga, which with the weight of our own body will help us to strengthen both our lower and upper muscle chains and, above all, our core strength (which unites both chains).
Effective Yoga Postures for Swimmers
Yoga Plank: Front and Side Plank. It is one of the most complete postures to strengthen the body, since it strengthens the core area, legs, arms, and shoulders.
Downward Facing Dog. In this case, we are facing one of the most complete postures to stretch and strengthen the body. We can perform the posture both dynamically and statically.
Gomukasana: Shoulder Stretch. This posture is beneficial for stretching the shoulders, which is especially useful before and after swimming. Joining the hands can be challenging, so a towel or strap can be used for assistance.
Shoulder Stretch Face Down. This posture helps stretch the entire front part of the body. It is important to perform the exercise on both arms to maintain balance and symmetry in the body.