WANT TO IMPROVE YOUR TENNIS SERVE, go further in the pool or stay up longer on your surfboard? The secret could be found on your yoga mat. More athletes than ever are pairing their sport with the bendy practice because they know that by improving strength, flexibility, balance and mental control, yoga helps them play harder and stay injury free.
Yoga Poses For Swimmers Photo Gallery
A single yoga session each week can help improve your strength, flexibility and recovery as well as boost your balance and coordination. And you don’t even need to get to a class. Here’s how to harness the benefits for your summer sport… Swimming Whether you want to increase speed or fine-tune your stroke, yoga can help you become a better swimmer. For starters, improving your mobility will help you kick more powerfully as you swim, a surefire way to cut through the water like a fish. If you struggle to master your breathing for strokes such as freestyle, yoga can help there, too.
Learning how to breathe from your diaphragm slows your inhalations and helps you control your breath, so you’ll stay calmer in the water. Hitting the mat regularly will also improve your lung and cardio capacity for better stamina. Another surprising yoga benefit for swimmers is better balance – good stability in the water helps you become more streamlined, in turn allowing you to move more efficiently through the water. When it comes to a full-body workout, you can’t beat a session in the pool. But swimming can still lead to imbalances and alignment issues, as it tends to overdevelop the front of your body. Yoga can bring your body back into balance while improving flexibility in the arms, legs, hips and feet.
POSES TO TRY: Reclining bound angle pose, low lunge twist, and of course, downward-facing dog.