5 Ways Yoga Can Enhance Swim Technique
Practicing yoga can be hugely beneficial for student swimmers or even competitive career swimmers. Yoga can burn calories, improve balance, breathing and alignment. Of course, all of these lead to exceptional benefits when it’s time to dive in the pool. The best part is that a yoga program can fit around your team, all they need is a clear space and a yoga mat! In this post, we’ll discuss five ways that yoga can improve swim techniques.
1. Strengthen Core Muscles
Practicing yoga won’t just stretch out muscles, but it also helps to increase strength in smaller muscle groups. And these smaller muscle groups support the rest of the body. As a result, these stretches will have direct results on balance and alignment. Therefore, your team will start swimming faster and with much more precision in no time.
There are several poses which focus on developing core strength. To begin, try the Chair Pose and Warrior I. Make sure your team is taking deep breaths and pushing further into the stretch on their exhale. If they’re already familiar with yoga, encourage them to try the Dolphin Plank pose or One-Legged Down Dog.
2. Increases Flexibility
While your athletes train, they will be repeating the same body movements throughout their swimming sessions. This can lead to tightness and knots in their muscles, pushing them too far and inhibiting their development.
Yoga helps to restore their full function by releasing muscle tension through different poses. These exercises increase range of motion and lengthen muscles. Practicing yoga regularly will also stabilize their joints for better endurance strength and will greatly reduce the risk of in-pool injury.
Encourage them to practice poses like Downward Facing Dog, Standing Back Bend, and Cobra to see which works best for them. Remember, they’ll need to practice the poses regularly to really start seeing the results.
3. Develops Breathing Coordination
Aligning your team’s breathing coordination with their swimming strokes is vital to develop their swimming technique and efficiency. In this sense, competitive swimming is extremely similar to yoga. Yoga is well-known for its focus on mind and body awareness, connecting both together with different poses.
Yoga teaches swimmers to effortlessly connect their body movements with their breathing, allowing them to push further into each pose as they exhale. Even if they’re apprehensive about incorporating yoga into their swimming routine, they can’t deny the incredible benefits they would gain from mastering their breathing coordination.
4. Improves Mental Focus
The benefits of yoga stretch far beyond technique and time score. Of course, practicing any exercise is a great way to release stress and those all-important endorphins. However, regularly practicing yoga can regulate emotions and even improve mood.
Combine this with an enhanced consciousness of the mind and body, and your team’s mental focus will be better than ever. Keep their minds clear and motivated for their swimming or training!
Don’t underestimate the benefits of yoga, especially because an improved mental focus has benefits beyond the pool and into their everyday life. There really aren’t any negatives, they’ll be able to keep a clear perspective and be more in control of their minds.
5. Restore Energy Levels
As swimmers, your team must be aware of how critical a complete cool-down is to their recovery. If they swim multiple times a week, or even every day, ensuring their bodies are recovering properly is extremely important to prevent injury. Whether you decide to include a yoga program in their warm-up or cool-down, ensure you dedicate enough time for their muscles to release tension.
Yoga helps to decrease inflammation at a cellular level. As a result, it helps to kick-start recovery. Combine this with the huge mental and breathing benefits of practicing yoga, and your team’s recovery process will be more efficient than ever.
At Team Towels, our mission isn’t just to provide high-quality, custom towels and gear for every kind of athlete. In addition, we’re always looking for ways to encourage and support coaches, athletes and their loyal supporters in any way we can. Practicing yoga can bring your swim team to higher levels of skill and technique, and elevate your success in unprecedented ways. For more information, contact Team Towels now!