4 Yoga Poses to Prevent Swimming Injuries

Swimming allows you to feel weightless in the water. Your senses withdraw inward as the outside noise is dulled into the background. The breath deepens and surrenders. Your movement becomes free as you harmoniously glide through the water.

The same sensations occur in yoga, only you are on dry land.

Yoga and swimming complement one another. Both enhance relaxation, deepen the breath and improve mental clarity. They are gentle on the joints and therapeutic to injuries and other physical limitations.

More: 4 Ways to Balance Your Triathlon Training Through Yoga

However, body alignment becomes imbalanced with swimmers due to the overdevelopment of the front of the body. The repetitive strokes overuse certain muscles while weakening others. Yoga focuses on full-body alignment using gravity to build strength and length evenly, increasing your mobility.

Yoga is a powerful option for cross-training. Outside of the water, the weight of your body provides resistance. The resistance builds strength in the muscles and bones due to the force of gravity. Bone density also increases due to the weight-bearing activity of yoga. All of this helps to prevent injury.

More: Sports Therapy: 3 Ways to Rehab an Injury

Here are four yoga poses that will assist you in or out of water.  

Adho Mukha Svanasana: Downward-Facing Dog

Downward facing dog 

How To Do it: Come down to the floor onto your hands and knees. Align knees directly below your hips and hands slightly in front of the shoulders.

Spread your fingers and turn your toes under. Exhale and lift your knees away from the floor. Start by keeping the knees slightly bent and the heels lifted.

If possible, slowly begin to straighten knees and draw the heels down towards the floor. Draw your tailbone down. Release your head down, gazing between the knees or thighs. Spread shoulders wide and breathe steadily. Stay in pose for 1-3 minutes.

Why Do it: Stretches the shoulders, hamstrings, calves, arches and hands. Strengthens the arms and legs.  

More: Why Every Athlete Should Practice Yoga

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