Swimmer Strength Tech Tip: Yoga and Swimming


Contributed by Deniz Hekmati – Strength & Conditioning Specialist, Sport Scientist 

Many have asked me what I think of yoga, and what my favorite movements are. To keep it short and sweet, I approve of yoga, but around certain circumstances. For instance, if you do a big yoga session with your team before swimming, and you have a practice expecting the swimmers to swim fast, they more than likely will not. Yoga is great before recovery swims to facilitate recovery, or after swim practice. If we add a few movements to loosen the body up for 5-10 minutes before swimming – that’s great.

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I do not like to solely rely on yoga – there is just no way we are developing true power output, or preparing the central nervous system to get the muscles to contract quickly. Positional strength and strength endurance – yoga absolutely improves. We can improve range of motion well, but I’ve come to notice the challenge for the very tight swimmers. They have a much more difficult time getting into and holding certain poses for it to feel, or even be productive for the swimmer. Yoga is definitely a lifestyle choice, and if chosen, it needs to be performed consistently, that’s when we get the best results in anything we do.

That’s why many of my warm-ups are influenced by yoga movements, such as the pigeon stretch, child’s pose variations, and the upward and downward facing dogs. I’m not an expert, but highly respect my fellow Yoga peers helping the swimming community, such as Q Swim with Tom Barton and Swim Specific Yoga.

I like to see full yoga classes a good time for recovery and flush, and to be mindful and aware of the body, while also getting some work done.

In other words, yoga is a good modality for swimmers, but not for optimal power development.

Next week, how much time should we spend doing dryland?

See more videos from Swimmer Strength Coach Deniz Hekmati:

Swimmer Strength Tech Tip: Age to Start Dryland Training or Strength Training

Swimmer Strength Tech Tip: When to Add Weight to Strength Training

Swimmer Strength Tech Tip: McGill 3 Core Exercises

Swimmer Strength Tech Tip: Shoulder Pain

Free Trial of Online Training from Coach Hekmati

Get more info about Coach Hekmati or try his 10-day free online training: https://www.swimmerstrength.com/tenDayFreeTrial

Note: All swimming and dryland training and instruction should be performed under the supervision of a qualified coach or instructor, and in circumstances that ensure the safety of participants.

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