USA Triathlon News Blogs Multisport Lab Vinyasa Yoga for Swi...

Vinyasa Yoga for Swimmers

By Gary Hall Sr. | Sept. 26, 2016, 6 a.m. (ET)

swim school

Go back to school! Erase the smelly, crowded hallways of your high school from your mind and imagine yourself under the Islamorada sun in a clear pool ready to absorb knowledge that will enable you to swim faster. Swim School from Gary Hall Sr. of The Race Club is about lifelong enjoyment of the sport. It’s always more fun to swim to your potential.

yogaYoga is one of the best forms of dry land training for swimmers. In 2008, all of our Race Club swimmers training for Beijing Olympic Games incorporated two Vinyasa yoga sessions per week in which movement is synchronized with breath. The swimmers liked yoga and felt that they benefitted from these sessions. In 2008, Olympic swimmer Rebecca Soni abandoned her traditional strength training and stretching routine in favor of doing yoga. As a result, she felt stronger in breaststroke and swam faster.

Yoga can help swimmers in several different ways. First, it improves flexibility of key joints used in the swimming motions. Second, it can help reduce the chance of injury from overusing selected joints or muscles. Third, it can help build strength and stamina in the core, upper body and legs, depending on how it is done. Finally, it helps improve breathing, relaxation, recovery and mental training, all needed to become a better swimmer. Yoga is more than exercise. It helps improve health and lifestyle.

There are so many different types of moves in yoga that one cannot really refer to the benefits of yoga without being more specific. Consequently, we have developed different Vinyasa yoga workouts for swimmers that focus on three different areas of strength; core, shoulders and legs. This first yoga #Swimisode will focus on strengthening shoulders and features Race Club Olympic and world-class swimmers, led by Race Club coach Amy Hall.

With Amy leading, you won’t need to have a yoga instructor come to your swimming practice, nor take your swimmers to the yoga studio. Just set up the computer near the pool, lay down some mats and get your swimmers started. Watch the Race Club's Yoga for Swimmers here.

Use #yogaforswimmers when you tweet about yoga or share your yoga pics on FB or insta.

Yours in swimming,
Gary Hall Sr.

gary hall srGary Hall Sr., M.D. is a three-time Olympic swimmer (‘68, ‘72, ‘76) who earned a medal in each of the three Olympic Games. At one time he held 10 world records in all strokes except breaststroke and was the World Swimmer of the year in 1969 and 1970.

Gary Sr. serves as president and technical director of The Race Club Inc. based in Islamorada, Florida. He is the current president of the United States Olympians and Paralympians Association and co-founder of World Fit, a non-profit organization promoting childhood exercise and sports. He has six children, the oldest of whom, Gary Jr., also swam in three Olympic Games (‘96, ‘00, ‘04) and earned 10 Olympic medals. Two other children, Richard and Amy, and his wife, Mary, work with Gary Sr. at The Race Club. In 2006, Gary Sr. retired from ophthalmology to dedicate his remaining professional career to teaching advanced swimming techniques for competitive swimmers and triathletes. 

The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and not necessarily the practices of USA Triathlon. Before starting any new diet or exercise program, you should check with your physician and/or coach.