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  • Mar

    Yoga for Every Swimmer

    With our newly launched sister site; you will begin to see the occasional yoga post on this blog. Our first post comes to you from Olympic Silver medalist for swimming and employee, Emily Silver.

    For a swimmer, it’s important to be in the water at least once a day to keep your feel for your stroke. Outside of the water, it’s equally important to get in some dynamic dry land workouts for strength and flexibility.

    Coach Teri McKeever, Cal Women's Swimming (2005)

    During my swimming career at Cal, coach Teri McKeever had us try a number of different dry land exercises. Our workouts varied from normal weight lifting to hip-hop dance class, Pilates to spinning on a bike, yoga to stadium stairs. We tried just about anything and everything. Looking back the one exercise that really stuck with me and I still enjoy today is yoga. It enabled me to work on flexibility, core strength, balance and mental focus, all skills that translated to success in the pool.

    Okay, I admit that I was skeptical at first. What are these moves? I felt like the instructor was trying to turn me into a human pretzel. I also found it hard to simply focus on my breathing and keeping balance in order to keep from toppling over onto my teammate next to me. But once I got the hang of it and felt more comfortable, I was hooked.

    Emily Silver, doing a yoga pose at work

    Yoga requires the same discipline and laser focus needed to swim lap after lap in the pool but without the mundane repetitiveness of swimming. It also works a completely different set of muscles, which can aid in preventing injury. But of all the benefits of yoga, one thing I liked most was that it enabled me to practice visualization and mental toughness, two things that helped aid in success throughout my career.

    While some people may think of yoga as an obscure exercise that’s unrelated to swimming, it’s actually quite the opposite. With the growth of studios across the country, it’s becoming widely accessible and is worth trying out if you’re looking for a fun and dynamic way of staying in shape out of the water.

    Not sure where to start? The iSport website is a great resource. Simply type in your location and you’ll get a list of studios near you. The website also offers information about yoga retreats, workshops, teacher training centers and more. Feeling shy? Another great thing about yoga is that you can do it anywhere! All you need is your mat. CorePower Yoga, which has studios all over the country, offers free yoga podcasts that talk you through a workout. They can be found in the iTunes Apple Store under CorePower Podcast. Another benefit of yoga is the comfortable and stylish exercise clothes you get to wear when doing it. Not sure where to shop? The online store offers everything you’ll need to get started, while highlighting the biggest inventory of yoga gear at the best prices on the web.

    As an Olympic Silver medalist and swimming fanatic, I would definitely recommend yoga as a dry land addition to help keep you in great shape and healthy year-round.

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